Social Media’s hold

Social Media’s hold

Captured by
Boudoir Fusion Photography
Inked by Tony from
Awhe Tattoo Studio

I’ve recently decided that I have too many eggs in one basket and too many fingers in a pie. And as much as it’s brilliant to think that I am a “Jack of all trades”- reality is that where you focus you grow. And unfortunately it is impossible to grow in too many avenues.

I have had to deal with a few personal challenges which caused another Lupus flare. This consisted of mostly extreme fatigue, flu-like symptoms, aching joints and recently swollen face. Not being able to sleep comfortably yet feeling so incredibly exhausted really took its toll. Then the social media frustrations…

As most of you know; I’ve taken a short break from Social Media. This was prompted after the frustration of not being able to follow other accounts, like others’ posts at times and not being able to comment on other’s posts. Should you not know this; these actions are all integral for the growth of your social media profiles. (Besides the fact that I actually enjoy interacting with my followers.)

I do not take it [social media] too seriously; however I do depend on getting work through some of my social media pages. This all led to me deciding on a little detox. Now as much as such a decision is rather easy; allot of my close friends continue checking up on me asking me whether I’m “coping” without my Social Media accounts. Was I really that much on those platforms that people thought I’d struggle?

Whilst all of this is said with tongue in cheek, one of the scariest realisations recently is that people place so much value on social media that they actually identify their social standing or even their life accomplishments on being “available, present and seen” on their profiles. Their “likes” and “followers” become such an obsession that they begin to identify themselves with it! Studies have now shown that teen depression and teen suicidal tendencies are at its highest ever. This largely due to the pressure of a “false life” on social media.

Captured by
Boudoir Fusion Photography
Inked by Tony from
Awhe Tattoo Studio

You see it way too often on the story lines. You see someone you idolise at some prominent restaurant and perhaps take a short video of sipping on some exotic drink with bags of shopping around them. This now seems very ideal; and probably cool to the average teen, who copies this. Only they try and emulate what they saw. Perhaps trying on the newest brand clothing and posting it as if they have just bought it. Another peer sees this and envies this. Perhaps goes to a bespoke bar and takes a snap insinuating that they dine there. This is seen by others who now feel so depressed that they are unable to afford these kind of life styles exhibited by their peers. And so the circle continues. Talking to people “in the know”, social media is still so new that these issues that come along with it is just as new, and our experts have no experience in treating this. Or very little at the moment.

It’s become quite evident how Social Media can take over and how one can allow it to affect them. Taking breaks and also limiting the amount of time you “check” on what’s going on, “checking in” to see what is going on, and “checking new likes and follows”, all will benefit your mental health I assure you. What I have personally realised from this is that when I have a spare moment I usually grab my phone and try catching up.

When I announced that I’d take a break, I deleted every social media application off my phone. This not only takes away temptation to “just quickly check what’s going on”, but also in those moments that you’d forget about your decision. I am so surprised that I have continuously had a couple moments free time and automatically went for my phone to catch up, only to see a void where the apps were – and feeling literally confused and lost. Like what now? What can I do with the time I used to spend on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter?

With most smart phones now; you are able to gauge how much time is spent on your phone, and reminders “to take breaks”.

This break from my virtual reality made me realise that I’m not only “detoxing” from Social Media, I’m freeing up “thinking space” and allowing my creative juices to flow freely. Less human interaction – which in reality exhausted me – and more ME time. Whilst social media is an integral part of what I do; I will from now on take one day completely away from all social media, as well as once a month take a four day break. I’d suggest to anyone and everyone to do the same. Take days completely away from Social Media – to allow your mind a break as well as to connect with nature/family/real life/ hobbies etc. It is so easy to get carried away with this virtual reality. So easy to loose sight of YOU. So easy to get caught up in other people’s (pretend?) lives and neglect your own self.

Captured by
Boudoir Fusion Photography
Inked by Tony from
Awhe Tattoo Studio
Your Understanding vs My Reality

Your Understanding vs My Reality

Many a times I am asked the strangest questions; (strange to me) about what I do – or I hear the assumptions and can’t help but have a giggle.

To understand what I do, is to understand why I am doing what I do first. Have I lost you? What I mean is that when you look at my work, my posts on Instagram and my website; there is a general assumption as to what I do without realising what I actually do.

