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)

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