Restrained Elegance is 22 years old!

Hi everyone,

1st April marks Restrained Elegance’s 22nd birthday! I didn’t choose to launch the site on April Fool’s day – it had been intended to launch a few days later on or around 4th April. But the billing had already gone live, and such was the fierce interest in fetish sites in the early days of mass internet access, I got my first member before I even knew the site was open for business.

So here we are, stuck with April Fool’s Day. Let’s celebrate!

For RE members, I’ve opened up the site so the updates and archives go back a whole year. If you missed out before, take the chance to catch up this weekend. I can’t keep this much material on the site for long, the bandwidth bills would be crippling, so don’t miss out!

And if you are not a member today is the day to join – you’ll get 112,493 photos and 277 video clips (total duration 67 hours, 38 minutes) but the offer lasts for THIS WEEKEND ONLY! Now’s your chance to get double the bondage for your money!

If you prefer to purchase clips and sets individually I am also running a 50% off SALE on our eStore, THIS WEEKEND ONLY.

That includes all our Elegance Studios films like Scarlett’s First and Second Sessions, Slave Auction, all our D&D Feature Films, the Pony Girl trilogy plus all our updates from the last five-plus years!

I won’t be running another sale like this this year, so don’t miss out!

March already!

Hello friends,

It’s March already, how did that happen? I’m very much looking forward to this week for three reasons. First, because I have a two day shoot with two stunning models for some creative custom videos. Second, because that shoot is the last in my mega-hectic run of shoots catching up on content since the pandemic. And third because that means I get to switch gears a bit and head into the editing suite to work on a lot of the 3 years’ and more worth of content I’ve shot in the last twelve months… not least to finally deliver a few outstanding customs which haven’t been edited yet.

In retrospect I took on too many customs in the last six months given that I was also shooting three times as much as I do in a normal year (to replace the “stock” of stuff on disc that I put otu during lockdowns when it was forbidden to shoot with external models). It’s been fine keeping up with the editing for the 20 minute straightforward ones, but some of the outstanding ones are cinematic films with lots of camera angles, multiple scenes, multiple models, visual effects work needed, which will benefit from careful sound design and grading scene-by-scene or shot-by-shot. So apologies once again to the three customers who are still waiting on their grandest and most cinematic commissions from me – I should have the time in the next couple of months to spend the multiple days your films deserve!

The same applies to my own more cinematic projects – Lucy’s D&D film shot just before lockdown still has all its complicated and thrilling outdoor sequences to come, there are full-day or full-weekend location films with multiple models that will take a week to edit, more in the Horror-film inspired pipeline of work, five hundred unedited photosets, a hundred a twenty unedited video projects – some of which are two hour long “proper” films or multi-part storylines.









Normal production for the rest of this year is going to feel relaxed after twelve months of crunch. I have four one-week location shoots booked which form the spine of the year’s filming, and I’m just starting to book in the shorter shoots now. My aim is to work with many new-to-RE models, get more of established RE favourites and do a bit more trade shooting (where I film for the model’s productions as well as shooting them for RE). I love shooting for RE and Silk Soles, but it is super-interesting to have a few days where I shoot different fetishes and work in different styles – stops me getting stale. Very often the model will say “well I’d like it to look like an alien operating theatre” and I’ll think – I have some props and stuff I can pull out of the kit room to make that happen. I love creative collaboration!

If there are any UK based models you’d like to see on RE drop me a line to suggest them. (I’ll work with non-UK models too if they are travelling here but it’s easier to schedule with British models).

I’ve got pet projects of my own. More Horror-film inspired stuff (I’m toying with giving this it’s own little mini-site at BrideOfDarkness.com . Working more with the anamorphic lenses. More in the “visit to the pro dom as a treat” series that I’ve shot with Lucy Lauren and Faerie Willow so far – got a few models in interested in that, you’ll see the first scenes on RE next month. I want to shoot some more gothic or baroque sets with overblown storylines. I want to shoot more polaroid sets – got an idea for a “found footage” storyline where we see what’s happening through the eyes of the heroine’s polaroid camera, Blair Witch but for bondage.

If there are themes, styles, storylines and stuff you’d like to see me do more of this year, let me know! And if you want any customs, I’ll be opening custom requests once I’ve got shoot dates booked in with models. There will not be anything like as many slots this year though as I want to avoid the editing logjam this time around.

