Archive | March, 2013

Chapter 7: My Photography – Here, There, Her.

20 Mar

A birth certificate shows that you were born.

A death certificate shows that you died.

But pictures show that you LIVED.

Photography:  Definition – Writing with light.

My other love… photos. Being on both sides of the camera is amazing.  

If I could figure out a way to have writing and photos pay the bills I WOULD.  The only way I’ve seen that work is with adult sites. 

Here are a few of my favorites…

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I was supposed to do maternity photos for this girl, but she had her baby while I was on the road. She hired me to do her baby pictures instead.

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England. Clearly. Lived there for a while, fell in love with it.

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Speaking of British, Miss Rachel. I love shooting all kinds of people and Rachel is really comfortable in her own skin. That’s the most fun kind of person to shoot.

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Pregnancy pictures are something I truly enjoy capturing.

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Philly by day…

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Philly by night.

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Homesick Luchadora. She’d been in a hardcore match the night before and her forehead was still cut open.

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This girl was also the worst roommate I’ve ever had in any foreign country and the most self-centered person I’ve had the displeasure of sharing any part of my life with.  She was a Mexican-American luchadora with a substance abuse issue…it was pretty common for her to lurch into our tiny, shared studio apartment around 5 am, step ON  my mattress (yeah, I was on the floor), flip on the lights and wake everyone up. All 4 of us.  She brought suitcases that her cat peed on to our  non air-conditioned studio apartment in Mexico…we all had to suffer the ammonia stench of cat piss that punched us in the face every time we walked in the casa du jour.

And then there was working with her. She was utterly dangerous in the ring, because she couldn’t remember anything past the lock up.  She hurt my knee in the USA and then hurt me again in Mexico when I was nursing an injury, didn’t want to cancel the booking last minute and had asked her to be careful. But that’s her…full of adrenaline and only out for herself.  I’d imagine there’s a lot of ‘her’ in entertainment  but I suppose I should consider myself lucky to only have one roommate like this.

Centerfold model Leslie Wells. We were in Vegas for a shoot where everyone took turns with the camera that day out in the middle of desert. A large chunk of the photo shoots I’ve done have happened in the middle of the Nevada deserts. When I retire, I can help the mafia find all the good burial spots.

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Pro Wrestler & Actor JD Maverick/Jordan Danyluk.

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Salzburg, Austria. You know…where Mozart lived.  In German, the “burg” in a town or city name means “castle”.  So, if you’re in Marburg, there’s definitely a castle there.

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Miss Olivia then…and Miss Olivia a bit later, discovering how delicious a table really can be.

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Boston. I lived right here, in Kenmore Square, for quite a while while putting myself through both Killer Kowalski’s Pro Wrestling Institute and NESOP – New England School of Photography – at the same time. It was brutally expensive, but worth it… if not just for the experience alone. I loved that you could take any class at all there, at any time, because tutors and random workshops were plentiful. Boston is one kick ass city and my second home, after Philly.

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Speaking of the legend, Walter “Killer” Kowalski… this is him with student Matt who goes by the name Tensai in WWE.

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More former classmates…my first tag partner “Arch Kincaid” and Chris “Harvard” Nowinski, who is currently doing great things in conjunction with Boston University on concussion research. Watch his documentary “Head Games”.  It’s on Netflix.

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Niigata, Japan. A fishing village that was brutally cold when our wrestling tour came through. I could be wrong (and I did try to look this up just now) but I believe we were told this was Japanese point closest to Russia. Hence, the cold. We stayed in a traditional Japanese hotel; (surprisingly comfortable) sleeping mats on the floor, several of us in one room and a communal hot spring bath everyone used.  You can’t really freak out in Japan…it’s considered very poor behavior, so we sacked down with everyone else and took baths in front of strangers. Hey…when in Japan, do as the Japanese do.

I actually came home and changed my entire sleeping after ‘living’ in Japan. I now only sleep on futons or platforms and when visiting others who own soft or crappy beds, I’ll chose the floor.

…But I’ll bathe in a private shower, thank you.

