Meet Sidney Manuel

How do you like working with Elyssa?

She's my favorite person to make photos with. From the first time we talked around two years ago and decided to shoot together it's been that way. We always click when it comes to bouncing ideas off of each other and making a simple shoot become something more. We both like being edgy and pushing boundaries with our photos. Short answer to this question is "Love it" lol. 

How did the idea come about for this series?

Well Elyssa and I always talk about Asian themed stuff because we both love the culture. Japan is my top destination to travel to one day and live there for awhile hopefully. She loves to dress up like a Japanese doll with big eyes and colorful wigs all the time. I knew of this special area in the botanical gardens here in New Orleans that is themed like a Japanese garden. So our plan was to go to this spot and wait until 30 minutes before they close to shoot so nobody would be walking around the area. But to our surprise when we arrived at the Botanical Gardens we saw all of these Chinese props and lanterns hanging all around the place. They were preparing for and exhibit about Chinese Culture Lights. So we just decided to shoot all around the park using their stuff as our props lol. It couldn't have worked out better. So we brought a little Asian flair to our photos. 

What's it like photographing in New Orleans?

New Orleans is a very interesting place to shoot in. I've only really shot here since I've started. I went to New York for a week and had some shoots there but besides that New Orleans has been my baby for my photography life. This place is really gritty and has a lot of flavor so it's pretty easy to find cool locations. If you want to do some vintage styled photos they have antique houses everywhere. If you want to do abandoned house styled photos they have those by the hundreds since Katrina happened. If you want to do outside swamp/woods styled stuff we have those too. Like I said it's a unique blend of dirty, pretty, hot, antique, and gritty. 

Does New Orleans influence your work?

I guess most of what I said for the above question can apply to this one also. But I'll add when I first started shooting New Orleans was a huge influence. Because I didn't know what to shoot so I mostly took photos of the city. I would drive around and sneak into places and find cool hidden areas and shoot that stuff. That lead to me being pretty good at finding locations for future shoots with models. So Nola does still influence me. But I would love to travel to other places and see if I have that same feeling.  

Where can we see more of your work?

You can see all my uncensored work on my Tumblr page at most of that stuff is very NSFW and you can find me on Instagram at Sidantman where I post stuff just about everyday. 

Anything you want to say

Just want to say thanks for this feature from me and Elyssa. It's always crazy to me when people actually like my photos and want to show them. I'm still at the point where I get surprised and I hope it doesn't go away. Thanks guys 

Model: Elyssa @goth_neko