Silk Soles has a bunch of shoot ideas bubbling around too – I very much enjoyed last year’s trade shoot with Faye Taylor, I’ve got a bunch of ideas to shoot with Ariel, I’ll be grabbing more stuff on location throughout the year, and I’ve even shot some foot fetish horror sets with Scarlet Foxett to treat you to as soon as I get into the editing flow. I’d be up for shooting more Silk Soles videos this year but they’d need to be customs, for some reason the Silk Soles videos never sell as well for me on Clips4Sale as the RE bondage ones do, so I’d need a bit of help to make sure the production costs are covered. Please drop me a line to webmaster@restrainedelegance.com if you are interested!

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Restrained Elegance is 21 today!

Wow, it feels like a huge achievement. My little website that I launched to help pay for fun bondage photoshoots is 21 years old today.

No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke!

I wouldn’t have chosen April 1st as a launch date – in fact the site was supposed to launch on April 4th. But when I checked how the site set-up was doing, from next to the swimming pool in a Los Angeles motel whilst waiting for Stacy Burke to arrive for what would have been something like my tenth photoshoot, I discovered not only had the site and the billing gone live, but the site already had its first member. So 1st April 2001 it was, a few days early.

I’d spin you a long tale about the adventures we’ve had in those years, from hobby to hobby-covering-costs to second job to making more money than being a physicist to making TWICE as much money as being a physicist. Quitting my academic career and going full-time. Getting a photo studio. Getting rid of the photo studio at the very earliest opportunity. Finding a new partner, running the business together. The friends and colleagues made along the way, location trips and bondage and spanking and BDSM and bastinado and all manner of kinky good things. Government crack-downs, billing company woes, PayPal blocking my business account, ATVOD, credit card company rules, the rise of social media… it’s been quite a ride and it shows no signs of stopping yet.

But I don’t have time to go in to all of that, because I’m backing up everything we shot on a two-day shoot with Lauren Louise and I’m getting ready for a marathon cosplay D&D BDSM shoot next week which I’m SUPER EXCITED about because Zoe posted one of her character/costume creations on Twitter last night and it looks bloody awesome.

So I’ll leave you to look through today’s bumper crop of archives which tell a bit of the story of Restrained Elegance. If you’ve missed out on any of our updates from the last few years, I’m running a 50% off sale on our eStore this weekend only. I’ll run a discount on the Classic store for older sets later on this month.

Thank you all for your help and support and enthusiasm. You’ve made all of this possible, and your continued support is what lets us tie up hot girls and film them for you for a living to this day!

Hywel

2022 Plans – Part One

We always have a January meeting to decide our priorities for Restrained Elegance and Silk Soles. It’s a bit of a weird one this year because of Omicron: we don’t know whether there’s going to be lockdown, or it’s going to burn itself out, or what. So Ariel and I have planned conservatively and are planning on working from home for January at least.

We shot a mountain of material in Autumn/Fall while we could get models in to the house and I’m excited to get stuck in to the editing. You’ll already have seen the first results from the stellar shoot with Alba Zevon, there’s three days’ worth of that shoot to edit. There’s some red-hot footage with Scarlett Foxette, some sultry steel with Bex White, and multi-girl adventures with Lucy Lauren, Chloe Toy, Faye Taylor and Ariel. I’ve still got plenty of Charlie Ten, Stephanie Bonham-Carter and Kitty Quinzell to edit, and a stock of material with people like Sophia Smith, Rachelle Summers, Natalia Forrest, Zoe Page, Anna, Temptress Kate, Lauren Louise, and more.

New Year’s Resolution is to get stuck in to editing the rest of the Cosplay Dungeon D&D film we shot with Lucy Lauren in March 2020. This was the last thing we shot before lockdown, and I’ve been superstitiously sitting on it because it’s really really hot and I’m very proud of it, and for some reason I didn’t want to “lose” it from my stash. Bad Hywel, get it edited and get it out there because it is super – and hopefully we’ll be shooting the next one in a few months!

Alexander Lightspear has been an absolute superstar working machine over the last couple of years, shooting
as many different models as possible to help me keep up the variety of new faces while it’s been tricky for us to schedule so many shoots. So I’ve got literally dozens of sets of Delta, Cheryl, Irene, Nicole, Elaine, Sylvia, Kitty, Agnes, Thelma, Anne, Annette, Peggy and Suzanne to come. Best wishes to him in 2022 especially as he got COVID in the Delta wave – hope Omicron leaves you be, Alexander.

In total I have over 400 stills sets on disk right now- back up to a good couple of years stock, which is what I always liked to run at. It’s a bit short on variety of models and variety of locations (because COVID) but I hope you’ll somehow bear up under the strain of more Delta and Alba Zevon?

