Plush Suicide has been modeling for Suicide Girls since 2009. Soon after she began to get involved with websites such as IsMyGirl and Patreon. Curious about her take on these various platforms, we discussed the importance of safe photoshoots and how to be comfortable in your own skin.
What was the process of “going pink” like for you? For those who don’t know this means becomig an official Suicide Girl. Was it on your first submission, if not how much work/submitting did it take? I did turn pink on my first submission, but I actually shot two previous sets with a staff photographer that I was not happy with. Totally nothing on their part, just wasn’t happy with the way they turned out so I did not submit them. It seems third time was a charm and we submitted that set and it was bought within a couple weeks of submitting it. I felt very lucky to have my very first set bought, but like I said I did not submit until I thought the quality was there. I have helped out with the Burlesque show the past five years selling tickets when they come to town, which has been really cool and has helped me see a different side to SG which I really have loved.
SG is very big on involvement, and engaging with fans and other girl’s posts. Do you have any routine for staying on top of this? Honestly, I’ve been on the site for ten years this year and my engagement has dwindled. My focus has gone on to other things, but I still log on the site every once in awhile to get caught up on SOTD and various other things. I do still follow their social media on IG, so that helps me stay a little bit more up to date along with following fellow SG friends.
In your opinion, does having the SG name behind you help your career in modeling? There are definitely some benefits, they can provide you with a large social media following if they repost your photos, which is always helpful. I have had both positive and negative experiences just like anything else. There are photographers who want to work with you because they know you are a Suicide Girl and others who have the complete opposite opinion. In the past few years I moved away from using my SG name, which is no offense to them, but was looking to build my own name in the modeling world. I don’t like categories and being classified as only an alternative model, which I found I ran in to a lot using my SG name Plush. SG was the very first thing I ever did in my modeling career so I owe them everything. This was back in 2009, I was 18 and had no idea there was even a modeling world outside of high-fashion and runways. In fact my buddy Marcos Rivera messaged me on SG and asked me to shoot with him and I couldn’t even believe someone else wanted to work with me, his work was so elegant and classy. He is actually the one who told me about model mayhem and within a few months of making my account I was getting gigs outside of SG. It was really life changing for me.
Is it hard to stay in the spotlight on SG and if so what are some ways you have kept yourself relevant in the community? SG is its own beast. They have a new it girl frequently, which is great for them.. they have so many models that they can be that way. I haven’t tried to be relevant on that site in a long time. There are some models like Riae and Radeo and a few others who are timeless and will always be the face of SG, but to get to that point is really difficult and I don’t think there is any rhyme or reason to it.
Have you ever won set of the day? If so what was that like? I have three SOTD, but nothing will be like the first time your set goes up and you turn “pink”. I cried lol I think a lot of girls do, it’s very overwhelming. I discovered SG when I was 14 and was like I’m going to do that. And as soon as I turned 18, that’s what I did. It was very surreal for me. The other times were so great as well, but nothing beats the first time it ever happens.
How have you “practiced” modeling in the past to get to the level of comfort you have in front of a camera now? It took me years to be comfortable honestly. There were times I almost quit early on because I didn’t think I was pretty enough, or I had too many tattoos or too little. I’m really short and break out some times. You have to be very comfortable in your skin and be able to take rejection in this industry. Luckily I have always had confidence and I think that is what took me so far and kept me from quitting even when I thought about. I saw improvement in my photos and started working with people I never dreamt of working with. That was always motivation enough for me. After I had a kid it took me awhile to get back in to things, I honestly did not think I would come back, but I did. I felt like I was starting all over again being comfortable because I had aged, my body changed and just my mindset changed. I still model from time to time, but it’s not as frequently as it was and I don’t think it will ever be that way again. The industry has changed so much thanks to the internet. My hustle was very different ten years ago to what it is today. I’m comfortable modeling again, but my mindset has changed. If you plan on staying in this industry (many years) just know your body, mind and soul goes through a lot of changes and you have to be ready for it all.
Out of curiosity do you get a better response from self shot photos vs professional? For whatever reason people love selfies and self shot photos, which I don’t think I will ever understand. It’s just the world we live in I guess.
