|I'm a Ravens fan, but...HTTR!|
Speed on the Beat: I was first introduced to your work through a friend of one of my Instagram followers who posed for Naked Hustle, Ariela also known as @Vanillabean_Frap. For those that don’t know who you are, could you give us a little insight into, well, who you are? (Laughs)
Tre: I am Tre’ of 3TheHardwayMedia and CEO of Naked Hustle Magazine and Angels Magazine.
SOTB: Where are you from?
TTHW: Washington, DC-born and raised. Love MY CITY!
SOTB: How has your life—up to now, of course—had an influence on what you do?
TTHW: Well, let’s start with where I’m from—Chocolate City. All the beautiful ladies here in the DMV influenced me getting into the business I am in. But I’m an athlete first, so striving to be the best at what you do day in and day out is where it all starts for me. Photography was something I got into to relax myself. Something non-sports related, where I could still be creative. And, then the competitive drive within me began to kick in and I decided to make it more than just a casual hobby. I had many ties with some of the ladies who were shooting and got tired of hearing some of the bull and games they were dealing with. So I decided to give them another outlet where they wouldn’t have to worry about that but still get quality images and opportunities at visibility and career progression.
SOTB: What inspired you to start Naked Hustle? As I mentioned in my IG post about the College issue, your magazine is the first I’ve purchased in years—and that’s including hip-hop, sports, etc.
TTHW: Well, we did not start Naked Hustle. The founder of Naked Hustle Magazine is Ms. Lovelle. She founded the magazine and decided she wanted to focus more on the culinary arts. She is now Chef Lovelle. You can find info on her on all our social media sites. When she decided she wanted to move on, my partner, HeavenLeigh, and I decided we wanted to keep her dream going and moving forward and we made a deal to acquire the magazine and keep it rolling. We wanted to give folks a magazine where they would be pleased they purchased and want to continue coming back.
SOTB: Who’s been your favorite model to shoot?
TTHW: You’re trying to get me into trouble (Laughs). Honestly, any shoot that has multiple models in it, where they get along and enjoy working together is an extremely fun shoot for me. I love to have fun when I’m shooting—plenty of laughs, jokes and HEAT coming out of the shoot. Shoots which include Team3TheHardwaymedia models (The Angels) such as Heavenleigh, Envius Libra, Ariella, Carrie Michelle, Dreamgyrl, Niik, just to name a few, are some of my faves—always.
SOTB: I noticed that one of your issues features adult star Kelly Divine. How’d you score that exclusive?
TTTW: Credit for that exclusive goes to one of our West Coast affiliates, DJ JamX. We support all things involving the Naked Hustle—porn stars, models, dancers, etc. So, when he brought the idea to us about that shoot? Of course we were all in. Kelly is a real sweetheart also. And you will see plenty more fire from JamX in the future in the mag.
SOTB: Can you hook a brother up with her number (Laughs)? Naw, but seriously, that’s a big thing and a good look. But, aside from NH, what other projects are you currently working on?
TTHW: Trust me. If I had it, I would be holding that one for ransom (Laughs). Well, we of course have the other magazine Angels rocking and rolling. Check out www.angelsmagazineinc.com for information on that magazine as well. We are getting ready for 2014 for both magazines. Updates themes for Angels are on the site. And www.nakedhustle.com will have updated themes for the upcoming year soon also. We continue to shoot outstanding work for other magazines also, not just our own. Kurves N Cakes Magazine is an affiliate of ours in CA which we work very closely with as well. We continue to get great support from Stunnaz Magazine, as well as other major publications nationally. So with this network we have built, we just want to continue to bring quality images at a reasonable price for all those who are looking for publishable material and as for us we want to continue to make as much positive noise with our publications as possible going into 2014 and well beyond. We are not going anywhere.
SOTB: What inspired you to go into photography as a whole? I know, personally, I got into it as a hobby and, due to a couple things, it never went past that.
TTHW: Same here. It was a hobby that was meant to relax me. I found myself looking at photographs and studying them—not just looking at them—and I was given some great advice by one of the best photographers in the DMV, Donato Sebastian, that I had a good eye and should consider taking it more seriously. I did just that, began to work on my craft, and the fire began to burn to continue to be the best I could be. Never being satisfied, I started getting my work published, and it was like a drug—I wanted more.
SOTB: So with that said, what tips would you give to aspiring photographers?
TTHW: Take it seriously, do your homework, don’t believe your own hype, and don’t do it only to see the ladies! Study all genres and continue to shoot and build your network. Every pro started as an amateur. You have to have thick skin, though, because there will be a lot of people who will throw shade your way or become threatened by you, bring drama, and all of that. You have to persevere though. If you want it bad enough, let nothing stop you.
SOTB: Inversely, since you’ve worked with them, what tips would you give to aspiring models? I mean, the “real” ones, not those that take a thousand and three selfies, add a filter, and call it artistic (Laughs)
TTHW: For starters, be willing to invest in quality images and really do your homework or what you want. Don’t look for the first guy who wants to take shots of you just because it’s free. That will not progress you anywhere in the long run. Also, don’t take a couple photos and then start hollering you only shoot paid assignments, you don’t pay for shoots. Trust me, those of us who are heavy involved in the business laugh at you. (Editor’s Note: Those outside the business usually laugh at you too. I’ve been around quite a few “models” with this attitude. The ish runs thin quickly.) Nobody knows you, will know you and you don’t pay for shoots? Yeah, we can tell by the quality of the images normally. Take the business seriously if you want it to be your business. Link up with quality people and your work will speak volumes. If you don’t take yourself seriously, no one will take you seriously.
SOTB: Where can interested parties (fans, models, photographers, etc.) reach you?
TTHW: This list might go on forever but I’ll give the basics (Laughs).
Instagram: @3thehardwaymedia @Angels_Magazine @Nakedhustlemagv2
SOTB: Any last shoutouts?
TTHW: I want to thank you for allowing us this time and giving us this interview and supporting us in all endeavors. I want to thank my partner in crime, Ms. Heavenleigh (www.msheavenleigh.com). No matter the ideas I have, and how I want to push the business forward, as crazy as it might be or the work that might be involved she rides with me and puts forth the effort to help make it happen. I want to give a shoutout to my team (The Angels), some of whom I mentioned above, be it in front of the camera, handling makeup for shoots, or just keeping a crazy cat like me from going over the deep end all is definitely appreciated.
Shoutout to those who jumped ship too soon or attempted to sabotage the ship. Now, some might wonder why I show those folks love. Well, that type of stuff keeps my fire burning and seeing y’all mad bring a sick smile to my face here and there (Laughs). But, one final shoutout is due to all the true fans and supporters, every model I have dealt with, magazines, artists, websites and everyone who supports our business moves. Keep holding us down and we will keep giving you fire to come back to.