NEW! Danzig vs. DannyGirl Video!
Check it out HERE: http://vimeo.com/24399604
Interview with SexLifeCanada.ca!
Raw. Edgy. Strong. Wow. None of these are out of place when you first encounter the photographs of Montreal's Danny Girl Portieous. A rebel with a camera and a cause, Danny has been blazing a sexy, smart and smutty trail across the picture-makin' world. Her subjects are outsiders living on the fringe and she is always ready to tell their tale with her images. At the same time, she has worked for high profile clients with numerous magazine covers to her credit.
She's the photographer your mother warned you about and Sexlife Canada caught up with her.
SLC: How did you get into photography?
DGP: To be honest, it was completely randomly. I have always been into taking portraits of my friends...usually smoking, wet, half naked or sticking their hands down their pants. The thing is, that all started when I was 14...which ultimately got me failed out of photography class in grade 9 for inappropriate subject matter and making "too high contrast" prints. (Screw you Mr.Russo! Have you seen my magazine covers? Booyah.) I never took another class after that. I liked what I was doing and I was doing it for me. I didn't care if other people thought it was "wrong" or too sexual. Photography was something that I continued to do, but never thought of it as anything more than "just another thing I did." It was like breathing. I just kinda did it and didn't think much of it. I just knew what I wanted to see and taking pictures was the only way I knew how to express exactly how I felt.
It wasn't until I moved to Montreal that my work started getting noticed (Thanx internet!) and my hot photos of my tattooed friends turned into requests for shoots that people were actually going to pay for. I remember meeting strangers who happily stripped into their underwear in public to have me do their portrait and thinking "Is this really my job now?! Okay!". I didn't know any studio lighting, so the first chunk of my paid work was shot outside with me saying "Don't worry. It looks better like this." Soon after, I was hit up by clothing companies, events, magazines and artists to do work for them.(I bought 2 shitty tripods that hold regular light bulbs and just kinda 'figured it out,' which still is the only lighting setup I use!) I don't know. It's been a whirlwind and I am extremely humble about it all. I feel very lucky and blessed to get paid to do something I absolutely love and find really easy.
SLC: What is the most debauched moment you've captured on film?
DGP: I shoot a lot of escorts (the one thing I'm not that humble about is that I know how to shoot a woman's body like nobody's business) so there has been quite a few debauched moments. I feel like I've seen it all...literally. I think I've said "Um, your labia is hanging out" more than anyone else on earth. I also shoot quite a few promos for fetish companies, so it's not unusual to have a bunch of topless girls hitting each other with double-ended dildos. I have also shot quite a bit of porn, sooooo...well, let's just say I feel like I've seen everything. I'm completely desensitized and nothing is shocking anymore.
SLC: Would you ever be interested in shooting live sex or actual porn?
DGP: I actually have. I have to say I prefer having all the control in a shoot situation and to shoot porn is completely different. It's almost like being an event photographer (something I'm also not great at) where you are there to capture something as it's happening. I like being able to work with people on a personal level, where I can talk them through what I want to shoot and pose/light them the way I want and the way I feel they look good. One thing I can say about the porn industry is if you think porn is sexy, don't work in it, because it becomes just that. Work. I'm very technical when I shoot people, even more so when they're naked. Let me shoot the promo pics for it. I'm there!
SLC: Who are your photography inspirations?
DGP: I grew up obsessed with Madonna (lived for Truth or Dare and went to the Blonde Ambition concert at 12), Peewee Herman and Helmut Newton (though I didn't know his name until I was waaaay older) so I think that has all had a huge impact on my work and the way I see things. Music videos in the 90's were far more sexual than they are now. The images, slickness and attention to lighting was at it's top game, and to this day I look back at videos like George Michael's Freedom and Too Funky, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation, If, That's the Way Love Goes and Alright, Madonna's Express Yourself, Vogue, Like a Prayer, Bad Girl and obviously Justify My Love. I think I've subconsciously based most of my colour schemes, lighting and contrast levels off of something I saw in a 90's music video or high fashion photographs. Awww, the 90's... when artists were superstars and you knew all the supermodels by name. Classic sexy that I will forever keep coming back to.
SLC: Would you consider coming back to Toronto? Would your photography 'happen' here?
DGP: Oh Toronto...sigh...I love my Toronto peeps but I am very much at home in Montreal. I have found something here that feels very right and I honestly don't see myself going anywhere anytime soon. My life here is simple and I feel like part of a very exciting underground movement of artists. Toronto is too "grown up" for me. I
just want to drink 40's and smoke cigarettes, take pictures of some naked girls to pay the outrageously cheap rent and just hang the fuck out. So does everyone else here, so I'll continue to write my love letters to Montreal and eat my poutine, thank you. My lifestyle and my friends are something I could never duplicate in Toronto, nor do I think I would be doing anything close to what I'm pulling off aesthetically, here. I like broken down buildings too much. It's like porn to me. I've also felt very misunderstood by Toronto. In my life and my work. Thank you for teaching me to hustle and be tough, but I am morally unable to buy a freshly built condo or move to Oakville. I'm close enough to work there when I need to.