In the past I’ve received private messages on Social Media…

Asking for explicit images of me sometimes posing in suggestive ways. Usually this amuses me; and I always ask what gave them the idea that I’d do that or that I’m a porn star. And usually the response would be that I shouldn’t get offended as I am the one “asking for it” by posting nude images of myself. My first question would usually be : where did I show my genitals and second question : where do I pleasure myself.

You see, we as humans, and we as society have been lied to for so many years that we actually believe that the human body is a dirty, sinful thing when not covered with fabric. We have taught generations of children to be ashamed of themselves. To be embarrassed with what we were born with. That evil creatures will lurk around any corner and will pounce on you for showing a little too much skin. That there would be justification for those acts! You asked for it after all by “exposing” some of what you were born with!!

I was asked in a recent interview what I’d tell anyone who condemns what I do or brand my work as pornography. The difficult thing is that I cannot change society’s mind single handily. I do however believe that if we brought our children up to love their own bodies, and not to be ashamed of their bodies, that we respect each other’s naked bodies – not by hiding it but accepting it as natural and normal. Not to sexualise nudity and skin; that it would solve so many of our crimes and the worlds issues today.

Think about it…

There would be less sexual crimes, less depression due to self esteem issues, less self harm and eating disorders. Imagine a world with more confidence and acceptance of one self? We would have so much more success in every business sector! So many more people would achieve their dreams and optimum productivity!

Captured by Boudoir Fusion Photography

I digress. Years ago when I posed for a boudoir shoot, and whilst changing outfits, the photographer of the day asked whether he could take a shot (picture) of me. My back was facing him and I was dressed in only my knickers. I felt a little shy yet intrigued. I’ve never really had an issue with being naked; yet I’ve never actually thought of being photographed naked.

Once I got changed into my next outfit the photographer showed me on the LCD viewer what he had taken of me whilst topless. It was a gorgeous shot. It summed up to me; what I see in women. Soft, elegant, warm, feminine, sensual, love, beauty all in one. I was amazed that THAT was me! And so I was happy to shoot implied nude. After realising that this not only motivated me to share the beauty of a woman, but also to encourage other women – who do not have self confidence – that they are in fact beautiful in their own skin!

After a few months of shooting boudoir and implied nude; I met Peter from Boudoir Fusion Photography who took my first bodyscape images and I was blown away! Never mind that the images I was looking at; was of me!!! However; the human body is so darn beautiful. And every other bodyscape that Peter have done, took my breath away. I quickly learned that my art, my expression through my modelling and the images taken by me, can show emotion and can evoke emotion.

When you look at my work…

I would like to believe that most people see past the ‘nakedness’. That you notice the colours, the shapes, the textures in the images. That you are able to feel or notice whether there is sorrow, or happiness. Whether the image is more of a fine art piece to be hung on a wall of a surgeons office, or something that could be looked at or admired from your mobile phone screen, used in an advertising campaign empowering women, or used as a PC screensaver. That you can believe that I’m more than a ‘naked woman’; someone who at the age of 39 believes wholeheartedly that ANYONE can love themselves and is art. That anyone – no matter what your age, your size or your background – can love the skin that they are in. That nudity DOES NOT equal sexuality.

I love modelling, photography and matters of the heart and mind. I love art. I love the human body. Combine all of these; and you will find what I do. This is only the beginning…

Oh hey there!

Oh hey there!

I thought I’d reintroduce myself. Last year I wrote a bio for my webpage, and I when people ask for information about me; I refer them back to my bio – however being the person that I am; I’d personally not go and look for my bio 😂. Not because I’m lazy – because I’m too darn busy to scroll through pages. Though I personally think some of my blogs are rather funny and well worth going through.

Who is Alli?

Hi! My name is Allison-Ann Montgomery-Maaske. So in answer to the most common questions:

I am 39 years old, my birthday is on 21 January and I am an Aquarius. Yes, it’s on the cusp – however I am indeed first day of an Aquarius. I am a spiritual being believing that we are the universe and the universe is us. We were created as the universe/God/Almighty Power existing in a human form/life. My full time job is as a model, ambassador for various brands, professional entertainment presence, Life Coach and counsellor.

Image captured by
Boudoir Fusion Photography

Adulting

I am a mum of two (Daughter and Son – 17 and 15), I’m studying part time psychology. I also have qualifications as a professional make-up artist, beautician, certified book keeper, diploma in social media marketing, diploma in photography (entry/beginner), diploma in sports nutrition and in fitness & weight loss.

