PICTURES: ALL BY APRIL WAE
April Wae (INSTAGRAM: @aprilwae) . Photographer, drone pilot, nude model, sex blogger, rooftopper – she doesn’t limit herself in what she likes and stands for. This Indonesian girl is brave enough not to follow the rules and standards neither in life nor in her pictures. You won’t find “the most instagramable spots” in her profile–she’s not following the trends, she makes her own. Her stories in Instagram are being too hot and expressions she uses sometimes are not for sensitive vanilla ladies to read. Hong Kong is her 4th country to stay. She takes pictures of Hong Kong with all it’s imperfections and with love. Here April reveals the truth on underside of Hong Kong, gives a tip on how to look better on photo and explains why guys order nude photo shoots.
M8H: Sex blogging is what you have started with before you became a photographer. Which kind of experience it was? What was the idea?
April: I’ve started blogging 5 years ago in Malaysia. It was a platform driven by a team: some members were doing interviews, some of them – consulting people asking for psychological advice. Most of the articles were about fantasies of random people we interviewed.
Why? Because everyone talks about sex. But usually its done in couples, secretly. I was just trying to make people go out and talk about this out loud. Like, for example, 9 out of 10 girls have ever sent their naked pics to guys. Even you, right? But yeah, even most of the girls do, they will never share this. Our blog was the community talking about sex topics freely and exchanging the experience, showing that people are not alone in what they dream about.
M8H: How did you switch your focus from sex blogging to photography?
April: Sex blogging started being prohibited in Malaysia about 4 years ago. One day we just found our site blocked. That time I got my camera, moved to Hong Kong and started shooting. But I have my personal sex blog now.
M8H: So, now I start to understand where your interest in erotic pictures comes from. By the way, I find the idea of posting your nude photos together with Hong Kong street views in Instagram very unique. But sometimes you post very rude replies to the messages to get in Direct.
April: People in Hong Kong are very aggressive. I feel like 99% of my subscribers think I’m a hooker, judging without even knowing me. Every time I post nude photo or a sexy story, 5 to 10 friends unsubscribe me and someone asks me in Direct about the price for an hour with me. I cannot keep silent about this. I can reply in a very rude manner. Actually none of my Indonesian friends would care about nude pictures. People in Indonesia are more relaxed and positive.
M8H: So coming back to photography. How did you learn it?
April: After the blog was closed I just got my camera and decided to become a photographer. Many people say I am talented. But talent doesn’t mean anything. It took me 5 years to understand my camera. I want to say that photographing is about to follow your feelings, work hard and learn.
M8H: You say: “I’m shooting whatever I see, but what I see is not always beautiful”. What do you mean?
April: People used to see Hong Kong only from one angle – a wonderful place, always bright and positive. But what I see – lot’s of homeless and needies having no choice in their lives, working hard sometimes and getting nothing in return. Even simple respect. My goal as a photographer is to wake people in Hong Kong up and show them those who live just next to them and don’t actually need a lot – just a little respect and support. They don’t need LV bags or something.
M8H: You shoot nude and act as nude model as well. It looks like a powerful instrument to attract the audience. How it works in your Instagram?
April: I look at nude photography in a different way. I do want to balance in the middle between being a photographer and a model. Nude is artistic, I don’t use it just to promote myself. I only have around 20 nude pictures out of 500 in my Instagram – not much! And it’s not like taking a selfie. I do shoot nude pictures because it’s meaningful for me, I consider this as the art. And the key for me is to show that the beauty standards don’t exist.
M8H: I know you shoot guys too. Why do they ask you for this?
April: Most of the guys want good photos for Tinder. Actually, I shoot very normal guys. I don’t shoot those with 6 packs. Again. It’s more like an art thing. Look at this one (Showing a pic of a nude guy. – M8H). He doesn’t have 6 packs, obviously, but you can tell, that the full picture is beautiful and artistic.
M8H: But it seems too artistic for Tinder. By the way, Could you please give us a tip on how to look better on photos?
April: You just have to be happy about yourself , be satisfied and confident. The picture is the way you see yourself. Nobody will tell you are beautiful unless you admit it yourself. But usually people prefer the opposite. They say to themselves: My face is too big, ass is too small, I don’t have boobies, I’m too fat. It doesn’t matter for beauty at all.
M8H: My last question is about Hong Kong. If you had the last day in Hong Kong, where would you go and what would you do?
April: I’d just grab my camera, starting my trip from Kowloon, I’d take a ferry to Central and walk around there. It’s real Hong Kong for me, don’t you think so?