WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PICK UP A CAMERA?
Inspired: It’s a great word as it evokes so much potential. The reality is often not as poetic. I do vividly recall finding a twin lens reflex camera at my grandparents’ house in the 1970s and I used to ‘play’ with that a lot. It was a waist level ‘look down’ viewfinder, so the image was upside down and back to front, and that fact, along with the camera’s various mechanisms, provided the fascination rather than what I was actually seeing through the lens. But maybe that in turn is what actually got me hooked in the first place.
What inspires me to pick up a camera now are ideas, lots and lots of ideas. Photography has provided me with the perfect way to take my imagination out of my head and turn it into a medium I can share with others. How cool would it be if you could download your dreams? That’s what it must be like to be a film director. I’m just offering fraction of a second glimpses.
WHAT PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE WITH EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AS OPPOSED TO OTHER GENRES?
I think the biggest challenge is not so much the fact I’m shooting fetish or erotic imagery – I think both terms mean different things to different people. One man’s perversion is another man’s pleasure and we all essentially wear different anoraks – but moreover, it’s coming up with a concept that not only makes it interesting for me to shoot, but also for the model to emote and work with. It can be the clothing or the location, or even coming up with something like a back story that puts us in the position and chosen location for the photo shoot. You could happily stand someone up against a plain wall and shoot high contrast images to your heart’s content, or until you both got bored. But the fun shoots are where you have a clear goal or objective to make your idea/concept a reality. The magic moment of pressing the shutter release and knowing you’ve just captured that essence; that makes all the planning challenges worth the effort.
The only thing I would advise anyone thinking about shooting similar styles; be aware of your surroundings when you send your latex clad model ‘out onto set!’
DO YOU PREFER TO SHOOT WITH FILM OR DIGITAL?
Shooting is shooting. The difference only really comes in to consideration from a post-capture point of view. I have worked in dark rooms and push processed films and dodged and burned with card cut outs and my own hands. Digital basically brings all of these skills to the mass market, and does away the need for a dedicated room filled with bottles of chemicals slowly going out of date. I don’t agree with photographers who look down on Photoshop users. Image manipulation has been around since the days of the pinhole camera, it’s just available to everybody now. That all said, I do love the fact I can instantly check what I have just shot on the digital back, rather than have to wait for slides or negatives to develop.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN FETISH/BDSM?
It’s the look rather than the lifestyle that attracts me. Latex is a wonderful medium aesthetically speaking; the way it holds and enhances the curves of a woman. Many models I have shot wearing latex, especially first-time wearers, have all pretty much commented on how it makes them not only feel very sexy, but that it also hides any personally perceived imperfections and so adds to the confidence they are already bringing to the shoot. Like a corset or girdle and wonder bra all rolled into one.
I remember seeing images of Bob Carlos Clarke’s work, many of them went into what became his book ‘The Dark Summer’ and just thinking how stunning the women looked. But it wasn’t their own personal beauty, or so much the skill of the make-up artist and hair stylist, it was the form and fitting of the latex costumes. The and the lighting that made them shine really made me think: ‘WOW! I’d love to do that.’ But that was the mid-eighties, and I had to content myself with watching Robert Palmer music videos knowing I had no chance of getting anyone I knew to dress up and pose for me like that.
DO YOU ENJOY FETISHISM/BDSM PLAY IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE, AND IF SO WHAT ARE YOU INTO?
I think you should always have a bit of mystery in your life. Unless of course you’re being paid millions to sell your soul on your own reality TV show. So I plan to keep this part of my life personal… and a mystery. Wife is going to kill me after reading that now! J
DO YOU THINK PIN-UP AND FETISH ARE BECOMING PART OF THE MAINSTREAM CULTURE?
I think so, without a doubt. There is still an element of rubber being considered the sole preserve of the weird and the perverse, but who are we to judge another person’s likes and dislikes?
When you look at the work of designers like William Wilde, Nina Kate at Jane Doe and Annabelle at Voilaceous, you can clearly see how versatile latex can be. And through scenes in mainstream movies like ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Batman’, you suddenly open up a whole new potential market with people that would have never even considered wearing latex. Suddenly, it’s not just underground fetish clubs full of patrons in shiny form fitting clothes. Regular nightclubs, and the bars you hit beforehand, are now filled with people you know and work with looking like they could kick your ass for a main course and then give you the fuck of your life for dessert.
To draw a parallel look at tattoos and body art. Once the sole preserve of the jail birds, military types and Yakuza. Now, people like me with no ink, are possibly in the minority. I like to be different. I’d love to go to a fetish club, but I’d wear a three-piece suit and tie. Made of fabric. I’d be the weirdo.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CREATIVE MEDIUMS YOU WORK IN?
Screenwriting. I have written a number of feature length screenplays, though sadly I have yet to have any Hollywood producer smash down my front door to shove a very large cheque in my hands. I went the root of producing and directing a few short films that did the festival circuits and were well received. I have a cracking Alien script that picks up from where ‘AVP:R’ left off and takes us up to the events that lead to the original ‘Alien’ film. If anyone reading this knows how to get in direct contact with Ridley Scott, give me a shout. Please?
I also used to spend a great deal of time making plastic model kits. Award-winning ones too I’ll have you know. Like I said earlier, we all wear different anoraks; we’re all nerds to different tribes.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
We could be here all day answering this question. I have a H-U-G-E expansive taste in music. My CD racks are now in several rooms at home and my loft space groans under the weight of aluminum flight cases full of 12 inch singles. Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, ABC, Flock of Seagulls (‘I Ran’ is the most perfect pop song), Japan, Tears for Fears. As you can tell, I really got into music in the early 80s.
First ever gig was Blondie, and at the time of writing, I’m going to see Duran (for the countless time), Def Leppard and Motley Crue all in the space of six days.
I’d listen to Katherine Jenkins singing ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ to Marilyn Manson’s ‘The Fight Song’. From Tori Amos’s ‘Little Earthquakes’ to ‘Insomina’ by Faithless. Just no to reggae. Sorry, just leaves me cold and bored. But Dread Zepplin makes me smile.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
I like to do things where you don’t keep score. I can do that for fun. As soon as you keep score, you ultimately end up having a winner. And that has to be me. That all said, I enjoy playing poker,
I enjoy driving fast cars. Used to enjoy fast bikes too, but hospital trips and metal bits in my legs means four wheels are safer than two nowadays. Scuba diving, I have done a number of shark dives too.
Pub quizzes. I love doing trivia quizzes, but… it brings us back to keeping score again…
See more of Andrew R. Macdonald, Killer Heels Photography:
Model – Kandy K, MUA – Alex Preswell, additional post processing – Studio 707.
Model – Miss Hellcat
Model – Kandy K, MUA – Alex Preswell
Model – Emma Leigh Griffin, MUA – Joanna Mortimer
Model – Mistress TorI
Model – Morven Robb, MUA – Katie Issacs
Model – Bleeding Rose, MUA – Claire Linden
Model – Tyne Roberts, MUA – Claire Linden