30 March 2011

Purrfect Pineapples / Tattoo Erotica magazine

Despite being a web developer myself, and having helped folk promote themselves their businesses online via Twitter and other social media... on a personal level, I'm just not that social and don't quite get it. However, I'm trying, and if this sort of find is anything to go by, it's worth following!

Firstly, I happened across the wonderful lingerie from Purrfect Pineapples - although I have to confess to them that I'm unlikely to be an actual customer; I like lingerie, but not in that way. (Um... not that there's anything wrong with that.) However, I do very much like their aesthetic - the potential over-cute-and-girly-ness of their amazing corsets, underwear and more, being wonderfully balanced by having the loveliest alt and fetish models - among which are Mosh, and Apnea, Lauren WK and Ulorin Vex - to show them off. As if that combination of very sexy lingerie and heart-stoppingly beautiful girls wasn't enough, they've enrolled the likes of Viva Van Story and Ama Lea to make them look even more incredible.

Anyway, you get the idea. It's pretty great stuff. But before I get carried away with superlatives, my other great find of the day was in PP's blog, they have a feature in the latest edition of German magazine Tattoo Erotica. I was going to say I'm not sure why I hadn't seen that before... but it's probably because I don't speak German. But I'm not surprised - whereas I love French erotica, I keep seeing great fetish-oriented stuff from Germany, not to mention that the majority of racy book publishers hail from there also.

Anyway, regardless of language issues, the cover promises 'Erotische Foto-Stories' which I think I can just about grasp the concept of... so I'm off to order my copy.

27 March 2011

Racy books @ Blurb

After getting some great magazines from MagCloud, have recently discovered the book equivalent, Blurb. It's a print-on-demand service for folk to self-publish books and seems to be one of the most popular ones for photographers.

Which is great news all round - of course, most erotic photographers would like to be picked up by Edition Skylight, Goliath, teNues etc... but that's a) not necessarily easy and b) something of a minefield with publishers increasingly being pushed hard on pricing by Amazon and the like. The downside is that we don't see the bargains that we're used to - but I'm happy for the artists themselves to set the price and know what they will get from it.

Anyway, of far more interest is some of the very interesting stuff I'm seeing there, and the rapidly growing size of my shopping list! Click on the thumbnails to see previews of the books, then hunt around there and let me know if you find anything else!

24 March 2011

Site review: Stagg St

Upon discovering Ellen Stagg - which I did only recently, I think via, er, browsing at The Mosh Room - I was immediately very enthusiastic about her work, and I knew I wouldn't be able to wait long before signing up to her site, Stagg St.

An initial first glance, her style may seem mainstream; a look through the list of featured models will reveal many popular glamour and porn icons, such as Aria Giovanni (who is entirely adorable), Jelena Jensen, Justine Joli - and particularly serendipitously, at least for me, Ryan Keely. But between these, she also shoots a similar number of fetish models - eg Darenzia, Mosh, Marlo Marquise, Emily Marilyn, Angela Ryan & Jade Vixen.

And she makes all these lovely models look wonderful, with her considered, respectful-yet-sexy style. On one hand, she focuses more on the fetish aspect than some more typical centrefold photography that you may have seen many of the models in; on the other, the alt and pinup models aren't quite as glammed and dolled up as you'll see them elsewhere. That may sound like it's not one thing or another; whereas actually it's quite unique and charming.

She uses natural light to it's best effect; there are some very atmospheric shots making the very best use of light streaming in through windows, and consequent shadows. And although I'm no expert, when natural light isn't enough, she seems to eschew the full glare of typical glamour studio lighting, in favour of a more documentary-type flash. Similarly, she has a knack for choosing great settings - the many realistic locations lend context, but still with a measure of glamour.

Now, all that might sound a bit analytical; it needs balancing out by simply stating that there are a lot of pictures of very beautiful, very sexy models, in - and most definitely out of - some very lovely lingerie; the whole premise is huge fun and very exciting.