NOTE: This goes against all writing rules, however this is also practically my CV, therefor all sentences – or nearly all of them – will start with: “I am” #sorrynotsorry

Passions

I am very very VERY passionate about equality (aka feminism – however people seem to think that word is the same as sexist, therefore we will stick to equality), empowerment and most of all: HELPING PEOPLE TO HEAL (will get back to this in a moment). I am a public speaker, and have spoken many times in front of pretty big crowds whilst living in England. Yes, I’ve lived in the UK most my adult life. My children are English, though we’ve been in South Africa the past 7 years.

I am a fitness fanatic, health fanatic and advocate for love and kindness. In fact I believe we would have a more harmonious life if we had a fair balance of those four areas. I’m also obsessed with human behaviour…..

But don’t let the diagnoses fool you…

I was diagnosed with several medical conditions through-out my life including Lupus, PCOS, rheumatoid arthritis, and various other lines’. I also have Depression, Anxiety and PTSD. I personally have been a stat/victim of sexual abuse and violence, physical and mental abuse.

I am incredibly grateful for all the above – it created and shaped the person I am. I have a burning desire to help as many people as possible, realise their dreams and passions, assist as many people as possible to achieve their dreams and passions, and most of all help as many people as possible heal from whatever obstacles or challenges they have faced (or currently facing).

Image captured by
Boudoir Fusion Photography

My creativity

My nude modelling is another passion. I have always been comfortable in my skin. Knowing that I am able to express a certain “look” or communicate without saying a single word; through my modelling is beautiful to me. Being your authentic self is beautiful. The human form is incredibly powerful, mechanical, breathtakingly beautiful. That each human was created the same but completely different? Just WOW! That with the help of one gesture; you can communicate love, anger, sadness, excitement, or even erotica.

In saying that,

I do not expect everyone to feel the way I do. I understand that what is liberating to me may be constrictive to another. Therefore I would never expect people to believe that nudity is the only or the right way. However I suppose with my art I’d like to believe that it has shown people that nudity can be beautiful. And to break that stigma of nudity = sex. Or nudity is “attention seeking”.

Now with all of the above – I trust I have given you all the answers to all the common questions I’m usually asked.

One last thing

I LOVE music and books and most of all intellectual conversations.

I’ve taken time for myself, you should too

I’ve taken time for myself, you should too

I have been quiet, I know. I’m not sorry though. The past year was a toughie. Not just on me…I know a lot of us have had to face demons, stumbling blocks and other challenges. It’s been a goodie and a baddie. We have seen the end of so many wicked ways and the beginning of new chapters. Alone time – alot of it – is needed. And if you are not making time to be alone and work on your heart and mind, then I’m afraid the challenges will continue.

Personally, the hardest part of some of the challenges was griefing – when someone was still alive (not that it is easier when someone pass). PTSD; when something rocked your world so hard, yet it was such an unobvious event to have caused such trauma. I’m not just talking of my own experiences, I know that many of us have faced this.

During this same period, many people have searched inwards too. Questioning life and the way things are. A true awakening or consciousness. Becoming aware of what’s hurt or broken within themselves or within the world, and the deeper realisation that we are all responsible to make a difference or change.

I’ve loved and despised this journey – my anxiety and depression rolling to and fro in waves. My autoimmune disease teasing at the tip op my front door. My chronic fatigue taunting me every so many hours. This has however taught me how friggen strong and stubborn I am. That my love for my children and my determination and will, to be successful and to continue to run successful business’ is stronger than all the mental and physical games I’ve glanced at yet not succumbed to.

The biggest challenges or lessons for me is being vulnerable and letting go. Letting go of the past, and letting go of the hurt. And following that; allowing myself to be vulnerable.

This is to remind you that you will be okay. Do not give up on yourself, or your goals. Do not be so hard on yourself. Stop resisting the lessons and curveballs the universe is throwing at you. Instead, acknowledge it and ask yourself – what am I meant to learn from this? Go easy on yourself, make yourself a priority, and most of all smile!!!

Nudity and Pornography

Nudity and Pornography

Image captured by
Boudoir Fusion Photography

A few years back, when I began my journey within the modelling industry, family and friends made insinuation to the fact that I’m “doing porn”. It was then quite a shock to me and of course I was amused but also hurt that they didn’t see what I was doing, was another form expression, art or modelling.

