Saturday, 19 December 2009

Fetish Photography or Photography Fetish?

Some of you may have noticed that fetish is one of my favoured photographic genres, specifically rope bondage (as it's an art unto itself that is another passion of mine), so I kinda know my way around fetish photography a little, however a recent observation has set my mind thinking...

A photographer is someone who, through the medium of photography, seeks to create images, as a goal unto itself (those working in a professional or semi-professional capacity are using these end-products to make some money, but the photos are the first goal as they are the means to the ultimate goal, making a living!).

I have noticed among discussions recently that for some photographers working in the fetish world, the motivation and aim may be different, a classification has come to my mind (as a means of understanding only) of 'Photography Fetish', this is someone who enjoys, as a directly or indirectly sexual activity, taking photographs. There are many possible aspects to this from photographing something that is sexually desirable (from boobs to shoes) to the process of control that is necessary when photographing people (do this, do that, pose like this etc.) to a vehicle for voyeurism (watching others do something, semi-remotely).

This can seem alien to those of us with different motivations, especially when a conversation is had and the expected masses of commonality is shown to be very sparse, but lets split it down for a minute, essentially a 'photography fetishist' is someone who is loving some or all of the process of photography, and surely that applies no matter the subject? I myself doggedly persue genres of photography that pay very little, as a professional photography why do I do this? because I love creating beautiful images, not that different is it?

This can apply equally to those who love photographing wildlife, as do I, that process of being close to nature and capturing it in all it's glory is as great in itself as the finished images.
I know there are many professional photographers who are cold and hard about 'the job' but why did they get into that line of work in the first place? I bet they loved it at some point way back and that love has been lost, they simply need to augment their photography with subjects, genres, styles, subjects that appeal to them personally as well as them financially, their lives and photography will improve greatly if they do so!

And then they'll find themselves edging closer to the Photography Fetishists who are doing it solely for the love of it. It's just the same as that old 'amateur vs professional photographer' argument, it's the photographs that count when it comes to the qualities of the photographer and amateurs are often better than professionals on that count.

So is a 'photography fetishist' a better or worse person than a 'Fetish Photographer'? based on motivations alone, no, they're not better or worse, just different, vive la différence!

(I hope this makes some kind of coherent sense! I kinda rattled it out in 10 minutes without thinking it through)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009



A title with two meanings, incidentally it’s the make of camera I first bought
in 1996 when I started taking photography a little more seriously, but it’s main
meaning is a peak, and in my photography I recently reached a major peak.

My photography started out with landscapes and nature, and that was the bulk of
my work for years, however I had long been an admire of the art nudes, as many
reading this will be, after some encouragement I decided to give it a try, my
first nudes photoshoot was in 2004, I sold one of the first photos of the day
within a couple of days, I loved it, and it seemed I might even be good at it!

So I had a look around the internet to try and find the best models in this
business, the art nude models, the very best, I was on a mission! I worked with
quite a number of very talented models over the next few years, but the one at
the top of my list constantly eluded me, her name is Joceline and she needs no
introduction J try as we might we were just never in the same place at the same
time with time to spare.

Roll on to September 2009 and I was (and still am) in the midst of having a
documentary made about me and my photography, I planned a shoot in a dance
studio and was hoping to get around 6 models into our time there, all shooting
solo, I contacted many, and most couldn’t make it, when it came down to it there
were just two models who could make it, and one of them was Joceline, I was a
very happy man, I could spend all day pointing a camera at this lady.

On shoot-day we all arrived at the dance studio and she was already there,
looking every bit as amazing as we could have possibly hoped, while we were
still setting up she slipped on her pointe shoes and glided down the studio, the
world stopped, there was a gasp or three and at least one damp eye, this shoot
was going to be something else, and it was indeed.

I’ll let some of the images speak for themselves now….

It took my 5 years to get some time in a studio with this
lady, on reflection there are several things that come to mind, 1) if I went
blind today I’d not feel unfulfilled about my time as a photographer. 2) any
model I shoot with in the future has got an astounding level to aspire to! 3)
she was worth waiting half a decade for.

My infinite thanks and admiration go to Joceline