Featured Photographer – DJ Hunter

Jun 16, 2020

June 15 – June 30

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate


Business Information:


DJ Hunter

Name of business

Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Location of business

Baton Rouge, LA







Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate


Can you tell us a little about your background, your experiences growing up in Oakland, CA, and what brought you to Baton Rouge, LA? 

If someone would have told me I wouldn’t be playing baseball the rest of my life, I would have never believed them. And that’s what landed me in Louisiana, to play baseball in college at Southern University. Before that, I was just a kid from Oakland, CA, trying to learn his place in the world. Growing up there was a stigma about the area I was from, Deep East Oakland, either you played ball and made it big, or the street life claimed you and you’d forever be stuck, there was no in between. For the longest, I accepted that reality, succumbed to it, not understanding that I had options. That’s the struggle for most blacks growing up in urban communities and impoverished situations, we aren’t given choices. Hope was a luxury concept too many of us that we didn’t learn until much later. What was ingrained in us from a young age is how to survive and navigate in the environments we lived in. I guess that’s partially where my ultimate ambition came from, as well as with my mother pushing me. When I realized there was more to life, I no longer wanted to just survive and exist in my environments. I wanted to excel and rise to the next levels I never knew existed, and with each advancement, I always tell myself there is still more that I am unaware of.

Tell us about your journey into photography and how you landed on boudoir photography?

I actually picked up photography on accident. I was a writer and editor for my school newspaper in college and I wanted an additional check, so I started watching the photo editor and picking up skills from her. Then I started shooting. When I got bored with writing and decided to retire, she encouraged me to get serious about photography and said I’d never grow bored or get comfortable and find it easy, which was to peak my arrogance, but she was right. I began as a wedding photographer when I decided the genre I was most passionate about. One day, a bride wanted a special gift for her husband on their wedding day and turned me on to boudoir. I instantly fell in love because of how personal it was, yet I still had the capability of being artistic. Then overtime I learned how empowering it is, and it appealed to my therapeutic background, which made me love it more. I knew I now had a way to provide therapy for women, combined with my passion for my art.

What are some of the biggest challenges you and your business faced?

For me, marketing has been a struggle. I’m just fully getting an understanding of it, so reaching populations and my market has been tough, but my connections with many in AIBP have helped me navigate through this curve and improve it. But I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that my biggest struggles are the stigmas associated with me.

First off, I am a male shooting boudoir. Boudoir requires vulnerability in women, often overcoming insecurities placed and instilled by men, so me being a male doesn’t make it easy for them to be open to a boudoir experience with me. I understand that completely and addressed it in a blog https://princephotographyllc.com/i-am-a-male-boudoir-photographer/. I feel that me being a male actually gives me a better advantage as a boudoir photographer because I can identify the stigmas and insecurities of a male dominated world to work around during boudoir sessions, but it takes time and relationship building for women to understand that in me. And of course, I am a black male, in the south. There have been countless times when I have had clients completely interested in scheduling with me just off of seeing my work. Emails and phone calls go great, then they see me…and become completely turned off. After 36 years on this earth, I can definitely identify when I am being judged because of the color of my skin, and although I may actually be used to it now, it still bothers me at times. But in those situations, I just accept that I’m not the right photographer for them and we wouldn’t be a good fit, which makes me appreciate my clients that much more

Are you self-taught? Did you have a mentor? Do you have an educational background in photography?

For the most part, I am self taught. I’ve had great people that took the time to let me harass them, way too often, shadow them, and nitpick every single thing I could about their styles and process so that I can learn how to develop my own, and improve my knowledge. So, it’s hard for me to say “self-taught” because without those individuals, I don’t know exactly how much I would have grasped. But when I dove in, I was obsessed. I was dedicated to becoming one of the best photographers mastering lighting and shadows, and I studied every blog, every video, every image, every light manipulation, every camera setting possible to know what each function was, and the why. I wanted to learn every single rule so that when I took a photo I could know exactly why it looked that way, and if I broke a rule it would be intentional and for a purpose. I lost sleep and lots of time teaching myself and trying to comprehend why my images looked a certain way and what I was missing from the images that I admired. I think that helped shape me to be a great photographer, versus one of the pet peeves of mine, photoshopographers who use editing to save their images

Can you tell us about some of your experiences in the photography industry where you have experienced racial prejudice?