SLC: Do you ever turn the camera on yourself?
DGP: Sometimes. Being a photographer has made me realize how much of a 'deadly weapon' a camera can be, and when left in the wrong hands can make someone look so terrible they want to kill themselves. I now can't
trust anyone to take pictures of me, so I do take whatever I need for promotional, myself. It's just safer that way. When cameras come out, I duck and roll outta there.
SLC: What is the first thought you want to pop into people's heads when they see your images?
DGP: Iconic. I try to always read the photos that I'm taking and make sure they are telling a powerful story. It's extremely important to me. Even in the most simple of shots, I want the subject to convey strength and power. Untouchable moments in time. I never really know what I'm going to do until I'm standing in front of the person,
talking and engaging with them and pulling out that thing inside them that makes them inherently incredible. For me, that is far more important than technical skill. I pride myself on telling a very raw story of whoever I'm shooting. Sometimes it's sexy, sometimes it's uncomfortable. I want what I do to cause emotion. That's all I can hope for.
SLC: If you could shoot anyone naked and doing something just filthy, who and what would it be?
DGP: Maybe I'm old school and conservative (funny, right?) but I don't find overtly 'filthy' to actually be sexy. Perhaps I've been overexposed. I prefer a good mindfuck to the blatant. I prefer a fear of not knowing what's going to happen to someone offering it all up. For example, I did shots of a friend of mine last year for a calendar I produced and the shot is her sitting in front of a car in the dirt, bruised and battered, dress ripped, in the middle of nowhere, being lit only by headlights. The mindfuck is the smirk on her face like 'she liked it.' It's an uncomfortable photo to look at and that's why I like it so much. A more filthy photo for me would be taking photos of someone's hands beside some abandoned train tracks or of smoke leaving someone's mouth. It's all in 'the slights.' I think that's why so many people really fuck up photos that are 'supposed to be' sexy.
SLC: Do you ever worry that shooting something sexy and edgy might put sex in a negative light?
DGP: I don't have enough ego to think that 'I' could be the person who puts sex in a negative light. I live through my work and what I'm producing at different times directly reflects on what is going on in my life. Sometimes I find it hard to look back on older work for that reason. It's like throwing the personal aspects of your therapy sessions out into the world. Luckily, the mass population doesn't really see it, so it's been alright. I guess some of my more raw stuff could be seen as negative and very much sexual. I see it as my story, not all of sex's story.
SLC: What does the future have in store for you?
DGP: Whew! I never really know! Hopefully some big clients who believe in me and my vision, and just let me do whatever I want with full trust. That is perfection to me. I would absolutely love to slowly pick away at a book. I've started putting things aside with some writing I've done. It will organically figure itself out. I'm a true believer that the universe is conspiring in my favor, so I'm sure all the right opportunities will find their way into my life, one way or another. Like this interview! Thank you for this. I always hope not to be too ranty, but I have a lot to say. My work is an extension of myself, so I enjoy explaining where it all comes from and what is behind it all.
TAIL 514 NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE!! (09/19/10)
The TAIL 514 Calendar is now available ONLINE at a special price! Pick one (or several!) up at http://www.tail514.com
Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!! Spread the word!!
...Just sayin. I can't fucking handle it. If you want that, I'm not your girl. If you want to look really really hot...I am your girl.
Tail 514: A DannyGirl x Merve Calendar Project (09/14/10)
Montreal tail at it's finest.
Montreal females are world renowned for exuding sex, beauty, and
deviance. The Tail 514 calendar project is a visual love poem to the
island of Montreal and its inhabitants.
Heart and Substance.
United by shared loves of boys, scandal, over the top everything and
cheeseburgers, this calendar was born from the heinous pow-wows of
Danny Girl and Jenn Elliott. These 2 bitches have been told they were
a problem way too many times to count. Joining forces the ladies
formed a band of slick misfits on the island of lost boys and Tail 514
Born again hooligans only to be Queens again.
A Tail 514 girl is miles away from your average girl next door model.
Never satisfied and not content to settle for ordinary, these ladies
are professional visionaries. All of them chosen as alpha females at
the top of their game who are just living life with incomparable
Tail 514 Credos:
Do it right, get 'er done and bang it out.
Drinks, laughs, smokes and swears are the 4 noble truths.
