"It's provocative, it gets the people going."
Sarah Priscilla of Splizz Photography is an artist engaged in boudoir and glamour photography. It's sexy, sultry, and many layers of glamorous. Behind the lens, however, is a young creative who breathes hard work and ambition - and that mission to make women feel naturally confident about themselves. Sounds perfectly like the Made vision to us.
Made Status founder and CEO Marty Cornish met Sarah on his six-week business trip to the US, particularly in Boston where the photographer is making waves in the glamour photography scene. Here's what went down in our quick chat with her.
How long have you been doing photography for, and tell us how it got to this point?
I have been shooting for over 6 years, ever since I took a photo of my high school best friend and in it everyone could see what I have always seen in her. That was a turning point for me – to pursue the nanosecond that a person showed their true selves. I persisted despite no one taking me seriously – hey, I was a kid! – and eventually, photo by photo, I was able to prove to everyone what I was capable of.
What drew you toward boudoir and glamour photography? What are the most challenging aspects of it? You mentioned that you are bringing it to the East Coast, as it’s mainly been on the West.
It’s fun getting women to show me that intimate, inner side of them. I love seeing women drop their guard, open themselves up to THEMSELVES and let their beauty out. The hardest part is what I call the “awkward stage” – that first 15 minutes of women relaxing and dealing with being in the limelight. It actually takes about half an hour of encouraging, pointing out what is beautiful, and offering that positive feedback that lets the subject know that they are going to be seeing themselves in a whole new light.
Glamour photography is not a big thing in New England – it’s pretty conservative up here! But I am breaking down those boundaries by offering visual proof to women that their beauty is worthy of being captured “on film”.
Let’s touch on music and hip hop culture. Who is the best rapper of all time for you?
I love Sean Price – RIP. He’s technically considered an underground artist but when he died, the whole hip hop community felt the gap. His work was raw and unrefined but he was so on topic and went to places more popular artists don’t go because they are all so worried about getting mainstream attention.
What is living and working in Boston like? How would you describe city’s photography scene? I find Boston limiting as far as the glamour scene is concerned. Boston is more low-key than other cities and here the talent tends to be more hidden. Of course, that can be fun as well, because when you come across someone who is out there, you feel like you’ve discovered a hidden gem. The photography scene is more focused on street photography and the photography community is divided in terms of sharing and collaboration, but I am trying to change all of that!
What style do you uniquely bring to the East Coast? What’s your singular creative mark?
It’s really hard for me to talk about my own work but my models – pro and amateur – have all said that they love how I am able to focus in on their unique features, whether physical or otherwise and that I make them see their beauty in my images. People say that my photos are super sexy because while I shoot very few nudes, I position my models and props in such a way that I hint at the beauty of a nude model without actually exposing them. This creates a tease that is irresistible.
What are your advocacies?
While I love Free the Nipple – seriously, why should we have to conform to something so silly – I started the concept of Boast Your Beauty because so many women are insecure about their looks. When I meet women who are insecure, it consumes their lives! When you Boast Your Beauty, you can rid yourself of some of those insecurities.
Women who see themselves as attractive have innate confidence. If women who DON’T recognize their own beauty CAN, then they too can be confident. And every woman DOES have beauty! Where do you get inspiration and how do you nurture it?
What/who are your favorite subjects?
Inspiration finds me – I sure wish I knew how to go GET it! It just comes to me sometimes – I could be looking at a Coke can and the way the light hits it makes me envision a new angle. I can be talking to someone about a recipe and I will have an idea for a scene... So when I DO have an inspiration, I make sure I shoot using the idea I had so I can keep that creative flow coming.
I always listen to my creative instincts! I love shooting women because I personally think they are majestic and they give me the most emotion to work with.
What’s your personal creative process like?
I look at the work of my peers and what’s trending and figure out a way to incorporate that into my latest inspiration or something I want to set the tone for. I am a seriously visual person, so looking at things I find to be beautiful and interesting spark that creative fire in me every time.
The #MadeFamily is all about the grind, the hustle, and transcending one’s background and limits to go from nothing to something. What’s your own #SelfMade story? How does this message resonate with you?
Before I was born, my mom used to ride the T – that’s Boston’s subway system – with mops and buckets, going door to door to get housecleaning jobs and now owns a company that handles clients across the state. My family has always worked their butts off for everything we have. That work ethic is something that has been ingrained in me from the beginning and when I started out and no one took me seriously and offered nothing but criticism, I just put my head down and kept going.
I knew that my vision was on target and I wasn’t stopping for anything nor was I willing to conform to what people wanted me to do. I saw through the noise and continued to believe in my vision and here I am today! I absolutely believe that anyone can be #SelfMade if they believe in what they offer, focus on results and enjoy the process.
Any big plans or projects in the pipeline?
Let’s just say that if you are a glamour magazine follower, you will be seeing more of me.
How do you see yourself 5 years from now?
My main goal is to be known as an inspiration to young entrepreneurs with vision. And if that means I turn out to be a highly regarded international photographer, I would be OK with that, too!