As I highlighted above, being in the south, not just being a photographer but a business owner, you know the prejudices are coming. There are those who change their minds about booking with me once they realize I’m black.

I can go to bridal shows and pop up shops, and you can instantly feel the eyes and whispers, as they stare but avoid my booths. I’ve even done tests where I will start off at the booth and watch who comes and who just looks in disgust, then have white female assistants come take over my booth and the same ones who were turning their noses up at me suddenly come over and are chatty and smiling.

There’s also times when I have shown up to wedding venues as the head photographer and none of the planners or people over the venue wanted to acknowledge me or talk to me, but as soon as my assistants or second shooters arrive, they get acknowledged as the “owner” and lead. The entire time I was assumed not even to be a photographer, just the person helping to carry equipment.

Honestly, I believe my years of playing baseball at high levels perfectly prepared me for this, because I was always told baseball was a “white man’s sport”. So, learning how to deal with the prejudices and ignorance, often unintentional and just something people weren’t used to, became essential to navigate around in order to advance, while also showing my race is not a limitation.

Have you found organizations or industry communities that have been champions for the black photography community? If so, we would love to share those organizations.

Honestly, as stated before I can be quite arrogant, and self-absorbed. I really haven’t paid much attention to other organizations or different communities on what they’re doing. My obsession has kept me focused on what I am doing and what I can do, and photography is the one aspect in my life I haven’t reached out to or tried hard to link with communities. I guess because of how much I am involved with other communities on addressing societal changes, I just wanted to focus strictly on my own photography, and not championing for united communities. Hell, I even fell into AIBP by chance, and for the most part have stayed to myself, except when it came to ways I could improve. However, fate rarely cares about what we want, and as of late, while I thought I was invisible to the community, I have been acknowledged as a voice, and called to do more, so it is time I oblige.

What can AIBP do better to be an organization that champions diversity and supports those black photographers in our industry?

I feel AIBP is moving in the right direction.

One of the biggest problems with the world is a lot of lip service with no accountable actions. Everyone screams “BLACK LIVES MATTER” and while it is the cool thing to do and being monetized right now, there are no accountable actions. I see all these posts from companies, and it’s clear it’s just because they don’t want to lose out on business by not standing with the majority. Yet it’s impossible to ignore that in 2016 when it was first started, for the exact same reasons, these exact same businesses were silent and wouldn’t touch the issue. And after the few social media posts, most of these businesses and communities are doing nothing else. Their infrastructures of power are still 100% non-diverse, they are not promoting blacks into positions of power, and they are not supporting their newfound beliefs financially. So while everyone else is applauding them and commending them for standing up for what’s right, blacks are sitting back and looking at them like, “more of the same…show us”. AIBP, however, listened to myself and others, and did exactly what we suggested, while continuing to work on ways to be proactive. That’s why I’m happy to stand with them.

I’d love to add into the article any inspiring client stories you might have. Also have you had any issues with clients that you would like to share how you resolved them?

Many of my clients struggle with self image. There is a myth about me and what I do, that I only shoot “models” and those who don’t struggle with insecurities. But it is completely the opposite. The same “models” that clients rave about were once like them, and I made them the same promise – “Once I finish, you will be the model people swoon over.” One of the best ways I overcome this in clients is to give them my camera immediately after the session so they can look at themselves through the camera. I do this because I want to prove my guarantee that I told them, that I don’t need to edit you to show you that you are beautiful. My thought is, how can I tell you that you are perfect just the way you are and then get in front of the computer and completely alter you? There was once a client who still did a session, but never believed, and only thought I was saying it to make a sale. A mother of 3, wife, who stopped believing in herself, had gained weight, and stopped trying to look cute or beautiful. Once I gave her the camera, and she scrolled click after click, and was actually reintroduced to herself, that she had been locking up, she began crying tears of joy. She was so happy to see herself again, and have the reaffirmation that she is still a woman, flaws and all, and that makes her perfectly imperfect. I want that epiphany for every woman in the world, and I give that to each and every one of my clients.

