You could be forgiven for thinking that with a name like Carly Rae Summers, we’re actually referring to a country singer. As interesting as that might be if she were, her real story is actually significantly more interesting than that. Carly Rae has made quite a name for herself as a performer in the adult industry. If that weren’t enough, what really sets Carly Rae apart is that she entered the daunting world of the adult industry whilst still a struggling fashion student at a Manchester University.
How I Met Carly Rae
I recently put a call out for potential models as I wanted more glamour images for my Iconic Boudoir website. I received a number of responses, one of them from Carly Rae. I followed some of the links she provided and quickly realised that Carly Rae wasn’t at all typical of the responses I’d received. I’m no prude and consider myself a woman of the world but after clicking on the links that Carly Rae provided, I was slightly taken aback given that I wasn’t actually expecting to land on a web page dedicated to a hard-core porn actress!
If I’m honest, I wasn’t initially sure of Carly Rae’s potential because her primary focus online is video. She had a student-like look, wasn’t pouting or pretentious but appeared confident and definitely had a certain something about her. So, I contacted Carly Rae, arranged the photo shoot and wondered what was in store!
The Day Of The Photo Shoot
I waited for Carly Rae in my car at Eccles Train Station and it seemed she was a no-show. Due to the shoot preparation and having booked a really good makeup artist, I started to worry that she might have had second thoughts about the photo shoot. It turned out that the train from Manchester was actually running late and after ten minutes or so, Carly Rae appeared.
Whenever you meet someone for the first time, you always tend to have some kind of impression formed of what they might look and be like. It’s fair to say that Carly Rae was just not what I expected her to be! She looked like a typical young student with a slightly punky look, wearing a baseball cap back to front. She was much slimmer looking than her online images suggested and I actually asked her if she had lost weight. Carly Rae seemed quite quiet, a little bit shy but very well spoken. I imagine this was down to the fact that she was meeting me, a stranger and being in the unusual close confines of a car with someone you don’t know.
When we got back to my house (my studio is part of my home), we went through what she had brought to wear in the photo shoot. We also talked about the kind of images that we both wanted from the photo shoot as this had to produce images that would be beneficial for Carly Rae’s portfolio as well as my own.
Professional Makeup & An Amazing Transformation!
Candice, one of my regular freelance MAC makeup artists arrived and the makeup process began. Whilst Candice was weaving her magic, I left them to it and started arranging the first set. When, the makeover was complete, I was really very pleasantly surprised at the result. The transformation was dramatic in that Carly Rae looked absolutely beautiful and her eyes just sparkled and really stood out.
I see so many models and attractive women whose default position is to be made up all the time. Carly Rae just wasn’t like that — she was just normal and comfortable in her own skin. I think this accounted for the massive difference in her look after the makeover.
This is part of the endearing charm of Caryl Rae in that she is isn’t pretentious, conceited or self-obsessed. She’s a really lovely and intelligent young woman but with a thoroughly professional approach to everything she does.
The Shoot Begins
Carly Rae isn’t a model so, I didn’t expect her to know how to pose or behave in a professional glamour photo shoot. For someone who is so used to laying herself bare (pardon the pun) as an adult performer, I specifically recall that she was initially quite reserved. Again, this was really endearing because Carly Rae didn’t try to act like a model or try to pretend she knew what to do in this kind of photo shoot. In fact, like with many women I photograph, I totally directed Carly Rae throughout the photo shoot and she responded extremely well.
Like with many glamour photo shoots, the client starts out a little bit anxious but after a while she starts to relax, starts to trust me and then starts feeling confident. On this occasion, Carly Rae was no different. Very soon, Carly Rae had settled into the photo shoot and was an absolute dream to photograph.
Carly Rae looked stunning and had no inhibitions whatsoever. When doing a glamour photo shoot, you need your client to be really comfortable and at ease with themselves and Carly Rae didn’t disappoint in this respect. I think another surprise was just how photogenic Carly Rae turned out to be. She had an amazing look, a fabulous figure and comes over as very sexy and alluring in the images.
It’s A Wrap!
Carly Rae was a dream to work with, gave everything she had in the photo shoot and really responded well to my direction during the photo shoot. After reviewing the images, I’m really pleased with them and Carly Rae looks amazing and very sexy indeed. Given her lack of experience in this kind of situation, I think you can clearly see the performer in her as she naturally works each image.
We only had a certain amount of time, but I know there’s a lot more to Carly Rae. I’m really looking forward to working with her again and bringing out some other looks and perspectives of this fascinating, talented and very amenable young woman!
A Q&A with Carly Rae Summers
What was the moment that you decided to venture into the adult industry?
It was never something I thought I could get into. I actually got into the adult industry when I was eighteen years old and, as with many girls, it was completely by accident.
I had been introduced to an online Adult platform that allowed me to sell my homemade videos and a few pictures. My love of performing inspired me to continue making my amateur porn videos and improve my portfolio. It was these very early videos that gave me my first valuable insights into the amateur side of the industry that in turn prepared me for the world of professional porn. Eventually, out of the blue, I was contacted by my first professional company.
Was it something that you had always been interested in or was it just about the money?
