[b. 1966] British portrait and fashion photographer and director
There’s a time when people say your work is revolutionary, but you have to keep being revolutionary. I can’t keep shooting pop stars all my life. You have to keep changing, keep pushing yourself, looking for the new, the unusual.
When you look at pornography, the women become objects, whereas what I’m trying to do is make the person in the photograph as important as their body. And obviously, I like tits and arse, because I just do. I like the sex of taking photographs.
When I worked on an erotic shoot… I shot digitally. It helped the models get into it because they could come over and see what was happening. It was the closest to being sexual, because it was a participatory experience.
I think if you don’t love people and aren’t fascinated by them, you’ll never succeed as a portrait photographer, because your pictures will look cold.
I use the technique of being cheeky or rude or asking [subjects] to do ridiculous things. For example, I might talk about my sex life, or their sex life... I might say, “I’m imagining you being fucked up the arse with a big black dildo.”
At the end of the day, photography is ninety-nine percent business, connections, and politics and one percent creativity.
At the end of the day, it’s only a photograph and if someone is going to get really upset about a photograph, then they have a lot of issues. I just roll with it and see what happens.
I always used to say to my ex-girlfriends that I could never take a good photograph of them, because there was too much of an intimacy between us, but actually the real thing is, if there’s a proper intimacy between you… I find it really compelling and exciting—it’s quite good foreplay.