Videos we have about 100 – a bit shy of two years’ worth, again not with as wide a variety of models as I’d usually hope for in my on-disk stock. We’re going to book more video shoots with more different models as soon as we can.

I’m excited to expand our video shoots this year because we’ve got more custom requests coming in. We also have an increasing number of sales of videos on video platforms like Clips4Sale and ManyVids. Buying patterns have changed the big platforms now have their own dedicated pool of customers who don’t buy via other routes.

To sell well on these platforms ideally you need to update daily to stay on front pages. You’ve allowed two versions of each clip, so that means a new video every two days. I refuse to sacrifice the hard-won RE technical quality, so that might not be achievable. Ramping up from the current one video per six days to one video every three days seems like a good start!

We’ll see what that means for RE updates as the year goes on. I’ve stuck to two photosets to one video since we changed update schedule, but as I said at the time that may have to change as the industry evolves. So we might experiment with more like a half-and-half mixture once we’ve got more videos coming down the pipeline. I LOVE shooting stills so I’m never going to stop, just adjust the mix.

I’m really excited by the shoots Ariel and I have planned for the start of the year, and getting geared up for the two big multi-model shoots we have in the calendar for April and May already. Fingers crossed they will all go ahead as planned! Then I’ll be fitting in solo model shoots focussing on customs and videos with as many of the RE regulars as possible to fill out the variety on disk, and grab some more of
the rising new bondage stars as soon as I can too. 2022 should be very exciting!

For the moment, SilkSoles is going to stick with its stills format. Confession: I’ve not cracked the formula for shooting SilkSoles videos that sell well. The growth side of the business is clearly bondage videos. I LOVE shooting beautiful barefoot babes but I can’t justify the extra time and editing to do foot fetish videos when a bondage one will sell ten times as many copies.

Elegance Studios has been overtaken by events. When website videos ran to 5 minutes, a 45 minute Elegance Studios video was a real event and quite distinct. Now website videos run to 30 minutes routinely, the lines have become so blurred that almost everything is shot like an Elegance Studios video was back in the day! We’re still doing big productions like the D&D cosplay series but it’s integrated into the video pipeline to go onto clips stores etc. as well as appearing here.

We’re excited for 2022 and we hope to see a lot of you this year!

2022 Custom Video Schedule

UPDATE: See this post

COVID is continuing to confound my attempts to draw up a sensible schedule as we don’t know what measures are going to be brought in to deal with the Omicron variant. I have an absolute ton of editing to catch up on after the last four months of hectic shooting so I was only planning to shoot Ariel over the winter anyway (December, January and February). So that part of the plan still holds.

For March and April I will be booking shoots with models either solo or with Ariel assisting. We have a location shoot booked in May.

Who I book first will depend on the demand for customs with that model. So if you would be interested in a custom with any of the following please let me know.

Solo Shoots

These are the models I am most likely to shoot solo early next year. I’m hoping to book some new models as well. I will add them to this list when I have a shoot pencilled in.

  • Alba Zevon, assuming her planned trip goes ahead
  • Ariel Anderssen
  • Chloe Toy
  • Czech Beauty
  • Faye Taylor
  • Hannah Claydon
  • Lauren Louise
  • Lucy Lauren
  • Natalia Forrest
  • Penny Lee
  • Rachelle Summers
  • Scarlett Foxette
  • Sophia Smith
  • Tillie
  • Zoe Page

Lucky dip customs: 250 UK pounds. You get to specify five details, we fill in the rest. For example you might want her nude (1) in hinged handcuffs (2) and ballgagged (3) part way through the video as she’s a struggling damsel in distress (4) who is forced to strip during the video by her captor (5). You can give us a brief outline of who she’s meant to be etc.. but then let us choose details like which room we film her in. These run 10-30 minutes at the pace the story dictates. We can shoot several of these in a day, which is why we can offer them at such a low price.

Fully-specified customs: typically 400-1000 UK pounds. You get to specify everything, we will do our best to comply. We will require you to provide any costumes, props or bondage gear we don’t already have. These usually take at least half a day to shoot, or a full day if they are multi-scene and complex. Hence the higher price.

Multi-Girl Location Shoots

We have:

  • Ariel Anderssen
  • Lucy Lauren
  • Scarlett Foxette

Farmhouse location shoot in May. Only Lucky dip customs are available as we have to be efficient with our shoot to make the most of the location. But for 250 UK pounds you can get a multi-model video for the same price as a solo one would normally be!

Contact Me

To discuss the details of your custom please email me at webmaster@restrainedelegance.com.