I have since then begun to realise that there are rather a few people that may not know the difference between all the genres. This has never been more clear than when I look at some of the comments and messages that we as models receive on social media. Of course, I am very vocal about that topic too 😂

Recently I ran a poll on Instagram asking whether people knew the difference between Implied Nude, Nude, Glamour, Boudoir, Erotic and pornography? The results shocked me a little, as 56% claimed that they know the difference. Here’s the thing though… after contacting a select few who said that knew the difference, it was very clear that they didn’t. I asked a couple simple questions and the answers were all very confusing.

Implied Nude vs Nude

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Boudoir Fusion Photography

Implied nude photos suggests nudity however Implied Nude you are unable to see breasts, genitals or buttocks. Many photographers would also argue that “Implied Nude” is a pose in which the model poses in such a fashion that it allows the viewer to guess whether the model has clothes on or not. Therefore “implying” it may be nude. Where as with Nude modelling you are blatantly naked. This form of photography is especially popular for fine art, bodyscaping and contemporary photography. The idea with nude modelling is expression and setting. The objective is NOT sexual, rather the beauty of the setting and pose.

Glamour vs Boudoir

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Boudoir Fusion Photography

Think Hustler, Playboy and the page 3 models…That would be summed up as glamour photography. When you’re taking an image and want to seduce the viewer, without sexual movements, gestures or acts. Glamour would mostly be accepted as the model “charming” the viewer. Boudoir on the other hand has more of a focus on lingerie and usually in the bedroom as a setting and a private affair. Boudoir is also a very popular gift idea for couples for one another. It’s sensual and romantic, and usually intended for the private enjoyment of his or her partner. The difference would therefor be that boudoir would usually be for the couple at home whereas glamour would be a posed model.

Erotic vs Pornography

Image captured by
Boudoir Fusion Photography

This is where a lot of people also get confused. Both have artistic elements to it and both are sexually intended. Erotic, erotic art and erotic fine art is sexually suggestive or sexually provocative. This would usually be shot with or without clothing and could have props. Some examples may include fruit or plants or an object in front/ontop/inside genitals or the body, it could also perhaps be suggestive of sex or sexual pleasure WITHOUT the actual deed. Whereas pornography is a staged set up scene where one or more person is pleasuring themselves/one another with the intent to arouse the viewer. Pornography photography is sexually explicit; there is no subtlety to the image – they are plain, unshadowed and naively detailed.

Side Note on Pornography

For a long while – and especially in South Africa where we live in such conservative circumstances – people seem to associate nudity with SEX, PORNOGRAPHY and DISRESPECT. We are brought up believing that our nakedness is shameful, it is tasteless and oh so sinful!! *GASP* However I firmly believe this is where we are going wrong! Think about it. It is human nature to wonder about what we are not “allowed to have or allowed to do”. It is also human nature to have sex. To procreate. Now tell a human who’s DNA is designed to have sex, that it is filthy and dirty and anything suggesting it may be sin, evil and horrible! This is just a recipe for deceit, for secrecy and for unhealthy obsessions. For centuries women and men have had different mating methods or rather how to attract one another for that very (natural and normal) reason.

During 1839, French artist Louis Daguerre’s invention of the photograph, known as the daguerreotype, which transformed the availability and realism of sexual imagery. Thereafter this industry became one of the biggest and fastest-growing. Each human adolescent start asking questions about sex and inevitably look for and sneak some kind of pornography to see more and find out more. This rush of having to do this secretly doesn’t really go away for most. In fact it feeds the creative mind and our fantasies. And what better way then to quench this with some saucy ideas that you and your partner may never consider talking about let alone try; via some pornography? I mean it can’t be sin if it is not you doing it? It can’t be wrong if you just happen to “see it”. Just don’t openly admit to it and pull a face of disgust in front of your family when you do see it ;). And when you see a pretty girl in a pair of lacy knickers looking oh so sultry back at you, and it evokes some kind of stirring – shout out PORN!

Because let’s face it, if we were all comfortable with our sexuality, and with our bodies, and didn’t feel the need to ask our creator for forgiveness when we appreciate another human’s expression, beauty and abilities – we would all value the art of human photography. Let it be known though; as Dita Von Teese says: you could be the juiciest, ripest, sweetest peach in the world and there would be someone who doesn’t like peaches; just the same with any art and photography. Modesty empowers some as nudity empowers others.

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Boudoir Fusion Photography

Boudoir Fusion Photography have extensive experience within most of these genres of photography. They have helped many couples capture special intimate moments as well as assisted companies with branding, marketing and editorial pieces for published magazines.