The world’s oldest profession is one of the oldest and most reoccurring subject matters in the field of portrait photography. What is it about prostitutes that continue to inspire talented photographers? Perhaps it is to capture the soul of someone, who in many societies is considered soulless. Perhaps its because those who live on the edge, the extremes of society, are always more interesting to those of whom consider themselves “normal”. Survival and morality are universal human themes, and if a society feels that a certain group of its members are more depraved and/or deprived than its whole, it can produce a car crash type of attraction. That and, of course, Sex always seems to sell.
In a subject matter that creates a wide range of controversial responses, photographers present their equally diverse responses on that of a photograph, a permanent “proof of purchase” of sorts, giving validity to their perceptions of prostitution.
Thierry Le Gouès is a fashion photographer whose photographic focus is to make women look beautiful. He did just that when he traveled to Cuba, and photographed prostitutes for his book POPULAR.
It may seem farfetched, but one could dare say his exposure to prostitution may have effected his commercial advertising work.
Thierry Le Gouès
Another photographer who has worked intensely with the legal sex industry is that of Marc McAndrews. His book project NEVEDA ROSE explores the US’s only region to allow prostitution. He stayed at these brothels for extended periods of time, in order to capture the daily life of legal American prostitutes.
Check out an interview with him by ThisPhotoThat. - http://www.thisphotothat.com/2009/04/marc-mcandrews.html
Hana Jakrlova is a female photographer recording prostitution, and its recent profitability in the media culture with her project Big Sister: Internet Brothel, Prague.
This is a brothel which clients agree to be filmed and broadcasted on the internet, as they enjoy certain adult activities.
Trina Søndergaard shows the darker, more desperate side of prostitution as she turns to the unregulated streets in her project Now That You Are Mine.
In situations where drugs and violence are very prevalent, She is still able to capture a form of sympathy in this very unorthodox form of “Love”