With all the horror stories that have come out over the years about photographers, what do you do to feel safe when you are meeting a photog alone/for the first time? This is a great question! I have honestly only had one instance where I felt not okay with a photographer, which I consider so lucky, especially for how many people I’ve worked with. It is all about doing your homework, I cannot emphasize that enough. Look at their website/social media/modelmayhem or other models they have worked with. If they have a portfolio and they have only worked with a few models, I usually don’t risk it. Always look for red flags when they are messaging you. I have turned down plenty of work because I got strange vibes even from just messaging. No amount of money is ever worth your safety or sanity. If photographers are calling you hot, asking you to FaceTime or doing anything else that even makes you slightly uncomfortable do not work with them. Also should be noted, just because someone has a large following and has worked with a lot of models, doesn’t always mean they are safe, unfortunately. I worked with someone a couple years ago, who had all of these things and honestly didn’t even make me feel uncomfortable, but found out a few months later he had been accused of sexually harassing over 50 women 🙁 You just never know with some, so always be cautious, be smart and use your intuition.
Do you charge photographers to work with you? How do you work out payment options and make sure that you both come to an agreement? I did trade work for two years straight even after I did SG, until I felt I was at a point I could charge for my work. It’s very important to recognize the level of work you create and the level of others. If you feel someone is on the same playing field as you and your work together would benefit you both, you should do trade work. If someone wants to shoot with you and you feel their photos would not benefit your portfolio charge them. And no matter how experienced you are if you feel the photographers work is going to benefit your portfolio you should probably be paying them.
You’ve done a photo tour before in the past! Were there any benefits to that or even maybe some unforeseen circumstances? I have done a few photo tours. Majority of the time I had pretty good luck, but there are always cancellations. Some models ask for deposits which is a great idea if you are traveling for long periods. I honestly never did that myself, but probably should have. My photo tours are always a good mix of work, play and trade stuff. If you ever do a photo tour, you should never go in to it wanting to make more money. I know that sounds weird, but if you break even you should be happy and if you made money, even better. It is when you lose money that you should rethink your strategy and what you are doing. For myself it was always about getting to travel, meet new people and make great content on the way, so I was always okay with breaking even. Most of the time I usually came back with a bit of money, which I always considered lucky. The open road is a crazy place and you never know what can happen. I know models that have put themselves deep in to a whole because their car gets broken into or breaks down. There are so many things that can happen so plan accordingly. My best advice is to stay with people you know to save money and if you are in a town where you don’t know anyone, I sleep in my car and always park in a hotel parking lot to be safe. Hotels are nice if you can afford it, but I am super low maintenance and would rather sleep in my car and save the $100 for something fun. Once again always do your homework on the photographers you are shooting with to be safe, especially traveling cross country. If you can take another model or photographer with you even better. I’m lucky to have traveled so much alone and never had any issues, but I know plenty of people who have had a different experience. Just be smart.
How has IsMyGirl been for you so far? Do you feel that it is easy to get people to sign up with social media advertising? IsMyGirl has been really great so far and I’ve had pretty good luck with it. I was doing Patreon a couple years ago, but ran into issues like many nude models do and honestly did not want to take the time to fix it. I don’t like when sites try to make you feel like the bad guy or you did something wrong. My content is not even sexual and not that there is anything wrong with it if it was, but defending my work really irks me.
Besides IsMyGirl you also offer Snapchat. How do you sell your private snapchat and what type of snaps/shows do you post? Would you allow members things like screenshotting and saving convos? I usually advertise on my IG for snap and my IMG account. My content is pretty light, just nude stuff, showers, selfies, things of that nature. I don’t really do X rated stuff, I go for more the cute art girl next door. I let anyone take screenshots, I don’t mind that bit. As for conversations I use to reply and do that whole thing, but people started making me uncomfortable so I don’t let people message me on there much anymore.
Surely it must be difficult to decide what social media or websites to utilize. What do you think is the key to success with running so many different platforms like IMG, snap, IG, SG etc all at once? Not sure if there is a key. I think IG unfortunately plays a big role in all of this, like the more followers you have the more people you are going to be able to sell yourself too. I see a lot of girls getting burnt out because they use too many platforms. I say stick to two or three that really work for you and just try to hustle, but don’t try so hard that you burn yourself out. Self care my friends <3
Are there websites you utilize to sell your merch/ photosets you think other models should take advantage of? I know some models use Etsy and BigCartel, some even have their own websites… I use to sell prints but have not tried in ages. It’s just a different world these days. A newer site I do use is Depop, I originally opened it to sell lingerie and various other things I only would use once or twice for shoots, I did really well on there and sold a lot of stuff which helped me purchase new things for shoots. If you have drawers full of stuff from shoots that never get used and want to make back some of that cash, I highly suggest Depop.
See more of Plush by following her on IG @astralpriestess