You are located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Last October, The Cookout Photography Conference was held in New Orleans. Were you an attendee, and if so, can you tell us about the experience? If you did not attend, will you be attending in 2020? Can you tell us about the importance of this conference and what it means for the industry?

As I stated above lol, I don’t know anything about it lol.


Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate



Let’s talk a little bit about your workspace. Do you have a studio or work from home? How large is your space? What are the challenges with it? What works really well for you? Can you please include a photo or two of it, if possible.

I have my studio here in Baton Rouge that we operate out of. I just recently was able to move, after being in the same small space for the past 3 years, to a new space in the same complex, but the actual size I always wanted. Now, in my own space, I am able to have a dressing room, a shooting space with multiple looks, and a viewing room. I’ve been really blessed! Once I pop up my lights, I have no issues at all, as I am literally able to control every aspect of every single shot, and I have the space and range to do any and everything I want. What works the best for me a unique, vintage, giant, white chaise that all my clients fall in love with! Sometimes I think I’m booked just so that they can have a photo in it, lol.

Do you have any plans to change and/or grow from your space in the near future.

Hard for me to answer that because I just upgraded to the location I always desired to have. But as I mentioned earlier, I’ve convinced myself that there is always MORE, and I am always chasing that ideal, so I’ll probably be evolving again soon.

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

I think in boudoir that’s impossible. Now granted I, for the most part, keep weekends sectioned off and dedicate that to my family and my own self care, but Mondays thru Fridays I am at my clients’ leisure. Ideally, I prefer to start and conduct sessions in the morning, but that’s not ideal for every woman. Some have kid needs during the day; work, school, etc. So, we cater YOUR experience around YOUR needs and wants.

Natural Light, Studio Light, combination of styles? What’s your preference? What are your strengths and weaknesses with lighting, if any?

If I had to say I had any weaknesses with photography, it would be natural light. And it’s not really a weakness, I just don’t do it, so I have no need to get comfortable or knowledgeable with it. I believe in control, and being in full control of all things. Everything has to have a purpose and be exact, and to me, the only way to achieve that is with lighting. A perfectly placed light, or 3 (lol), can completely change and alter the feel of a photo, as well as dictate its impact on the viewer. I became a student of light from my inception, and each time I pick up a camera you can guarantee I will pop a light somewhat and manipulate it for my pleasure.

Do you have makeup artists you work with in your studio? If so, can you give me a run down of what the rate is you pay them and how you feel about the importance of that relationship. If you don’t use them, is there a reason?

My HMUA is my partner, in more ways than one. My HMUA is Nicky Hunter, aka The Pampered Princess, aka my wife. She helps with the creative direction of sessions, helping with lingerie selection and narrowing down, as well as offering to be the buffer between my domineering ways and clients. That’s become really important, because there is no other way around it, women feel more comfortable with other women, and it takes a strong personality to be able to reach me and help me see things I may not want to or refuse to understand. And clearly she’s strong…she married me.

Do you play music during sessions, and if so, what are some tracks on your playlist? Do you ask clients what music they like and if they would like certain music during their session?

I mostly defer to clients and their mood. Whatever they like and prefer, I want to hear it as well. Anything that has a beat I can vibe out to.


Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate



You began your photography business in 2011. What were you doing before you started your photo business?

Before photography, I was a behavioral therapist working with juvenile delinquents. As I hinted above, growing up in Oakland, I wasn’t always a model citizen. I fell into delinquency because it was all around me and you needed to fit in, you needed to belong in order to survive. But no matter what, I had the right people around me to keep instilling that THAT wasn’t for me and I was meant for something more. But some of the things I did led me to having to see counselors. And I remember sitting as a juvenile around old white men who couldn’t see me, just my assumed circumstances. And I remember thinking I could NEVER relate to them, and they could never tell me anything that I’d take seriously because I could not identify with them, I could not see myself as them, and they could never see ME because they’ve never been me. And I made up my mind that I wanted to be the change that I needed, to be the person who can sit across struggling black youth, and be a representation that there are other options, there are other ways, and what getting out and making a change can actually look like. My goal became to find and inspire the next “me” – a black kid who had all the potential in the world and was just uninspired, and open his eyes to more opportunities and choices. Give the people a choice and you give them a chance.