Porn had always fascinated me from a young age; it seemed like a fantasy job. However, I believed porn was reserved for girls that lived in America. So yes, as a student, the money made my life a better place but it was my passion for the industry that inspired me to the place I’m in today.
Do you remember your first professional porn shoot?
Oh yes, how could I forget! I turned up to my first professional shoot with just the clothes on my back. I was blissfully unaware that I should have brought a range of outfits, makeup and heels. Instead, I wore a crop top, hot pants and my trainers! A true “student look”, which obviously reflected my innocence and naivety.
How did you feel when you first started performing in front of the camera? The other performers were obviously strangers to you and so were the other operatives and cameramen capturing the performance?
At first I was really nervous! I didn’t know what to expect or the expectations that would come with it. I had always been a shy self-conscious girl so it actually made me come out my shell. In the adult industry if you’re not a strong confident individual you can get crushed.
Do you feel personally safe in the adult industry?
There has only been one incident during my time in this industry where I didn’t feel safe. A man contacted me through a modelling website wanting to do a “content share” shoot. Everything seemed fine, his profile checked out but when I arrived at the shoot, the warning signs started. Fortunately, I was able to get out straight away but there was that moment of panic, the “what if” moment.
Aside from that single event, I have always felt safe working in the adult industry. I have always had my peers in the adult industry who I’ve been able to talk to and places for me to discuss adult production companies. With the internet being what it is today, it’s easy enough to check out a company’s website and performers credentials before agreeing to work for anyone.
Do you feel exploited? Are you always the decision maker in what you do?
I’ve never felt exploited. I’m completely in control of every decision I make and who I work for. If I’m not happy with what I have been asked to do, or the performer I’ve been paired with I have every right to say “no” and walk away. Everything is discussed down to the smallest detail before the shoot happens.
What about safety around your sexual health?
Keeping on top of sexual health is of the utmost important in my life. If I’m frequently working, I get tested every two weeks. I get my new Sexual Health Certificate in London every three to four weeks. In porn and the adult industry, in general, you can trust everyone to be “clean” as they frequently shoot for big name production companies that all have their reputations to think about.
However, outside of the porn industry, it’s in the “real world” (that most people are in) where it’s really scary. Many “ordinary people” (those not in the adult industry) frequently have sexual relationships with many different partners. However, the sexual health testing regime and its enforcement just doesn’t apply in the “real world”. It’s men and women in the “real world” who terrify me. Even a person who you trust more than anything could be your downfall from the perspective of catching an STD.
Did you manage to keep your professional persona hidden whilst studying at university?
No. I made it through all of my second year and nobody knew anything; not a clue who I was or what I was doing. However, at the start of my third year, one person found out and then everyone knew.
How do your family and friends feel about your occupation and professional persona?
At first the people around me were really shocked. My friends called me up straight away and threw questions in my direction like there was no tomorrow. I was the first person they knew who had entered the porn industry so obviously, there was a mix of shock and fascination. It wasn’t like I gave them much of an early clue about my interests or intentions. Many girls in the porn industry start out as strippers or escorts, but I went straight into porn.
However, my family (as you might expect) didn’t have the same reaction. At first there were a lot of tension and tears but in time they learned to understand that although porn is a taboo industry, I am completely safe in everything I do and no one forced me into it. Every move was my decision and taken from a professional standpoint.
Do you like and enjoy being an adult industry professional?
I really love this industry and everything that it has done for and to me. It’s opened my eyes to a life that I could never have imagined, it’s taken me to places I would never have explored, but most of all it’s made me feel beautiful. I’ve matured and become a well-rounded individual because of these experiences. If my alter ego continues to help me travel the world then I can’t think of a more perfect way to spend my days.
However, it pains me that I’ll never get to have a boyfriend and start a family and I’ll never have a normal life. Despite this, I wouldn’t change anything about my life for the world.
That’s a strange thing to say. Why do you think you’ll never have a boyfriend or a normal life?
It’s been my experience really. I gave it all up for my ex-partner, but it turned out that my past was just too much for him to deal with; in reality, it was over before it had ever really started.
I think it would take a very self-assured man to trust a girl that’s been in the porn industry. Unless you find someone else in the industry to fall in love with, it just becomes your life. I’ve spoken to other guys in the industry and their experiences were similar to mine. After a while you kind of just give up trying and focus on making the most of your career. It’s the major downside to getting into porn.
Do you feel empowered as a woman in the adult industry?
Yes! This industry makes me feel empowered as a woman and a person. It’s taught me that if you want something enough and do everything you can, you’ll get there. Through all the hardship and negativity that’s been thrown my way, I’ve stayed strong and it’s got me to the position that I’m in today. It’s made me realised that I should never give up on my dreams, no matter how obscure or different they may be.
What does the future hold for Carly Rae now you have left University. Does the fashion industry beckon?
Ultimately, I want to be a fashion designer; that’s why I did my degree in fashion. Despite my positive feelings towards the porn industry, I don’t want to ultimately be a porn star. My rationale is that if I entered the fashion industry now, most of the jobs available to me would be either unpaid or minimum wage. At this moment in time, porn pays my rent and provides me with a good living. So, in the coming years, my plan is to find opportunities to enter the fashion world at a point when I can fund my life without the ongoing income from porn.