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Sumie Sakai, a professional MMA fighter, wrestler and judo expert. All cleaned up and purdy  for me.

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I think her name was Jade. Stunning girl.

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Snagged a quick shot as we hit our hotel of the French Alps. This was in Grenoble, the town Andre’ the Giant was from…and EVERYONE from there made sure we knew that. It WAS an absolutely stunning village. The photo is nothing special, but the mountains sure were.

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Nikki Roxx. While a hot topic of debate was Mexicans sneaking into America, we gringas were sneaking across the Mexican border for work.

(There was just as much hostility from the Mexicans, too. They did NOT like that Americans were coming in and taking their spots, so it was a very tough work environment )  Lucha Libre Feminil (and CMLL) had us staying/living  in Monterrey Mexico and we decided to shoot on a day off.

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Another of our American roommates, Christie Ricci.  Did you know the “OK” thumb to forefinger sign means “you’re an asshole” in Mexico? Well, you do now.

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Alberta, Canada.  It’s not a special shot, but it IS an especially pretty rainbow. Alberta has a lower tax rate (just %5) than most of the of USA and some of the largest oil reserves in North America. AB residents don’t pay for healthcare, are in a housing boom and have a fuckton of natural resources, keeping their economy in the green —and we will probably attempt to go to war with them over it all in the near future.  Canada is also famous for Tim Horton’s.  Oh, and Pam Anderson.

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Edmonton, Canada at Christmas.

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A shoot with Annie Social in Toronto, Canada. We were up there to do the Carmen Elektra show and has some down time. When I broke my nose in the ring on the walk-through before the PPV (thank you, dear opponent), Annie was the first one there with tampons to shove up my gushing nose. That’s a friend for ya.  Oh, and my wait in the Canadian hospital emergency room? About 18 minutes.  Straightened, cauterized, packed with gauze. They also did an x-ray for my ankle at no extra bother, which was acting up since Mexico. In and out in less than an hour. Take that, US healthcare believers.

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Toronto. A girl who went by the name Ninja.

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Another Canadian photo…pro wrestler & actor JD Maverick.

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Tampa Bay. Clearwater, to be exact.

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The calm before the storm.

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Backstage at the NPC Junior Nationals in Chicago.  Jessica Jimerson and I both qualified in the tall class, were at the same gym in Louisville KY at the time and didn’t really like each other that much until that trip. Boy, she was a blast

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J’adore France! I’ve been in and around France so much in the last 8 years that I feel like I live there part-time…yet, still passionately detest the CDG airport. (Which, incidentally, is the airport with the most lost bags in the world.)

France is a beautiful, amazing, damning, frustrating, delicious country. The people are strong spirited and have a lot of pride, which often gets completely mistaken for snobbishness by foreigners who usually don’t bother to learn the customs. (For example: how it’s extremely rude not to say hello upon entering any shop or place of business.  Fail to do that and you WILL get a cold shoulder.)

Here are a few of my favorite shots from all over the country:

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Paris.

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Clermont Ferrand.

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Marseilles…back when it was still part of France. It’s been hijacked by Muslims now. It’s run down and all the French culture and food are gone in lieu of call to prayer alerts and begging children sent out by their parents.

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Paris.

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Notre Dame.

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On a glass ‘baton’ cruising the Seine in Paris.

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Toulouse.

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La Tour Eiffel…with ‘Peace’ written in every language.

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Josie, a professional wrestler.

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I used to shoot my friend Talia (now ‘Velvet Sky’) all the time. She was my main “guinea pig” for model practice.  This particular photo was ripped off dozens of times, so of all the pictures I have of her, I figured this was the one to share.

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Gym shoots. I’d get the guys to pose for me. This one is pro wrestler “Dirty Money”.  He’s super easy to shoot, because he’s another who is entirely comfortable in his own skin. During the shoot he was traipsing through the gym in nothing but a pair of wrestling trunks…mind you, this was Kentucky…and he didn’t give a crap if anyone stared.