Keep it renegade and look proper.
Team Underdog always and forever.
Let's clink drinks and celebrate 365 days of badass girls. That's the
Tail 514 way.
FOR MORE INFO, CHECK OUT THE TAIL514 WEBSITE:
Turning this bitch into a blog... (09/14/10)
I tend to use facebook to air all my gossip and dirty laundry...but that mixed with a dirty photo here and there, has gotten me deleted on more then one occassion. Eat this, FB.
Back to BLACK in Toronto March 14-15th, 2009!
I will be booking shoots in TORONTO March 14-15th 2009! This will be a very special series! If you're interested, check out the event....
For more work, join my facebook group at DannyGirlPhotography
LOVE HATE Montreal & DannyGirl
February 1, 2009
160 Notre Dame East, Montreal
After waxing poetic, the older club generation inevitably starts dissing on the nightlife scene, claiming it isn't as vibrant as those days of glory. Gone are the high-profile spots with a slightly deeper music menu. Well, sorry to be a buzzkill, bro, but the Montreal local scene is thriving quite well
The stars of "Miami Ink" Ami James and Chris Nunez, who have a knack for bringing sexy back while simultaneously bringing breaking national acts to their party, have brought a bit of Miami to Montreal. Their just-opened Love Hate Rock Bar boasts a rocking environment, a laid back crowd, and a collection of daringly different graphics. After the success of the American brand, James and Nunez felt the need for a venue that would cater to an edgier crowd of hipsters meets grunge-lovers. Being the first international location, Love Hate Rock Bar is sure to outshine the late-night techno thrill parties that are starting to get old, fast.
Set in the 17th Century house, the high-energy rock and roll venue showcases the best of rock, alongside classic hip-hop jams (i.e. Beastie Boys) and underground favourites. Everything from A Tribe Called Quest to Zeppelin will be blasted in the two-storey bar. Inspired by the graffiti-art culture the decor evokes an 'Old School' charm. It's dark yet inviting, rustic yet modern, and all about the Jack Daniels shooter girls. Stretching across two floors, the oxidized 23 feet long bar is just the right size for late night table dances that could even start a rivalry with the chicks from Coyote Ugly.
"We wanted to get rid of pretentious thinking and create a spot that addresses an older crowd who want to hear something other than House music," states co-owner Sarah Bromley.
An intimate environment was essential when constructing the rock and roll lodge. Antler chandeliers, metal bars are a large part of the décor, while oil, air brush and graffiti illustration make the tattoo culture come alive. Contributing work from local artists "More than a Friend" (Krista Bursey and Jason Wasserman) can be viewed from behind the main bar. Other collections include four original paintings from Pierre Chaplan (owner of Tattoo Mania), an array of symbolic photographs by DannyGirl Portieous, and sharp stylistic pieces like copper banquettes.
The tattooed twosome and reality television celebrities have become a huge hit, which prompted them to invest in the Love Hate brand and create multiple tattoo retail and party venues.
The work displayed at Montreal's newest hell-of-a-time bar will also be part of James and Nunez's new show where the boys will expose their favourite artists while traveling across twelve countries. The hot artists will also be visiting the bar once a month, giving Montreal even more eye candy. If all the world's a stage, it's nice to see a stage that mimics the world right back.
Skin Deep UK!
Sunday February 1, 2009
Skin Deep UK Magazine has published a calendar in their January issue, including the motorcycle picture of Miss Sara Von Zombie, shot by DannyGirl! Keep watching for our cover and spread in their upcoming issue!
DannyGirl Portieous & Dana Brushette "Dolled Up & Dirty"
January 24th, 25th 2009
Sweet Spot Studio
*(TO BOOK A SPOT FOR THIS EVENT, PLEASE EMAIL DANA AT DBbooking@hotmail.com)*
DannyGirl Portieous (Montreal) & Dana Brushette (London/Toronto) are teaming up for the first time EVER for this spectacular event! Never has anyone had the chance to shoot with both these OUTSTANDING, and renowned photographers THE SAME DAY!
DOLLED UP & DIRTY will give you the chance to explore your sultry pinup side, as well as your sexy, dirty, yummy side! 2 shoots, 2 looks, so much HOTNESS.
Experience not needed! We'll style you into the vixen you've always wanted to be! A puuuurrrfect gift for Valentine's day!
Gifties, and royal treatment, ALL INCLUDED!
Shoot to be held at Danny's SWEET SPOT loft, in the LEGENDARY RCA Building, in St.Henri!
2 looks with 2 INCREDIBLE photographers - $300
This is a once in a lifetime, ladies!
For bookings, please contact Dana at DBbooking@hotmail.com
See you then, girls! We're SOOOOO excited!!
D & D