The Erotic Artistry of Toronto Boudoir Photographer Johny Love
TORONTO – Photography: Is it art or science? For Toronto Erotic boudoir photographer and award-winning Canadian filmmaker Johny Love, it’s a little of both.
“I believe in erotic photography both as commercial and artistic pursuit, so I approach it holistically, merging the art and science of photography with a flair for the creative,” he told YNOT.com. “I cater to professionals who require consistent artful nude photography to represent their commercial needs, as well as those who just want to have an experience and a treasured time capsule for posterity.”
We wanted to know more.
YNOT: What got you into this business?
Johny Love: Even at a young age, I had girls that loved my work and wanted to do an intimate, nude photo shoot. We had a lot of fun getting creative and experimenting with a lot of color and stylizing techniques.
After a while it just became a part of my life — a passion to create artistic and sensual images that arouse the imagination. It was a natural choice for my vocation. I remember thinking, “What do I want to do as a job or career?” And then I thought, “Well, what would you do even if you didn’t need money — even if it were for free?” Photography was the only thing.
What attracts clients to your services?
I think they appreciate the level of work, that it is distinctly different from most of the erotic photography and video out there. There’s a unique sense of style and feeling that my work captures; that I enjoy and I believe speaks to people.
As a Toronto Boudoir Photographer In my early days, I wondered how women felt so comfortable being naked in front of me — even shy, nonprofessional women — and I discovered that it was the way I was looking at them. I always look them in the eyes when speaking to them, and I seem to have a coaching style that puts them at ease and relieves the sexual tension that can sometimes be created on set and gets in the way.
I take a very professional attitude about my erotic photography and video. I believe that I am here to serve people and share my talents with them in the most positive way possible. My goal is to make them feel good and help them make money though my work. For that, I have to treat them and the work with incredible respect and strict attention to detail. I believe it all feeds the general feeling or vibe one gets from looking at the images. The women look sexy, sensual, empowered, comfortable and delicious. That comes from allowing them to feel those emotions when working together through creating the environment.
It’s sad to see some people who call themselves professional photographers, yet they trade photography for sex or get into abusing the girls, hitting on them and creating a sexually tense situation. When I work, I am like a doctor. I see their naked bodies, and I appreciate their beauty. But I remain detached; sexual thoughts don’t come up. It’s a little clinical, but it has always come naturally to me.
What are the major challenges of shooting erotic photography?
There are two main things for me to figure out in order to have a smooth, intimate photography shoot. One is to figure out the vision, the aesthetic direction for the shoot. This is accomplished by communication, finding out where they are coming from, what they want to accomplish and getting to know them and their work. Then naturally the direction becomes clear to me.
The second — and this can make or break the photo or video shoot — is how the client is feeling. If she is uncomfortable, it will show in the images as stiffness, with no magnetic power. So, creating the environment and finding the way to speak to this specific person and allow them to feel secure is the trick. That can come naturally for some or through constant study and being present and trying different things. And you will know when you have that down, because everyone will have fun on set and the work will speak for itself.
How do you make your subjects comfortable?
I try to get to know them better. I share myself with them, being open to things and interests outside of work. We carry on a conversation, have a few laughs, and I believe the thing that seals the deal and allows them to feel at ease is that I am professional: I don’t look at them with sexual thoughts in my head. They can see I respect them and that I am a pro, because I know exactly what I am doing in terms of my equipment and lighting. I work fast, precisely and without making a big deal of the production. It’s more about our interaction. I focus on them.
Does your process ever produce comedic moments?
There are many stories — some too private to share — but there is one story I will always remember.
I had a client who was in her mid 40s, and she wanted to give her boyfriend a gift of a set of sensual nude photography of her. He was a cop, and I needed to deliver the images to him at work at the police station because she wanted to surprise him. I could just leave a package at the front desk for him.
That seems a little nerve-wracking, but I was okay with that. I like to give my clients what they want.
Anyways, we chatted a little before the shoot. She had come with her friend, and all three of us were talking about photography and getting to know each other. Meanwhile, my client had brought a bottle of red wine for them to drink to chillax a little beforehand. I don’t usually drink, so I declined and so did her friend, so she was on her own.
Before we knew it, an hour had gone by, and she had been drinking this whole time and having a laugh. I decided it was time to get started with makeup and hair while I set up my lighting.
Another 40 minutes went by, and we were ready for the first shot. She got out of the makeup chair and stumbled onto the set. I realized she couldn’t handle her drinks, but she had just kept drinking. She looked like she was a little drunk.
We got a couple shots off. But when I gave her directions for a pose, she couldn’t do it. There she was, naked and laughing, having a good time trying to stand in a particular way, and she fell over.
She didn’t get hurt, luckily, but the backdrop was getting ripped and the lighting stands were falling, and that’s the time all of us realized she was pissed drunk.
Her friend helped her over to the table, and my client was still just laughing out loud, having a ball — completely naked with all her things flapping in the air as she stumbled over. It was a gong show.
We prepared some coffee and spent the next hour sobering her up.
It was fun, for all of us, I think. It ended up working out very well: She came around, and we got a good set of images. She was happy, and her cop boyfriend … well, I never heard from him, so I take that as a good sign.
I learned from that adventure that I have to control the drinking, if there is any. So, now I bring a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates as a gift to the model on the set, and she can enjoy them in moderation. I make sure we don’t get anyone too toasty.
How does the future look for your business?
The future looks amazing. We create our future with our today, so I make sure I am always learning and growing and improving in every way I can. I take time to reflect and make sure I am doing things I am passionate about.
I have plans to expand the video portion of my brand and perhaps get into some new and exciting work that I haven’t even considered previously. I am always open to ideas. All is well.
Article written by Peter Berton from Ynot.com