The only downside is that technically, the site is a little sparse - there are no zips of picture sets, and the resolution is fairly low at 1080 pixels - from such a good photographer, I'd rather have seen pics that can at least fill my screen, landscape shots noticeably blurring when they do; and there's also no categorisation other than by model. (I guess I'm a little spoiled by Jam's facilities and huge images at Petites Parisiennes).

Some folk might argue that the small quantity of pictures - approx 15 per set - is a problem too, but I see it as an advantage; I suspect Ms Stagg has ruthlessly edited her shoots and pretty much every picture is spot on, with no fillers.

So overall, despite some limitations of the site itself, Ellen Stagg has quickly become one of my favourite photographers and Stagg St is recommended. I just hope she gets picked up by a publisher to do a book or two - she does have one, but self-published and a little expensive, so something I'll have to save up for! Visit Stagg St.

20 March 2011

Summer releases @ Edition Skylight

A look at Edition Skylight (why are the majority of racy book publishers German?) reveals a quintet of impending titles, which pique my interest to varying degrees.

Perhaps most appetising is Fabio Borquez' Erotic Wonderland - I'm not quite convinced by some of the processed images I see there, but looks to have plenty of great glamour and erotic shots. Grand X-Nudes... not so much, seems a bit too art-nude-y for my tastes; on the other hand, although I more often than not find B&W pics a bit too arty, Pussy Club looks quite exciting and potentially worth making an exception for.

Kamikaze Girls - again, very stylised work of Stefan Gesell, where the photographs serve mainly as a starting point for his highly illustrative style - am not quite sure but if it turns up at the right price, I may investigate. And finally, the Porn Stars Project - perhaps a bit too mainstream glam, but that's not necessarily a bad thing!

17 March 2011

Book review: Nylon Girls

Goliath are one of my favourite publishers - not too pretentious, I have a number of fun books from them that I really like. And here's one that grabbed my attention more than most, and was a must-have-pre-order as soon as I saw it - especially with Mosh on the cover.

Christine Kessler is a well-known photographer, largely in the fetish scene; I have her previous Goliath book, Pervy Girls - which is hugely entertaining, but does stray into the realm of full-body-and-face latex getups, which is slightly too kinky for my - cough - delicate sensibilities. No such issues here for me, as something of a nylon, er, enthusiast - this is a relatively small book, about 100 or so pages, approx 19x14cm - but pretty much every page is a winner.

Inside you'll see many well-known faces - fetish and pinup regulars like Ancilla Tilia, Angela Ryan, Emily Marilyn, Darenzia; as well as more well-known glamour models including Stoya, Erica Cambpell and Ryan Keely. The photography is fairly conventional, but excellent - and makes the most of the wonderful models she has at her disposal - capturing everything from pinup pouts to sultry and lusty gazes.

And then, of course, are their legs and what they are clad in. There's pretty much every combination of sheer nylon, fishnet and latex - the latter stretching the book's title but I'm not complaining - in the shape of stockings, tights and knee-highs. Some plain and some patterned - it's almost impossible to choose a favourite, but one stand-out for me is Mandy Murders in a sheer bra, corset, and cuban-heel-stockings-and-suspender-belt-patterned tights.

The only thing I'd like to have seen in this book that it doesn't deliver is more - both in size, I'd love to see these great pictures in an oversized format, and quantity - pretty much every shot here works for me (a few more samples here at Goliath) and I'd happily flick through twice as many pages again and again. That said, it's a great book and although of relatively limited scope, it does exactly what it sets out to in a cute and inexpensive package and hence 9/10.

15 March 2011

Site finds: Dirty Pink Girls

No, that's what the site's called - although that's arguably what I might be thinking of at any given time. It seems that the French have a knack for interesting and exciting smut, as I keep finding French photographers and sites that really appeal to me. I'm not sure who the photographer at Dirty Pink Girls is, but I'm really liking the glamour/fetish aesthetic that I see in the previews there.