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More unusual photo tidbits: In some cultures, having a photo taken is considered very bad, because they believe it steals their soul.  The Amish are not allowed to pose for photos,  but non-posed pictures are permissible if one is polite about doing it.

Thanks for looking and thank you for posing!

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Chapter 7: What You DO Isn’t Who You ARE. Fan Q&A.

14 Mar

Censorship

To clear up some misconceptions, I pulled together a list of the most, uh…interesting questions I tend to get. I’m a model. I get paid (some days…others it’s just for content trade) to play a part.

Some jobs are fun. Others are just work.

Just like in the movies, I can play a stalker. A bitch. A wife. A dominatrix. Whatever they need, because I’m a professional and this is what I do. Versatility, evolving (and being smart) is why I’ve been working so long, while most models last 2 years or so and then disappear. I enjoy much it, am very grateful for the work, the fans and the freedom but there are times when some people don’t always understand. Or overstep lines.

I share a LOT of myself with the public…nudity and, if you bother to read what I write, what’s inside as well. So, I’ll admit that that makes me a target for many things. And that’s something that sucks, but I accept it.

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However, who I am isn’t what I do. Who YOU are isn’t what you do, either. It’s the movies you watch, how funny or smart you are, if you take care of someone who needs you, how you spend your spare time, what you enjoy. It’s your character and loves, not what you do for money. And if tickling feet and wrestling others are part of that, then awesome. I think whatever makes someone happy that doesn’t hurt others is great.

But for me what I do isn’t who I am. 

Q & A:

“So where did this bondage come from i would rather see you dancing burlesque in videos then that stuff – you’re too good looking to be tied up and tickled.”

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Thank you! The fetish modeling came from MySpace and other social networks ruining all our income. Every girl out there was willing to rip her clothes off for free so she could call herself a “model”. Those of us who actually earn professionally to put food on our tables were no longer offered a paycheck. With fetish modeling being one of the few things left that still allows one to earn, I shifted gears and found another niche.

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I still do centerfold & pinup modeling on the side. I just don’t get paid for it. It actually COSTS me money, since I have to pay for all the outfits/lingerie and travel to the shoots. (This is why I ask fans for Amazon.com gift certificates…those help a lot with shoot costs.) However, I really love that kind of modeling. And I like having the variety on http://www.aprilhunter.com for people like you.

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“Do you sign the photos you sell?” Yes. Is there someone out there selling their own photos and NOT signing them? If so, they need to be smacked.  I also mail everything out myself. I’m a one-woman gang.

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“Do you like tickling?” Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Am I on the giving or receiving end?

“If I am member, I can watch any movie on your site, right?” YES. Anything that is on my site is yours to view. I have hundreds of videos and add several every month.

“Will you wrestle me?” Probably not. With the injuries I have and  how easy it is to get hurt now, I only wrestle trained people…even in fetish videos.

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A guy, at a convention looking at a photo of me leaned down for a Figure competition said this:  “Wow. How does it feel to lose everything you are as a woman?”  Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? While I’m glad I have a variety of fans who like me from voluptuous to lean, I found this pretty (fucking) insulting. Mostly because of the insanely hard work and sacrifice that goes into competing. (Especially while holding two jobs, traveling AND helping take care of my sick Mom.)

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If it were easy, everyone would look good. Or at least not be FAT. Plus I have a hard time believing that ‘everything I am as a woman’ is how much bodyfat I’m carrying on my thighs and belly? The leaner I go, the more work offers (and hit on) I get. So, I think a few others out there might agree with my woman theory. It’s always funny to me that really obese people are accepted in our society as “normal” but the fit are gawked & talked about like circus freaks. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

“How’s the weather there?” Apparently there’s no Weather.com where you are. No ‘game’ either.

