WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PICK UP A CAMERA?
I was doing it for fun and adventure as a teenager but got serious about it after seeing an exhibit of Sebastio Salgado's Workers series at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. Then I signed up for a workshop and got my first slr.
WHAT PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE WITH EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AS OPPOSED TO OTHER GENRES?
I live a pretty Leave it to Beaver lifestyle, with 2 small children who I spend most of my time with. So my brain is mostly taken up by legos, Angry Birds and Scooby Doo and I don't really think in erotic terms. It's hard to strike a tone that I really enjoy and feel comfortable with. You see so much absolutely boring and bland naked lady photos, as well as immaculately produced pieces, sometimes it's difficult to think of what I would have to say as an artist that would either be unique or cool and be more than another naked lady.
DO YOU PREFER TO SHOOT WITH FILM OR DIGITAL?
I shoot equal amounts of both. My film cameras are a 4x5 Graphlex, a Diana F, and a lomokino. With the 4x5 I make contact print cyanotypes which I adjust after they are scanned, and the Diana F and lomokino are unique in that lomography has this out of control quality that can't be duplicated digitally. People use phone apps to mimic some lomo looks but that won't work if you are doing overlapping frames, messing with focus and light leaks etc. Usually when I do a shoot with a model I'll do the main scenario digital and then a little bit film.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN FETISH/BDSM?
I had a couple models who had knew latex designers (Abigail Greydanus and Vital Vein), so I was able to shoot their stuff. Through that I ended up shooting a few models who were well known in the fetish scene. I have shot other wardrobe pieces that could qualify as fetishy, but I know next to nothing about actual fetish/BDSM. I've always loved comics however, and characters like Catwoman and Wonder Woman and other pulp characters are clearly related to fetish/BDSM in a subversive way. Wonder Woman was the pro-bondage propaganda product of a psychologist who advocated sexual liberation.
DO YOU ENJOY FETISHISM/BDSM PLAY IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE, AND IF SO WHAT ARE YOU INTO?
Don't do any of it in my personal life. I've never been to a convention or anything.
DO YOU THINK PINUP AND FETISH ARE BECOMING PART OF THE MAINSTREAM CULTURE?
Well, Katy Perry wore Abigail Greydanus latex on her tour, and little kids love Lady Gaga's fetishy wardrobe. And as I mentioned, Catwoman and Wonder Woman and Poison Ivy and Princess Leia and a huge chunk of famous fictional female characters have elements of that as well.
It's funny, when I talk to a woman who isn't a model but has an interest in getting her photo taken-- even for something like engagement photos-- the first thing they mention is pinup or vintage looks. So I would say it's incredibly mainstream. They seem slightly opposite aesthetics though, like it's a vintage/ period look or a futuristic/cyber/alien look.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CREATIVE MEDIUMS YOU WORK IN?
I write a lot of music, mostly out of sampling, some guitar stuff. I've been doing more programming and keyboardy sounds since I got a tablet last year. I do intend on making some small films this year with my lomokino, which has a similar look to 8mm video. I used to make comic strips but not in a while.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
My favorite of all time is Pop Will Eat Itself, a punk/ techno/ rap/ industrial mashup from the 80s and 90s. Clint Mansell, who did soundtracks for all the Darren Aronofsky films, is from that band. Lots of electronic music like Meat Beat Manifesto and Future Sound of London, lots of leftist heart-on-your-sleeve rock like U2 and the Clash, and lots of old innovative stuff from the 60s like the Beatles, Elvis, Phil Ochs.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
My son has me hooked on legos. I live in Arizona near mountains, so we do a bit of hiking. I watch a ton of movies, read comics and circulate the local art museums. Almost all my free time is taken up doing photography or making music though!
See more of David Miller Photoworks:
Model Alexandra Mathews, hair Laura Buenrostro, face paint Jamie Graden
Model Stephanie Danielson, bodypaint and illustration Jamie Graden
Model Lacheln, wardrobe Jacci Jaye
Model Angela Thornton
Model Sierra McKenzie, hmua Jodi Vaughn, wardrobe RAW Textiles
Model Alexandra Mathews, hair Laura Buenrostro, hat Bubbles and Frown
Model Mosh, wardrobe Vital Vein
Model Glass Olive