At the back end of last year a crowdfunding campaign to launch a new steampunk themed photography gallery site was started. Since then the creator has been organising shoots to put on the site as well as building it. Who is this enigmatic photographer with a vision for a community of steampunks to enjoy gathering together to discuss the finer points of the culture while appreciating the human body? Well, it’s me! Moriarty Viccar…*All links here are put in by me. There are no advertising links. Please show some love by visiting the pages and websites of the people I’ve listed here*
It’s taken me a few months to get things together for the site and it hasn’t been easy. As well as several digital hurdles to get the site up and running and a considerable amount of financial investment on my part for both the site and the shoots, The Hellfire Club is opening its doors for Membership.
Many steampunks immerse themselves in the culture by doing what they love doing. I decided that I wanted to do the same. I’ve worked in the photographic industry for over 20 years and wanted to bring the two together, but I couldn’t justify simply taking pictures of steampunks and attempting to sell them pictures of themselves in outfits that the’ve also made themselves. I decided that I had to go one better and provide pictures that people are ok with paying to see. Originally called “What the Butler Saw”, the site was going to be more tongue in cheek. However, my preferred style of photography is quite dark and I wanted to reflect this. I wanted to make the site a place where the members would shed their lives of decency and decorum and after hearing the album Soldiers of the Mark by The New Jacobin Club, The Hellfire Club sounded like the perfect place.
The site is up and running, it’s safe and secure (the SSL Certificate is provided by a third party from the webhost and also has a dedicated IP) and waiting for you to join. I have one or two upgrades to make to the look of the site, but once the aesthetics of the site are established, future plans can begin to be put into place. Here are two items I have on a future roadmap:
Forum – Forums are generally considered somewhat redundant given the rise of social media, but there’s no denying that they create a fantastic sense of community. These will be accessible for anyone that has joined the site and free to use. Membership won’t be required, but registering will.
On the forums we will be able to plan how to support one another. I will want to bring in additional photographers and promote newcomers to the industry by commissioning them. I’ll need your help though. The more successful The Hellfire Club becomes as people become members, the more I can support others in the industry. I wil be able to use the Forums to put new ideas across to members and also put out casting calls to potential creatives who are members.
Charity Patreon – Patreon is a great website that allows creatives to actually get paid for the work they do via contributions from fans. I usually have dozens of photographs available from a shoot and they sit on my hard drive not doing much. Sometimes I go back to a shoot and see if there’s something I can rework on, but generally they’re wasted. My idea for Patreon would be to show one or two photographs for a few pounds a month. Anyone who is simultaneously a Patreon and Hellfire Club member will get the Hellfire Club membership at £9/month so that with the £3/month Patreon membership, it works out the same as Hellfire Club membership. As an additional bonus, for everyone who does that, I will donate the Patreon income to charity.
Those who have helped
The site currently hosts eight galleries of steampunk themed shoots. They feature these talented individuals:
Sapphire Blue – Sapphire is an incredible model with years of experience and a keen intellect that allows her to get the job done in the best possible way. As well as years working in the glamour industry, she’s classically trained and it shows in her poise. Sapphire appears in two sets currently titled Tin Type and White. The latter illustrates that steampunk isn’t limited to dark colours.
Zoe Margo – As well as being an incredible model, Zoe is also one of the nicest people I know. Alongside being a published model, she’s also a talented actress and trained for 12 years in singing and dancing. She has a unique style that gives her a girl next door look. While being comfortable in her skin means she’s a natural in scenes for The Hellfire Club. Zoe also features in two galleries called Plague and Fight For Your Country. Both feature props loaned for the shoot by the steampunk wizards at Amy’s Steampunk Emporium.
Baltasar – Baltasar originates from Poland and currently resides on the outskirts of Manchester. He helped me out when my original model dropped out of the shoot. He gave up his day off to come to the studio in Rotherham and pose for me. Baltasar speaks four languages, is learning a fifth and has a fantastic classical face which wouldn’t look out of place underneath a Cavalier’s hat. His dark set Beckon The Demon is a full art nude gallery on The Hellfire Club now.
Deadly Nightshade – I first encountered Deadly Nighshade when I visited the now deceased Alt & Burlesque fair in Sheffield around four years ago. She performed on stage and she was amazing to watch. After that I found that she organised Secret of the Boudoir Burlesque nights in Sheffield and I reviewed the 6th birthday event in 2014. Sadly a year later, she hung up her pasties and the nights came to an end. Thankfully burlesque hasn’t ended in Sheffield as other people have filled up the considerable hole that SoTBB left behind. Recently, she posted on social media that she would like to get back into modelling. I took the chance to contact her.
Deadly Nightshade features in two sets on The Hellfire Club. The Mannequin and Steampunk Strip Tease are both implied nude shoots featuring the devastating skills of Deadly Nightshade with make-up talents of Hayleigh Louise.
Sheridan Leigh – Sheridan was the first commissioned shoot for the Hellfire Club and features the photographic skills of Carl Hadi from Head Full of Photos. The shoot is a fun, light hearted set that goes to topless levels. Sheridan is a very emotive model and it shows in the shoot via her multiple expressions in the set.
Membership for the site starts at £12/month or you can get discounted bulk packages for long term membership. 6 months membership gives a free month at £60 while annual membership gives 2 months free at £120.