Holly Randall is an American erotic photographer. She is the daughter of erotic photographer Suze Randall and author Humphry Knipe. In 2013, Holly Randall was named one of the most influential women in the adult industry by AVN Magazine.
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I am a second generation female porn director (my mother is Suze Randall). We are both featured in episode 1 of the controversial Rashida Jones documentary series that is streaming now on Neflix. (Please only ask me questions pertaining to episode 1, not the others as I haven't seen them.) I also teach photography workshops: HollyRandallWorkshops.com
What do you think about sites like x videos, x hamster where people upload paid porn on so people can watch for free?
Well obviously that is really hurting the market, free porn is so prevalent and easy to access, why would anyone pay? I just hope that people understand that the high-end content that I produce costs money to do so, if nobody pays for porn, then how can we fund our shoots?
What sort of modifiers do you like using on your strobes?
Do you have any advice for a male advertising/commercial photog who mainly shoots products and headshots on how to get into more fitness/glamour/boudoir?
I love my beauty dish, and I've been using that a lot lately. Otherwise my go-to is the Westcott Halo umbrellas, I prefer them as a "shoot through" umbrella rather than the reflective ones, though I do have a 7ft parabolic umbrella I like to bust out sometimes. As for my advice? Take one of my workshops! Haha... no seriously though glamour and boudoir especially is REALLY different from headshots and product shots, I would say a big part of that is learning how to pose the models right, and more importantly how to treat them. Shooting a model naked as opposed to clothed are two very different experiences.
Some of your favorite actresses in the industry? Old to new
When I first started I obsessed with Melissa Lauren... I do love so many of the girls, but I'd have to say some of my favorites are Dani Daniels, Madison Ivy, August Ames, Adria Rae... I could go on and on, honestly... sorry I know that sounds cliche but it's true!
I would assume some of your shoots are by request. Can you describe some differences in porn as requested by female clients or audiences, as far as the differences in fantasy and roles of actors?
Well most of my shoots are for brands that are all under the umbrella of a big corporation out of Montreal. Don't confuse me with Erika Lust, who takes submissions from fans and turns them into short films. I receive scripts and concepts from my clients and produce the content from there.
Have you ever done a shoot with a model who was also shot by your mother?
Of course! Tera Patrick comes to mind, also Nikki Benz... Aimee Sweet, and there are plenty others. When I was working for my mom, 10 years ago, we were both shooting for her website so we shot a lot of the same girls back then.
Yup! My mother is Suze Randall, who is considered a pioneer for women behind the camera in world of erotica. If you watch my episode in Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, you'll get a little more of the story.
I have a small email list (450 people) interested in my adult cinematography. Is it still viable for a solo entrepreneur to make a living wage doing amateur shoots on their own site?
It's incredibly difficult, and if you are not a model, I would say you have one hell of a tough road ahead of you. Perhaps these people would be amenable to crowd sourcing your shoot? Otherwise, coming into the industry now, as a producer with no name, will not get you very far.
So amazing seeing you and your mother. So entertaining and inspiring. I've been very lucky to have worked with you several times so it was so sad to hear about talk about the problems you face in the industry. My question is how do we (as performers or consumers) fix these problems? Is it possible to make this industry strong again?
(Thank you for being so professional and wonderful. This industry is so very lucky to have you in it.)
As performers, I don't know what else you can do but encourage your fans to purchase your content. As consumers, well you know the answer... pay for your porn! For example, on principle I NEVER steal content, whether it be TV shows or movies. I could easily do it, but as a producer who is struggling with shrinking budgets, I don't do it because I know that it's wrong, and people deserve to make a living for their hard work.
You can still follow my public snapchat at hollyrandall78 I only have to charge for the naked stuff, otherwise I cover most of my day-to-day on my public snapchat. I don't expect people to pay for snaps of my dogs and my trips to the famers market, lol.
Also, at what age do you think porn should be legal to watch?
Your position on tube sites is pretty well known - but don't many of your clients' parent companies own the tube sites? So aren't they just squeezing the people who make their product?