How has your business been impacted by this year’s COVID19 outbreak?

Business definitely shut down, which hurt for me because I was just getting into a full groove and getting everything consistent. However, I have a drive and plan, and business will be just fine. But the world NEEDED this shutdown, if we’re being honest about relations. The main reason, I feel, that everyone’s eyes are opening right now to the atrocities and injustices happening to blacks in this country is because…there is simply nothing else to look at. No sports, no entertainment, no regularly scheduled programming to blind everyone that their safe space is not applicable across the board. With nothing else to distract, America has to take the blinders off and see what we have been screaming for all our lives. This is nothing new. These cries aren’t just beginning, they were just muted because the convenience of everything else was available. Now we are all in the struggle of the pandemic together, and the fact that some struggle a whole lot more, simply because of the color of their skin, can no longer be ignored.


Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate



If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?

Get profit out of your head in the beginning. If you are getting into photography thinking you will make a quick and easy profit, you are sadly mistaken, and you won’t last long unless you change your mind. Don’t start trying to charge people and establishing your “business” that way. Find someone reputable you can shadow, watch and assist them, and learn from them. That total experience will give you a hands on experience of what photography really is, and lets you see what is required of you to be better, not just yourself, but the photography field as a whole.

Do you find being a male photographer is more challenging than being a female photographer in the boudoir genre?

I love everything about what I do. Every time I pick my camera up, I know that I am changing lives. I know each photo I take will be a cherished memory that someone will use to tell a story for the rest of their lives. 

I photograph women in their most vulnerable moments. I encourage them to undress all of their insecurities in front of me. No matter how therapeutic, empowering, and positive I make this experience, many get caught up on one particular part of the process: I encourage women to undress in front of me. And as a male, a black male, that stigma makes it more of a difficulty for me to reach potential clients. But once I do, when I actually get into my zone…my experience is second to none.

Have you experienced prejudices and bias as a male black photographer? Can you share some of those experiences? Do you find that being in the boudoir genre has added to those biases?

At age 5, I was called the n word for the first time by a white student who hated losing to me in every category in class. And when I retaliated, yes violently, although every teacher and administrator acknowledged the boy was in the wrong and the instigator, I was the one punished, and they attempted to make me apologize. My mother pulled me out of that school.

Playing baseball, I’ve been called every racial slur and demeaning name associated with being black, and I needed to learn to not respond each and every time, as I was judged on my reactions, not the fact that my humanity was being disrespected. It was as if it were my responsibility to just accept it, because if I didn’t, I only confirmed the stereotype and I was unworthy of the opportunities I had actually created for myself. I graduated top of my class from an HBCU, with a masters, and I still hear others think that my education is lesser because I had a “black experience”.

Today I am still targeted just for being me. I still get pulled over DWB, driving while black for those new to the term. And what does that entail? Simply being pulled over for having a nice car and having to prove that it is mine. I am questioned if I am a resident in my own neighborhood, and that is always accompanied by the question, “Well what do you do” because I must be extraordinary to simply live in such a “privileged” area.

Photography is no different. I will never forget, during my first AIBP conference, the instructor stopped in the middle of teaching, walked over and touched my hair because it looked “so cool”, and while I sat there fuming on the inside, I was faced with my baseball training once again – that I couldn’t react because that room of peers and instructors, where I was one of 3 blacks, wouldn’t understand, and I’d only further the stereotype and the prejudice of the angry black man.

What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?

Being a therapist and being very self-aware keeps me from dealing with burnout. Control is very big to me. I control me. I control my schedule. I am responsible for everything about me, including my peace. I won’t allow myself to over-schedule. I take the time to enjoy the things I love the most – playing sports and finding things to compete in, cooking and grilling, and of course fishing. I can’t provide the perfect, empowering experience for women if I am less than powerful, so I can’t allow it.

