WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PICK UP A CAMERA?
Hey.... I was sixteen, got my first job working as an undertaker. Three weeks into the job we had an exhumation to do. For those not familiar with this, it is the removal of a body from it,s resting place (grave). So the day came, early start, the police had sealed off the cemetery and we dug, the coffin was two meter,s down, in heavy clay soil, which was pretty water logged. In England we bury at two meter,s and one and a half meter,s, so coffins lay pretty much on top of each other. The problem with this, is at the first depth, the coffins buried either side of where we were digging, were exposed. They had been there under two years, and with the water and clay were decaying nicely. The smell was appalling and a lot of stinky goop was draining into the hole we were digging. Anyway quick lime was put down and we continued, got down to the top of the coffin we were here to exhume. Again water damage and the coffins we use being mainly chipboard with a laminate finish, so it pretty much broke up, one option left, brake it open and take the body out.
So here it is, I am standing in an open grave, two coffins leaking their goop into where I,m standing, the lid of the coffin we want, is now broken off, I have to lift the body to get webbing under it, to lift it from the grave. Webbing tied, I stood back at the foot end of the grave while the body was pulled up out of the grave. It was the most bizarre, surreal thing I have ever seen, this quite decomposed body being dragged up the side of the grave in front of me. It was at that moment I thought shit, should have had a camera, I will never have an opportunity like this again, so that week bought my first SLR, an Olympus OM 10, and played with that for a few years.\
WHAT PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE WITH EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AS OPPOSED TO OTHER GENRES?
I was very careful not to do tacky glamour, to me the fetish scene is about strong, beautiful women,who know who, and what they are, you have permission to look by the way they dress, but ultimately, the power is their,s, so I worked with women/models who had strong looks and knew what they wanted out of a shoot. I also shoot a lot on location, old hospitals, and mental asylum,s, so it was a huge learning curve. I had to re-learn lighting and composition in dark and very messy surroundings, outside the relative safety of a studio, where the light source is constant.
DO YOU PREFER TO SHOOT WITH FILM OR DIGITAL?
I love film, it has a smoothness to it, but in reality, digital is so easy to manipulate, and to use. I shoot for Total Tattoo magazine, the UK,s leading tattoo magazine, you may have come across it in the States. For mag work digital is perfect, by the time you have shot on film, then processed it, then scanned it, then altered it to CMYK then the print process itself, makes film not viable, and any gains in quality are soon lost. I do use full frame camera,s and prime lenses to get the best out of the digital sensor, and I cant tell the difference.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN FETISH/BDSM?
I loved the look, and the attitude of these women wearing rubber. I started making fetish based furniture with a friend, very organic looking, taking the female anatomy and extending and curving, and adding vicious spikes. I was going to Torture Garden, and other clubs around London, I guess it was the medium of photography, and the way rubber and latex cling to the body that does it for me. It seemed a natural progression, to bring it into my photography. I photograph at the FESTIVAL OF SINS fetish club in Camden London, in a studio I set up for the event,s, It,s a great club, works really well, with latex fashion shows, bands, twisted cabaret and of course Burlesque and loads more. I would recommend any one coming from the States, to pay it a visit. I also photograph for burlesque, and other fetish type event,s as well as for models and clients.
DO YOU THINK PINUP AND FETISH ARE BECOMING PART OF THE MAINSTREAM CULTURE?
The fashion industry will make it part of the mainstream thing, as they can make money at it. What will and is happening is small firms making one off pieces, will always have the edge over a mass produced market, people still want that individual look, and will commission clothing for themselves. The whole 50,s retro thing is huge, but that still contains loads of different genres, such as cars, tattoo,s furniture etc etc. We have seen it in the tattoo world with the ED Hardy range of merchandise, ask most people who wear it, who he was, they wont have a clue. So in and out of mainstream fashion, for the fickle and pretty things who want to be trendy ,but it,s a way of life to many people, so it will always be around in some form or another, crossing in and out of fashion, as trends dictate.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
I love Johnny Cash, and from 70,s punk to 20,s jazz, with pretty much everything in between except chart pop, and most of the 80,s dance pop,
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
I love to surf, play guitar, walk my dog and hang with friends
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