Yup. Ironic, isn't it. But what can I do? I have to make a living.
So, when you receive an order or idea for a shoot from Montreal, you are not told who the target audience is?
Let's be honest, the target audience is male.
How do you manage the chaos of a photo shoot? Do you work with assistants, security, etc.?
Well I like to keep my shoots small and intimate-- I'm fortunate enough to be able to choose my own crew and my own locations, so I always work with the same people. I usually don't have more than two assistants, a makeup artist, and the models. On big movies like Quest, which was profiled in the doc, I need a sound guy and a third cameraman, as well as a PA and sometimes a stylist. Still though, that's a small crew compared to most mainstream shoots! I haven't ever needed security... let's hope that doesn't ever become a necessity!
When choosing men what are the top 3 qualifications?
Follow up.. Pick me?
Hahaha you're cute... number one is intelligence. Two is sense of humor, and third is confidence. I can't stand jealous or clingy guys. Basically anyone who is like my father-- my daddy issues are just that I love my dad and it's hard to find a man who measures up to him.
What's your typical go-to when you're ordering a sandwich at a restaurant?
Chicken of some kind? Southwest style or anything with pesto... mmmmmm....
Do you have larger aspirations past your current occupation or do you feel youre best work has yet to cum?
I would LOVE to do an art show and book.... I do have 3 photography books out now and one more on the way through Goliath Publishing, but they choose all the images and it's more of my "commercial glam porn", I'd like to do stuff much darker and artistic. Like my shoot with Dani Daniels in New York with a bear mask on. I'd also like to write a book (yes, yes, I know everyone does that), and I'd love speak more on the adult industry and help lessen the stigma and fear that surrounds it.
So size isn't an issue? Damn ;-)
Actually size means very little to me (no pun intended haha)... I haven't been with many guys with huge penises, actually I can only think of one right now... if it's too big it hurts, "normal" size which is 5.5/6 inches is fine for me. I like to be able to deep throat, and if it's too big I can't do that. :(
I've been on an aioli kick lately, but pesto is a perfectly respectable approach.
Oh man aioli is the bomb!
That sounds nice and tidy. Do you ever have to deal with crazy friends and/or family of the models messing with your program?
Well since my family is pretty much in the industry, I have zero issues on that front. My friends all know what I do and support me-- believe it or not, I'm pretty normal outside of my job and most of my friends are not in the industry at all. As for crazy models, well yes they pop their head up from time to time, but for the most part 99% of the girls I shoot are fucking rad and I enjoy working with them very much!
Because 1) my public snapchat was deleted because I showed nudity, so I had to create a private one so that didn't happen again, and 2) this is a business, not a free-for-all, and since nobody pays for their porn I have to find other revenue streams.
did it hurt?
Nope! It's all in the mind, the anus is a muscle so if you can learn to relax it, and if the guy knows what he's doing (and you use enough lube), it can be a very pleasurable experience. It's like a jedi mind trick. ;)
What is the biggest misconception about porn in general, in your view?
That everyone is a drug addict and a whore. There are a lot of people who view this is a viable business, and who are very professional and career-oriented. I hope that the new series of Hot Girls Wanted shows that.
What would be easier... Teaching Hollywood stars to fuck like pornstars or teaching pornstars to act like Hollywood stars?
LOL I think the first one... and how do you know Hollywood stars DON'T fuck like pornstars? At the very least, they could fake it, right?
Holly. Long time fan you might recognize my handle. I love your work, love you and everything you do. The sets you star in are among my favorites. No nudes needed. Can we expect more in the future?
Hey! I do remember you! I did recently post a new set on my site: https://www.hollyrandall.com/model/holly-randall/gallery/20170422/BOSS_BITCH/ and I have a few more coming but my retoucher is taking FOREVER... apparently I need a lot of photoshop, lol!
I have heard some people say 21.
If you can send people to war to die for their country at 18, they better damn well be able to watch porn at that age. C'mon.
