Friday, April 19, 2013

Is that a camera in your pocket ... ?

Krysta Kaos - 041913 - Side B

The beautiful Ms V. asked us the following questions:

Do you prefer location or studio shoots? What other types of photography do you enjoy? Do you feel your art separates you from a portion of society and (if so) how do you deal with it?

They are all great questions, so here we go.

Do you prefer location or studio shoots? 

I prefer location shoots for a variety of reasons.  First, I enjoy finding simple and complicated locations that create a setting for the story.  Whether it is a generic business traveler's hotel, an early 20th century home with hardwood floors, or a the model's cool apartment/studio, I like to work with the challenges they present me.  I have used Nikon Speedlights off-camera to add to whatever natural light is available.  Second, I want the location to be part of the story or narrative of the image.   I want it to convey the mood and history of the moment.

For the photo above of the great SF bay area model, Krysta Kaos, I used her retro apartment for the location.  You can't beat the green velvet couch. 

I'm with Side B on this one ... location shoots rock!   Studio shoots are too predictable and repetitive. My photographers seem to be more creative when challenged with unfamiliar surroundings and technical hurdles, models seem to be more inspired by a place with some "vibe" than a studio setting, and I enjoy styling shoots in sumptuous locations that inspire more interaction with environments.  Modeling for me is often more about acting and emoting than "posing" -- being on location instead of in a studio makes it easier to slip into a role, absorb the energy around me, and become whoever I need to be for that shoot.

What other types of photography do you enjoy? 

I've dabbled in many other types, including street photography (NYC is the holy land for that), landscape, journalism, editorial, fashion, product, portraiture, and other stuff.  All of them give me some satisfaction.  Erotic photography though is more of that special itch that can't be satisfied without expressly doing it.  I crave creating it and need it as a regular fix.  Addiction?  Maybe.  Better than heroin though.

As for media, I primarily use digital and medium format black and white film (shot in my Diana, Yashicamat, or Hasselblad).  I recently picked up a great Polaroid Land Camera and used it at my last shoot with Krysta (but not for the photo above).    It has a great voyeur appeal to it.

For me, what you see on the blog is what you get!  I do some more vanilla, commercial work in the studio, but it holds no real passion for me.   When my photogs and models are into various genres,  I'm always happy to help them with those in both styling and post-production.   We work exclusively in digital and I wouldn't know what to do in an old-school dark room aside from trying to distract the photographer from his ministrations lol!    Addiction - interesting thought, Side B!   Working on an erotic set in any capacity is a rush ... I crave it, miss it when I've been too long without it, and revisit past shoots in my head often ... perhaps it is my "drug" of choice! 

Do you feel your art separates you from a portion of society and (if so) how do you deal with it?

Short answer, "Yes".  My erotic photography separates me from two major groups, general society and family/friends.  Part of this separation is from the morals and aesthetics that may shock or disgust both groups.  The other is from my hesitation and fear of how family, friends and general society would view me for creating it.  Why do you think I use the pseudonym of Side B?

To get around these issues, I publish only in safe places or anonymously.  I share only with like-minded people (none of which includes family) and exhibit only in sex-positive places.  I strongly desire the day though when I can put my real name under the photos and take ownership.

I am luckier in that I am pretty "out" to the world ... my pseudonym is more a function of branding than  anonymity.  I absolutely feel separated from a huge portion of society ... but this is by choice.  I'm not worried about people's reaction to me - I'm concerned with my reaction to people!  (And this is for many reasons besides just my art ... I'm also separated by my intelligence, my open nature, my passion, etc., etc.)   I have outgrown the need to try to defend my choices in life or in art ... I have no patience with judgement or moral outrage ... I am content to create a sex-positive, safe zone where like minds are welcome.   I've built my team on the idea of giving people an open, non-judgemental, fun, artistic, quality environment in which to express themselves.   I often feel like a mother grizzly bear ... I know my territory, I'm comfortable in it, and I pity the person who threatens it or any of those under my protection.  Are there circumstances in which I stay low-key?  Of course.  But I am not ashamed or afraid of anyone seeing my work.  So I guess you could say I deal with the isolation by reveling in it ... it's always less crowded and more comfortable in first class! :-)


  1. Thanks for the responses!

    Great shot of Krysta, SB! The green couch is fabulous! So is the lighting, the model, the pose… I LOVE her fingers and her expression.

    No real surprises to the first two questions, except that Miz B doesn’t shoot film! There is sensuality in the darkroom. It’s tactile… talk about an addiction. It’s also a great place to distract the photographer. ☺

    I’m a little jealous of Miz B’s ability to be “out.” Honestly, I am more than a little jealous. You’re an amazing woman, and a credit to our gender. First class, certainly.

    I wonder if it’s societies views on female versus male photographers of the erotic that makes it a bit more difficult for SB. He’s a very talented photographer and artist who deserves to claim ownership of his work.

    1. I agree - Side B is a fabulous photographer all around and particularly brilliant in erotica (not a coincidence that his passion is his strength!) and I look forward to being part of his slow emergence from the shadows of anonymity! I think your gender idea is spot-on ... in fact I feel inspired to address a few aspects of this double standard in my next post! I think another factor is the luck of the draw ... it's much easier to push a liberal family or peer group 2 mm outside their comfort zone than a conserative or rabidly religious one 2 miles outside theirs! There are always tough choices to be made in choosing the people with whom we surround ourselves ... but I'm blessed to have made them with a solid core of people who may not always love what I do, but never confuse that with not loving me!


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