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.

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