Ok. I will ask the obvious. Is that you in the photo? In the article on Decider?
No that's Jada Stevens
Have you ever dealt with prejudice from other people in the industry? (Actors, directors, etc.)
Lol right now I'm getting shit from some ppl about working with Rashida on HGW
In Hot Girls Wanted, you and Erica Lust seem to be working in two completely different worlds. Is the business in Europe that radically different? Who buys all those DVD's on her shelves?
I have no idea who Erika's audience is, you'd have to ask her... but I find her story very inspiring!
Alright. Now for a real question. What's the budget and return on a film you make? Investors or self-funded? Your own studio? How long from "tape" to release?
I have been a (minor) screenwriter, an option writer, and I have worked on both B and A list movies in the past in some pretty weird roles.
Can you take a minute and explain how you "make a film?" Are you beholden to The Money?
I can't reveal the budgets on my shoots, that's privileged information to my clients. As for the return, they don't share that info with me, so I have no idea... as for when the product is released, that depends on each project they're all different.
Would your BF secretly feel left out if you excluded him from all your snaps? I know he complains - but I think he's starting to like it.
lol I don't think he'd care honestly
What is on your bucket list of shoot locations? (for work, assuming you had the budget)
Oh man... I'd love to shoot in any exotic location like Bali or Morocco...
Hey Holly! Big fan here and I had a question. Do you think a porn/erotica director needs to have actual interest in what he or she is shooting in order to make a quality product? Or is possible to make a good scene with only objective skill and knowledge?
Personally I feel like if someone would give everything I needed to make a porno and told me to make, say, a foot fetish scene I would have no idea how to do a decent one. However I'd feel much more comfortable in charge of something like a g/g scene.
Oh I think that with enough experience and research you can direct any kind of scene... for example I am 100% heterosexual, I am not attracted to women in any way, but I shoot a ton of girl/girl scenes.
They are so dominant - at least they're your client. How many companies are left in the business to hire producers such as yourself/at your level?
Pretty much none, so yeah... you nailed it on the head. Nobody else can afford me, lol.
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Cheese and basil and tomatoes
Could you possibly change the name on one of your snap accounts? They both show as "Holly Randall" - so don't know which one I can watch at work and which is NSFW.
Hollyrandall78 is the only public Snapchat I have. My xxxx account you have to join through a program, I don't publicly release the handle
Does anything weird you out?
Almost nothing does, in my line of work I've seen almost everything... it's hard to phase me. Things definitely UPSET me-- like anything to do with death and cruelty to animals really gets to me.
What is the funniest title name of a movie you worked on?
Honestly I haven't worked on a ton of feature movies, I shoot mostly individual web scenes.
How often do you browse Reddit and what are your favorite subreddits?
Not often, to be honest... but I love the Awww, TIL, Funny, Animals Being Jerks, and NSFW subreddits
What types of things do you refuse direct people to do?
I won't shoot water sports or anything degrading to women or just super gross.
What types of non erotic photography do you like and why? Do you take photos of portraits, landscapes, animals, nature, plants, food?
I don't normally, but my boyfriend is super outdoors-y so when we went to Orgeon in January I got some amazing landscape shots, I was impressed with myself! ;)
Who are your favorite non erotic photographers of all time?
Ellen Von Unwerth is my #1 favorite, I also love Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier...
What are your favorite types and brands of beer, liqours, and wine?
I'm sober, I don't drink... so can't answer that question.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Boxing! That's a big part of my life.
If you have any kids, does your job embarrass them? What do they say their mom does?
No I do not. But don't forget my parents are in the industry and they raised me wonderfully- I had a great childhood. So I'm not worried about that if/when I have kids.
Would you ever go and visit a nudists/naturist campground or Beach? Why or why not?
Yes, and I have- in the South of France
Who are your favorite non erotic directors and why?
I'm not particularly partial to specific directors, but I would say Christopher Nolan, PT Anderson, Wes Anderson, and James Gunn (mostly because he's an old friend).
