Sex in Fashion Photography Drives Audiences… But Where?

Body Talk © Benjamin Kanarek

Sex sells and sex and fashion pushes up (no pun intended) the ratings of most of the glossies out there. Now I am not talking about glamour magazines or erotic soft porn stuff here. I am referring to the main stream fashion magazines and webzines.

I have no problem with this what so ever. If the theme and story line screams for something hot than why not. But what I am finding more and more is that the shock factor is being used more and more just to shake things up and drive audiences in their direction. Now I am not prude, but what happens when the public becomes numb to the notion? What will we have to pull out of our magical hats to get people to look at the magazines. Will there be a backlash to a more romantic notion of sexuality, or will the marketplace be an eclectic mix of many social and artistic idioms.

I tend to think that modes flow like waves and even though there is room for a vast variety of artistic approaches and interpretations, the overall wave has an affect on all other interpretations and do influence them to a lesser or greater degree.

Black Sky White Soul © Benjamin Kanarek

Sex sells, but I believe, if you want it to have impact, it should be dosed with the understanding that it is more effective in an environment of contrasts. We are being bombarded daily and sometimes less can stand out more than MORE. So the next time you want to make an erotic statement in your imagery, you might get more of a rise by framing what is sexually appealing with a touch of light or fabric and leave the rest to the imagination.

If your story screams for sexuality, go ahead have a ball, but always consider the flow of your story and treat it like you do your sexual affairs. Foreplay is often more important than the actual orgasm.

Just be aware that the audience is very fickle and can easily become numb to being over amped and might just turn the page faster than desired and as a result might go elsewhere. Why? Just because… If everyone is wearing black, introduce white. Contrasts, contrasts, contrasts…

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About Benjamin Kanarek
Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…