What do you love about the business?

I just love photography. And I love the personal moments of the genre I provide. I can only pick up my camera if I feel the moment actually matters and is not just another click. Boudoir helps to provide that for me.

What do you hate about the business?

I can’t think of much that I don’t like 

Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI? What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?


Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it? AIBP runs contests regularly. Do you participate? If not, is there a reason you don’t?

I used to compete in some competitions, but I stopped because I noticed a theme in the perception of beauty and what the standard was. Like most things in the world, there was no diversity, no different representations, so I began to feel what I loved and what I did was outside of the norm that gets showcased. My focus just remains on my experience to clients. That is the greatest award to me. I am literally in this to make others fall in love with themselves, everything else is just a bonus.


Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate



Favorite food?

Omg, I’m a sucker for Mexican and sushi! I’ll NEVER have abs because I can’t avoid these.

One guilty pleasure in life?

Anyone who knows me knows one thing if nothing else…I’m the best drinking partner to have! I love a great tequila, and I collect all types of alcohol, and I love introducing everyone to new types of liquor that they never knew they needed in their life. Friends stay in my home often simply to enjoy great libations and joyous times.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?

The only thing that can constitute as a favorite clothing for me are Jordans. I have more Jordans than most women have heels, and that’s sad, lol. But every time new Jordans drop, you can almost guarantee I will be getting a pair, especially if they are Jordan 11s, 12s, or 13s. No matter the color, no matter if I bought the same exact shoe and color a few years before, I’m getting them. Aside from that, you’ll be hard pressed to see me outside the color black.

What’s one song on your playlist?

I’m really in love with the Joyner Lucas “Will” with Will Smith. It highlights a lot of heroes and role models I idolized coming up.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?

Put me anywhere in the world with blue water and biting fish and I am in absolute heaven

If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?

I honestly wouldn’t change anything. Yes, there are a plethora of moment I wish I could get back. Numerous opportunities I didn’t take advantage of, and would love a second chance at. And things I would love to have do overs with. But everything I am and have accomplished are because of my experiences and reactions to them, and who knows what happens if I pull any thread.

If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?

Ken Griffey, Jr. was always my idol and hero, he’d be a dream to shoot, with that beautiful swing. I’m not really a celebrity chaser. I like setting goals on things that are in my sights. I’d love to photograph Cate Scaglione and Erin Zahradka, two women in boudoir that inspire me. 

What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)

Stopping! I will push myself so hard and so far that I have to be restrained just to stop. My mentality has always been that I will rest when I die, and my mind never shuts down, so when I decide to relax, I convince myself I am being complacent, and I’m back up and moving. Remember, I said I’m obsessed, and that’s in everything I am passionate about.

Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

My mother is my greatest inspiration. She was not only the first black to hold her position at work, she was the first woman. And what resulted was double the discrimination. She dealt with it everyday and held her head high, while on the inside it was killing her, literally. The discrimination she faced almost took her life and placed her on disability because she never addressed it and just kept on her path. She made sure that cycle would not repeat in me and molded me, motivated to be at my best, and taught me to be outspoken and stand up for what I believe in. Her sacrifices allowed me to rise above and change my circumstances, and I am forever grateful for her, as I stand on the shoulders of her struggle and arise as royalty. It’s what created my forever gratitude and appreciation to the strength of a woman.


Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate


Finally, if you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be?

They will never tell you the full story. You have to seek that on your own. People can only share from their perspective and that will always be skewed and biased, no matter how decent and positive that person is. As a result, it is upon you to educate yourself to what is and what is not possible, and inspire the change and circumstances you want to see. The world is an absolutely ugly and horrendous place. The world is beautiful with every fantasy you could ever imagine at your fingertips. Both are true, it just all depends on what reality you choose to believe in more, and navigate and evolve to manifest.


Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate

Image by DJ Hunter of Prince Photography, Dangerously Delicate


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