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“Horror Hound doesn’t have you on their site. Are you going to be in Cincy next month?” Yes. I’ve spent too much time emailing them and several tweets. The people bringing me in paid for several tables and aren’t yet listed either, Nik Havert/Pickle Press & Jay E Fife Art. It’s VERY disappointing.  And sadly, conventions are either extremely professional or extremely flaky. There’s no in between  (Note: I’m finally up – as are the guys – but I’m in the wrong section now. When they added me, it’s on the vendor page that no one can find. If you wanted to tweet (@horrorhound) or email them (www.horrorhoundweekend.com) with a “Where’s April Hunter?” please do. The customer is always right. )

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“Can you follow me on twitter?”  Are you interesting? Can I learn something from you? Are you a comedian? No? Then probably not. Or I get my favorite tweet: “follow me”. Just a simple demand. Usually without any punctuation. My web-girl ‘followed me’ to everyone at first, because that was the polite thing to do back then. My timeline sucks ass now and I’m working on getting rid of most of them. It’s full of negativity, stupid tweets (“goin to bed”) and hate on wrestling. “Cena sux. IDK why____” John Cena is actually a nice person and works his ass off. Wrestling fans have no clue about what the business is truly like or who these people really are and I don’t want to read shit like that. When I follow someone, it’s because I’m interested in what they have to say. I never ask for a follow back and nor should anyone else. It’s desperate. We don’t get a Twitter Prize or a sweet paycheck for having the most followers. When we do, I’ll get to begging people to follow me pretty quickly. Until we’re paid…

Twitter is where you follow people you want to know. Facebook is for people you already know. 

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Matt Kuderski writes: (sic) “i realize this is probably completely inappropriate but i have never seen a set of tits that i have wanted to put my dick between more……ever. and i mean that in the most respectful way possible.” I’m not sure what you hoped to accomplish with this email, but it’s not me showing up at your door, whipping the chichi’s out for you to play with after this strung-together sentence of fucktarded proportions. However, you did manage to get your full name printed in my blog. With all due respect, congrats! Ps. My tits just texted and asked me to tell you that you’re fucking rude.

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“How did you get into wrestling?” You have to be kidding me. OK-this one is ON MY SITE and in almost EVERY interview I’ve ever done.  Google it, bitches. 😉

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“What kind of letters do you like to get?” Well, my favorite kind of letter is when an Amazon or Starbucks gift cards falls out.  To be completely honest, that wins me over every damn time.

I’m truly grateful to fans who send things like that because it means you either understand that we don’t get rich from modeling & wrestling (and put a lot of time and money back into maintaining what we do to entertain those who watch)…or you respect something about me enough to be extra sweet. Or you like my boobs…and with all due respect, want to stick your dick between them.

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Either way, it’s very nice to be treated well. We deal with so much theft, abusive emails and comments…long, weird hours and eons of time spent returning fan email and tweets…battling social networks like YouTube deleting our stuff for no reason…it’s really special when we have those GOOD days to balance it out.

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“What is your most memorable fan moment, good or bad?” I had a fan that used to come to all my Philly and  south Jersey area events for YEARS. He would sometimes come with his entire family. He used to bring me little gifts and was always smiling. I wasn’t aware he had been battling cancer until the last convention I saw him – which was in Valley Forge, PA – and he looked GOOD.  He passed away shortly after. I didn’t know until his son contacted me to say how much his dad enjoyed our conversations and his visits. It’s something that meant a lot to me and that I’ll never forget.

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Now that I’ve lost my own parent to cancer, I did the same; contacting people just to let them know that Mom really enjoyed their time and they’d made her smile. He and his son taught me that it means much more than most people realize to simply let them know they’ve been appreciated.

Be kind and patient, as much as possible. I learned from my Philly fan and mom that no matter how well someone looks, you never know what they’re dealing with and it could just be something much worse than you could ever imagine.

Now, with that PSA…

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You can follow me on Twitter @aprilhunter or visit me on my site, http://www.aprilhunter.com

(…Where I enjoy playing my character, but kick off the heels put on a fluffy robe afterwards.)

 

COPYRIGHT APRIL HUNTER. NO PART OF THIS BLOG MAY BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Photos: (In order: 1 M Rock Style, 2 & 3 Bob Pomeroy, 4 Kelly Oneil, 5 Merika Rock, 8 Dan Ray, 14 Bob Pomeroy)