Looks like early days for the site - not that much material yet, and there looks to be a fairly limited number of sets/backdrops - but the photographer seems to work around that a little with some creative lighting. Generally I'm a fan of natural light - or natural-looking lighting, which Jam Abelanet does so well - but by being very overt with the strength and direction of lighting, he/she has got a relatively unique feel to it.

Oh, and you may need a smattering of French to negotiate the site, but luckily I'm just there for the pictures. More if and when I sign up.

14 March 2011

Site review: Petites Parisiennes

I think I discovered Jam Abelanet while looking through the site of Fine Art Photo magazine - a bit of a pretentious name (who are we kidding here?) and  features too many of the kind of arty nude beauty-of-the-female-form shots which  I find terribly dull. In some of their pages, though, certain shots leap out, and one from Jam's Fantasies Souterraines book was one - which actually resulted in my buying his other book, Les Petites Parisiennes.

I was sufficiently captivated by the lovely models in it, and the more-than-a-hint of complicit voyeurism in his pictures capturing a day in the life of the girls. From the charm of stolen glimpses of her waking up, to the surprisingly erotic images of getting dressed - the latter involving a wonderful array of sophisticated lingerie, the kind that (I like to think, at least) women would buy themselves, as opposed the gaudy stuff that we see so often in glamour photography. Not to mention the thrill of some rather naughty pictures in public places!

It wasn't long, then, before I succumbed to the lure of the accompanying site, Petites Parisiennes - and was glad to find more of the same - although no less inventive - type of pictures. Actually, a whole lot more - there are a stunning collection of models there, some well-known, and some only featured here - all of varying shapes, looks and ages, and all pretty in different ways - more glam than girls-next-door, but in no way carbon-copy glamour gals. It follows a similar theme - a number of photo sets of each model, following their day - some are intimate pictures in their own apartments; some more glamorous studio shoots and again, some pretty racy outdoor and indoor locations.

Somehow, Jam - who is very responsive and affable on the forum - manages get something new on there every day - either a photo shoot, or a video; which range from the voyeurism of watching the model get dressed, via some cute interviews, to the occasionally racier ones where they find a little more - ahem - satisfaction.

For me, what qualifies this as erotic photography as opposed to art-nudes or porn (neither of which I have anything against) is the context that Mr Abelanet brings to the pictures. Borne out, I think very tellingly, by the fact that I found pictures I liked there for each and every one of the fifty-odd models. (Either that or I'm just unfussy.) I'm being fairly restrained with my thumbnails here, but here are a few racier samples, by way of: my weakness for nylons, the obligatory shower scene, and - excuse my kinkiness - actually getting dressed (well, up to a point). Oh, and seeing as this is a review of sorts... 9/10!

10 March 2011

Mosh in motion @ Holly Randall

Am currently doing a tour of duty at Holly Randall's site - she's in some ways similar to Ellen Stagg, but has more of a mainstream centrefold style. I have mixed feelings about it, and will get round to posting a review sometime soon... but meantime a bit of a (NSFW) treat!

One of the lures to her site was Mosh, a fetish and pinup model who I'm more than a little fond of. I was thrilled to discover on Ms Randall's site, not only some great photo shoots of her, but also some videos... I don't think I've seen any of her before, and she's utterly mesmerising. There's something quite remarkable about the way she moves - elegant, considered, flexible, seductive... must be something to do with the fact that she was brought up as a gymnast and acrobat!

See samples of the clips at Holly Randall's Mosh preview page. Again, more later, but Mosh is worth the ticket price at hollyrandall.com.

9 March 2011

Ellen Stagg - short interview

I only recently discovered Ellen Stagg - not quite sure how she'd gone under my radar for so long, given that her work is great! She does some centerfold-type work, but with enough pinup/alt-ness to it to keep it (very) interesting - and she's got quite a way with lighting and sets that sets her apart from her contemporaries.

More about her site sometime soon - but in the meantime, Brad, who I know from the forum at Petites Parisiennes, found this clip. She's got a great perspective, which makes the respect for - and obviously huge fun with - the models she works with really stand out in her photos.

