The Photography Of Marcos Rivera
The Photography Of Marcos Rivera
What inspired you to pick up a camera?
My ex-wife was my inspiration. I had a desire to capture her. She bought me a photography book after I bought myself a digital SLR as a self-birthday gift 8 years ago. From there, I started photographing women... nude, non-nude, erotic, fashion, beauty... you name it. It's an obsession (you can notice how I mention my ex-wife at the beginning of my response).
What particular challenges do you face with erotic photography as opposed to other genres?
Every genre has it's own challenges. With erotic photography, the challenge for me is selecting the right subject (person) to do erotic work that can emote. Eroticism is all about creating a level of emotion that exceeds what would normally be viewed as "pornographic" ... I wouldn't want to get into a debate with people about what eroticism means, but that's what it means to me. I think a lot of people (women and men) think that they would make good subjects for erotic work, but in truth... most people can't connect with the camera when they are in front of the lens. It's all about establishing a comfort level and allowing yourself and the subject to be comfortable being vulnerable in front of one another. Once that happens, you can create some pretty amazing work.
Do you prefer to shoot with film or digital?
I don't have a preference really. At my studio, I have film cameras (4x5, Medium format 6x7, Polaroids, holgas, 35mm) and they are all great, but being someone who does quite a bit of commercial work, the digital work flow has become vital to my ability to make a living. It's more cost effective with a quicker turnaround. I had a solo exhibition last August here in Las Vegas and I initially intended to shoot the entire series on Medium Format film (Fuji 160S 120 film to be specific), but when it came time to produce the work an earlier opportunity came up to show it, which gave me two weeks to produce 8 pieces at 36" x 48". There is no way I would have been able to turn the work around as quickly for the show if I had shot it on film.
How did you become interested in fetish/BDSM?
Fetish and BDSM was a natural progression from shooting nude work. While I don't consider myself a Fetish/BDSM photographer, it is an area I am extremely comfortable operating within. I think in order to understand the human condition, you need to be open to learning about many aspects of sexuality, including gender roles and power dynamics inherent in fetish and BDSM.
Do you think pinup and fetish are becoming part of the mainstream culture?
This is a tough one to answer. I don't really have a true understanding of what is mainstream anymore. Nor, do I really think many people care about what "mainstream" is. As a society, I think we are expanding our vocabulary of what is normal to include a lot of things that were long considered taboo. Everyone has tattoos, Latex couture is being featured in vogue, TV shows are featuring taboo sexuality as major plot points (American Horror Story). It all leads me to ask "What is mainstream anymore?"
I think pinup is extremely cliche and lacks real creativity. The gap between good pinup and shitty pinup is pretty small. We don't live in a society where your wife is staying home and cooking for you anymore... I get the irony of it all, but it's a joke that's really not funny anymore.
Fetish, on the other hand, when done well can be amazing... especially in photography. When you can capture an image revealing something that lies beneath in a way that gives it credibility without exploiting the subject, I think there's an opportunity to start a dialogue and resonate with the viewer. But I don't feel like I am in a position to make a call as to whether or not it is mainstream.
Are there any other creative mediums you work in?
I am a lifelong musician. I attended Berklee College of Music as a guitar performance major.
What kind of music do you like?
Metal is the genre I listen to most, but I listen to all genres a bit. I have never been able to get into Country music.
What do you like to do for fun?
I shoot photos for work and for fun. I had a long career not working as a photographer prior to doing this full-time, so my work is also my fun-time. Oh, and holding hands, long walks on the beach and going to the botanical gardens (for all the single ladies out there).
See more of Marcos Rivera:
Model Mayhem: http://modelmayhem.com/mriveraphoto
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