Do some of the Actresses' and actors keep in touch with you after they retire and what type of jobs do they have?
Not usually, unless they are close friends, and I have very few close friends in the industry.
Do you have any pets? If so, how many and which kinds, and what are their names?
I have two dogs, Bonnie who is an Australian Shepard mix, and Khaleesi who is a pit bull/German Shepard mix
Watching it or yourself boxing at the gym or both?
I box myself, I don't really watch it on TV.
How do you get into that kind of industry? Not the actor part but like the cameramen and such? Do you put ads in a news paper for it? "Cameraman needed for porn shoot"
Actually I recently posted a Craigslist ad looking for new assistants, but I didn't reveal the kind of content that I shoot until they responded with a resume, because I didn't want to attract pervs who just want to be in the industry to ogle naked girls. Most of the guys on my crew would rather be working on a mainstream set, they just work for me because they love me and I provide a different kind of environment than the typical porn shoot.
What do you think of food porn?
Are we talking about pictures of amazing food or are we talking about porn scenes involving food?
What makes you laugh?
Are you in a relationship? Do you date civilians? Are porn actresses more likely to be size queens? Have you ever dated/ would you date a male porn actor?
I am in a relationship, I don't ever date in the industry, I actually only date "civilians". I would never date a porn actor, I have never crossed that line with the talent, I think it's unprofessional.
What things in life for example?
My job. LOL
I think food in porn scenes is kinda gross, though I've certainly shot it (at the behest of a client). But I wouldn't be personally into that.
Have you seen Gia Paige's statement on twitter about HGW's use of footage without her permission?
I have, but honestly I have zero to do with that-- they are referring to a separate episode from mine, one I didn't even see. I had no hand in producing the series so the whole controversy has absolutely nothing to do with me. I was suprised I somehow got dragged into that conversation, I was so confused at this sudden barrage of hate tweets I was getting, I had no idea who or what they were talking about.
O wow. Do you box in matches or just for fitness and fun?
Just for fitness and fun, though a part of me fantasizes about competing someday. But I'm too old for that now.
What were your thoughts on the issue once you found out?
I think it's really unfortunate, and I feel for the girls, I really do. I actually suggested to the producers that they would have been best served with a consultant IN the industry while they were in edit, to have a better connection with their subject matter. I think it's difficult to understand how marginalized people in this industry feel unless you are actually IN it. They could have been more thorough and careful, for sure. Here's the thing-- and this is NOT me defending the producers for what happened-- most people don't realize, when you post content to social media, you give up your copyright. If you read the fine print on Instagram, Periscope, etc, they specifically say that posting content to their site allows for fair use by pretty much anyone who wants to repost the content for whatever they wish. So just be so careful about what you post on social media, because as we can see here, it can seriously bite you in the ass. The whole situation just sucks, I hate to see girls feel victimized, it's absolutely against everything I stand for. That being said, I really liked the producers- Rashida especially- and they were super attentive to my request to not show the faces of my crew, etc. I definitely believe they did not intend to cause such controversy and unhappiness, and I can only imagine that producing such an ambitious series in such a short amount of time was incredibly stressful, and things must've just slipped through the cracks. Just such a bummer.
Bananas. Yay or nay?
Meh... I always buy them, thinking I'll eat them, and they always go bad.
How do you deal with the social stigma when it comes to not only pornography, but also women involved in pornography? In addition, what would you say is a trend happening in pornography that most people don't realize is happening?
Well most of the time it doesn't slap me in the face unless I try to get a mainstream gig, then all doors are closed.
Hey, remember that time you wanted that cute guy?
Lol there have been many crushes over the years
I agree deepthroating is amazing (to have done to me- which is rare).. But sadly it seems I have just disqualified myself :-(
Oh waaaaah you have a large penis let us all play the tiniest violin in the world for you. ;)
have you ever been plowed in the anus with a giant dildo?
Hmmm... nope but I have been with a real penis! ;)