8 March 2011

Book review: Viva's Pinups

I discovered Viva Van Story a couple of years ago, and my first thought was “Why doesn't she have a book yet?” Fast-forward a bit and that's just what the ridiculously cool UK publisher Korero came out with a while ago - much to my delight.

On a simple level, Ms Van Story does retro-style pinups. Now, I like old-style pinups as much as the next guy (well, actually, probably rather more than the next guy) and I'm genuinely more than happy to look at racy material of years gone by. Having said that, things have moved on a bit in the last half a century, and Viva expertly blends the titillation and sauce of the classic pinup, with the edginess of alt culture and fetishism. And in doing so, I think she very much captures the spirit or the original era, when you had to be a lot less racy to be more racy.

A look at her site - and at Korero's page on the book - will give you an idea of what to expect. Lots of gorgeous girls, including many familiar faces (and figures, of course) including Mosh, Angela Ryan, and Masuimi Max - some inked and pierced, some not - but all looking equally ravishing. And plenty of new (at least to me) models - one standout was Kitty Kosmo, although sadly there was only one shot of her.

And all are wrapped up in a dizzying array of nylons, fishnets, sheer and high-waist panties, corsets, boots... (er, I'll stop now). And with a moderate level of explicitness - plenty of toplessness, not much full-frontal nudity... but who needs it when the girls and the outfits are as good as this?

What won't be obvious until you get the book in your hands is the progression through her changing styles and moods as a photographer. It starts out with some studio cheesecake, then goes through a hotrod/kustom phase (girls with  welding torches, oilstains...) and then finds it's feet in a perfect range of sets - retro interiors, kitchens, boudoirs - where the lace, silk and tassels alternate with latex and PVC.

Towards the end of the book, we see a different, darker angle to Viva's work - some bondage, blindfolds, abandoned buildings and much moodier lighting... which doesn't work quite as well for me but is still exciting stuff and no less interesting for it.

I'll go so far as to say that Ms Van Story is undoubtedly the queen of contemporary pinup photography - the book is a perfect sampler of her work and ranks among my favourites.

7 March 2011

Site finds: Alt Exclusive

Recently found the website of Alt Exclusive magazine, with seemingly a lot of exactly the kind of material I like to see. That is, alt/modern pinups, latex and mild kinky fetish activity. Plus there's seems to be quite a bit there featuring the wonderful Mosh, a perfect modern pinup if ever there was one - and some photography from the similarly sublime Viva Van Story.

The magazine is a little too pricey to get shipped to me here, but I can't see myself holding out too long before subscribing to the site, so look out for a review.

6 March 2011

Book review: Motel Fetish

The first review here is a bit of an unfair one, since it's a book that by now is pretty hard to come across. (Stop sniggering at the back.) But it's also the book that really got me into the whole pinup/fetish/glamour/erotica genres (and also arguably combines all of them) - I saw it at a bookshop and, not really having ventured into this sort of thing before, couldn't take my eyes off it.

Chas Ray Krider's book, published by Taschen, is a wonder of atmospheric, evocative, noir. Featuring a selection of wonderful models - including a few well-known ones like the lovely Dita Von Teese - in and out of all manner of retro nylons, girdles, bullet bras and sheer panties.

The sets and lighting are perfect - retro motel rooms, harsh shadows from bedside lamps, old TV sets - you can almost hear the clink of ice in the tumblers of whisky that the girls hold. The seeming simplicity of the sets betrays the skill of Mr Krider in capturing the seediness of an illicit encounter at a cheap motel.

If I'm making it sound a bit too arty, it's also extremely arousing. The level of explicitness is spot-on; plenty of toplessness and some full-frontal nudity; but more often than that, are tantalising images of nether regions barely covered by sheer lingerie, or with a hand slipped into the underwear.

There's an accompanying Motel Fetish website, where you can see a few more of the kind of pics you'll find inside it. But if you can, get a copy.

There's no other way to rate this than 10/10 - a masterpiece!