I chatted to creative agency Sticks and Stones about love, having a business with your partner, and of course shooting babes.
If anyone likes to get down and dirty as much as I do, it’s these two.
Sticks and Stones agency owners, Ainsley & Sebastien are known for a few things: their wedding, tattoos, and importantly creative direction and photography. They also appreciate that all babes are babes, who deserve to be shown to the world.
While I wasn’t invited to their Vegas wedding, I was invited into their bathroom. And between you and I, I plan to stay there. #letsbefrank
What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up?
A: Should I go brush my teeth & respond to this thing that keeps on stabbing my back or pretend I’m asleep for a bit longer?
S: Figure out how to show Ains some love… Start with a slow back tickle & then snuggle spoon her until it’s on!
Then, what’s the first thing you do?
A: Pretend I’m asleep for a bit longer & then brush my teeth &…
S: Usually snuggle spoon [and more], then shower & a coffee while we read conspiracy mags together.
You’re the risqué duo that created S&S agency, mixing business and pleasure. Tell us a bit about this relationship?
A: It mostly works incredibly well. When we are on the same page I feel like we could accomplish anything. On the rare occasion that we don’t agree on something, its f***** because we bring all of our emotions into it & a backlog of shit from the past 7 years that has nothing to do with ‘what should our new logo look like’.
S: It’s crazy that it even works so well! Working with your lover/ best friend / wife is great. We do things the opposite way & I like to think that we compliment each other most of the time.
How did it first start?
A: Met, fell in love, moved in together & started a clothing label all within 3 weeks. Clothing label turned into a fashion agency. Fashion agency turned into whatever we are doing now. We make it up as we go.
S: I was making coffee & Ains came strolling in, all sexy in her work out gear. It was like magic how quickly we connected. I think she cast some kind of spell on me.
The hardest thing about working with your partner?
A: Explaining to your partner that your idea is better than theirs. Haha.
S: Sometimes we have passionate arguments about artistic process & have to compromise on ideas. In the end I usually realise that Ains was right in the first place. Haha
One thing you’ll never let the agency do or become?
S: The agency will not become an ‘agency’. We like doing things “the wrong way”. The agency will never become too serious. We like it to be raw & real. Same as our sex.
Your shoots aren’t exactly PG rated. What inspires this?
A: I have no idea. I don’t even really think about it. It just happens. We hate overly sexualised imagery but we love natural sexiness. To us there is a clear, distinct difference. Our models will never be pushing their boobs up into the camera but we definitely are not afraid of nudity. People tell us we are edgy all the time but we just don’t see it. We love fun, cheeky, carefree, natural looking pictures & that’s usually what we end up with at the end of a very fun day shooting.
S: I guess there is a grey area between art & porn. A difference between objectification & empowerment. A beauty in sexuality without sex, & in the nude form that most people are attracted to. There is power in owning your own sexuality. We like to show photos that empower instead of victimise. At the end of the day, photography is an art form & open for individual interpretation.
Your creative muse…
A: Sebastien… But if I need to look outside for some inspo I always watch comedic creative geniuses on & behind shows like ‘Workaholics’, ‘The Mighty Boosh’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ & my new fave ‘High Maintenance’. WATCH IT!!!
S: I would say Ainsley. I am inspired by her daily.
One thing your creative following of fans wouldn’t know about you?
A: Behind the scenes we are parents 5 days of the week (for 2 days our kids are with our exes). We don’t party, we eat an organic vegetarian diet, we hardly go out unless it’s work related & we don’t do drugs. To other people we probably sound pretty boring, but we are living our life exactly how we like it best. Doing creative shit & loving each other in the comfort of our home most nights of the week.
S: That I only ever use the handicap toilets when out in public. I can not listen to strangers doing their biz right next to me… it’s unnatural!
The craziest thing you’ve done for a shoot?
A: Once we shot Sebastien in an adult store dressed up as Jesus. I actually didn’t think much of it until I started seeing the reactions from the customers.
S: Pretended to be shipwrecked on an island & then spent the next few hours building a shelter. My friend & I rolled around in the ocean & sand for a beard product video. Or when I got flown to Morocco for an Urban Outfitters modelling job. Both equally as crazy.
And the craziest thing you want to do?
A: I have so many shoot ideas & most of them are crazy… The next thing I wanna do on camera is a guide to surviving magpie season. Sebastien I will be filmed trying out all different methods that are meant to scare off magpies & see if it works while we walk through a known magpie terrorist section of our neighbourhood.
S: I want to make a tv show with Ains where we test drive luxury cars. Picture us stepping out of a yellow Lamborgini with Katy Perry blasting. We would do a shitty tour of the city & pair pop music with each luxury car, like wine with food.
The one reason why your wedding was better than a traditional wedding?
A: Best part about our wedding was making it up on the day. No expectations, no rules, no time schedules aside from getting to the chapel on time… Otherwise they give your half hour slot away.
S: Because it was what we wanted to do for us…f*** everyone else!
Tell me about your beauty regime.
A: It always changes depending on what I have in the shower when I jump in. We are constantly travelling & so often our shit is left behind in hotels or we just haven’t got round to unpacking yet or the kids have stolen our shit.
Ideally I like to coffee scrub my whole body down & cleanse my face. Every few days I will scrub my face & do a mask too.
S: My favourite thing is to do a full body scrub & step into my pink fluffy house robe & Nike slides. I then make Ains & I a coffee & a smoothie while we listen to music & read a magazine. I have been playing a lot of Mozart lately.
What products or ingredients are essential to you?
A: COFFEE SCRUB!!!
S: Twizzors, nailclippers, beard trimmer, peppermint oil, and nail polish.
You used all of my products. What was your favourite and why?
A: COFFEE SCRUB!!! It smells so f***ing good & at the risk of sounding like an infomercial… it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft.
S: Coffee scrub!
Ainsley, your hair is always a different colour. What is your secret to keeping it healthy?
A: An incredible hairdresser, that will only bleach it when my hair can handle it. I’m also really blessed with a lot of strong hair that can handle a lot of abuse.
Sebastien, you’ve got heaps of tattoos. What do you do to care for them when you first get them?
S: Keep them dry, apply your tattoo cream regularly & keep them out of the sun!!!
You have two days off work – where will I find you?
A: Relaxing & eating special brownies on the beach followed by rly rly good sexy time & a whole lot of food.
S: At a café having a smoothie, beach, skate, dinner & a movie with my bb. Then home with a bottle of wine & couch snuggle each other until it turns into… Day two: repeat day one.
Who should I get down and dirty with next?
A: My homie Rachel Finley – @instasteak
S: @rickisamhall & his GF.
#letsbefrank, you both have one piece of advice to tell a member of the opposite sex. What would it be?
A: Ladies you can have whatever you want if you do just one thing for your man…
S: Find your inner happiness first so that you attract someone else who is also happy inside…