WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PICK UP A CAMERA?
My father was an artist with a deep interest in natural history and when I was very young we spent long periods of time away from the city and other Human Beings whilst he sketched and planned his paintings. I also wanted to record what I saw, but didn’t have the patience to draw and paint like my father, so I asked if I could have a camera – I got one! That’s where it started.
WHAT PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE WITH EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AS OPPOSED TO OTHER GENRES?
It is easy to create erotic imagery that is very unconvincing and perhaps a bit clichéd. To me erotic photography has to be artistic, stylish, powerful and thought provoking. I see many images claiming to be erotic, but are way off the mark in my opinion. That goes for my own photographic attempts too as I am still striving to create an erotic image that I know will provoke emotion and stay on peoples’ minds for some time.
DO YOU PREFER TO SHOOT WITH FILM OR DIGITAL?
I love film, but digital was a Godsend to me. Since I was young I always had a dark room or later on the means to develop slide film. Slide film was quick and easy to develop and provided me with the means to see results fast. It’s down to my lack of patience. So when digital came along I was in my element being able to see instant results without wasting film or paper and going through all the processes. Digital “darkrooms” such as Photoshop are, to me, just as slow and tedious as traditional ones so I’ve never learnt to use them. I do a bit of tweeking whilst converting RAW files and I know how to remove spots, but that’s about it. Although I say digital is a Godsend, I have never fully embraced the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, I totally admire the artistry and skill of the Photoshop Wizards and I am sure if there was some way I could instantly learn it I’d probably become addicted.
DO YOU ENJOY FETISHISM/BDSM PLAY IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE, AND IF SO WHAT ARE YOU INTO?
Interesting question! I don’t have a complex personal fetish lifestyle, although there are some elements that can be regarded as fetish, but too personal to discuss openly – like most people I guess. It is interesting that nearly all my relationships have been with submissive women, which is good as I like to be in control. With my studio life things can be somewhat interesting at times. There is certainly no sex involved, but I have two regular models who do play out their fetishes in their personal lives and continue to do so in the studio. It’s not just a case of modeling, but me helping prepare them for the shoot puts me in a strong dominant position that, without doubt, creates levels of emotion I don’t see at any other time when I am shooting and the whole experience is part of their reality. In one case the images we produce are solely for the model’s partner.
DO YOU THINK PINUP AND FETISH ARE BECOMING PART OF THE MAINSTREAM CULTURE?
Most definitely with fetish. Pin-up is growing in popularity, but I see it still more of a cult. You see references to fetish everywhere these days, on TV, in advertising, art and in particular the fashion industry. It’s a catalyst for inspiration. I think maybe the Punk movement started it off by drawing on fetish ideas and incorporating them into their dress code. It was anti the establishment to attract the maximum attention and, in doing so they simply created another establishment. With that amount of attention an establishment can rapidly become more mainstream. It’s an evolutionary cycle that keeps things interesting. It’s the same with the alternative fashion and modeling fraternity as it started as an anti establishment fraternity. However, look at it now as there’s so much drawn from it in mainstream fashion these days. Latex fashions in particular are more commonplace and there’s so many outlets now where you can buy outfits it’s become big business.
I am currently working on a book project with UK model Phexxie_Bizzare that takes influences from the alternative and fetish fashion world and will present them in a more accessible, mainstream fashion sense with the help of a merry band of models. It’s part of that evolutionary process and similar, I believe, to what Cary is doing with fIXE.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CREATIVE MEDIUMS YOU WORK IN?
I am a musician, but not particularly active these days. I worked in the music industry when I was young and played in bands for many years.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
Just about everything, except old style Country and Western. I like what I like regardless of genre.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
I am a keen conservationist and regularly spend time living rough in rainforests with indigenous people and not another Westerner for miles. That is so much fun and I love it. I SCUBA dive too. Going back to what I said at the beginning of this interview, I guess this love of being remote was influenced by my father when I was very young.
See more of Colin At Pathway Studios: