Photography for Perverts
Photography for Perverts by Charles Gatewood
Published by Greenery Press 2003
Charles Gatewood calls himself “the family photographer of America’s sexual playground” and is as master photographer who has been photographing kinky, sexually explicit images for over forty years. “Photography for Perverts” is an excellent guide into Gatewood’s erotic world for anyone who aspires to be a fetish photographer, even a hobbyist.
I thought this was going to be more of a picture book–and there are tons of photos within illustrating Gatewood’s text–but it really is a guide to everything there is to know about becoming a photographer of kink. This is a great book for portrait photographers alone, as it goes into many aspects of the photographic arts including techniques, lighting, cameras and equipment, developing a personal style, working with models, digital imaging, studios versus locations, exhibiting your work as well as record keeping. For the perverted photographer there is as wealth of information all written in Gatewood’s friendly personal style with many anecdotes from his many years of experience. In the book he talks about where to meet fetish models, how to approach them, overcoming shyness, negotiating kinky shoots, ethical and legal questions, as well as fighting censorship and harassment. At the end of the book he looks into the work of four contemporary masters of kink: Annie Sprinkle, Micheal Rosen, Barbara Nitke, and Eric Kroll; and discusses what makes their work compelling and unique.
My favorite part of the book is where he describes “vision quests” and how you can find inspiration as an artist to take the photos that have real meaning for you. This is not about copying someone else’s style, but in find your true, original voice. Here he goes into how to create your own personal vision by delving into your inner psyche and exploring a subject through photographic essay, a technique I was taught in art school.
Photography for Perverts serves as a springboard into creativity and technique for perverted photographers everywhere and even an experienced photographer like me can find new knowledge and wisdom within.