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The Erotic Guide

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Interview with Mike Dowson

Hi Mike, as one of your fans, I actually know almost nothing about you. True is that a photographer speaks through his work but sometimes it could be useful to know something more. For example, in your brief biography stands out that you are from Manchester. Are you born and grown there?  For a non UK resident, Manchester means social discomfort, unemployment and good music. Can we include good photography as well?

I was born in Manchester but spend little time there, usually hanging around waiting for a visa. Manchester is a thriving city, it’s had it’s problems in the past, there was, and I suppose still is, a huge drug scene there. But it’s a pretty cool place to live. You forgot to include football!

Another thing I know about you is that you are a traveller, for work and — I guess — for pleasure. The famous photoreporter Don McCullin interviewed said that after travelling all over the world in search of the perfect shot, he had found in his home garden the best source of inspiration. What do you think about that? Does a kind of contemplation and meditation exist in nude photography?
Whether you’re shooting a naked woman or a dying Vietnamese soldier the approach and philosophy are the same, you never change your approach. if you make a conscious effort the photo is lost. If Don McCullin shot nudes you would instantly see his trade mark, style. The ‘perfect shot’ doesn’t exist. I never think in those terms, good or bad, best or worst, it’s pointless. I don’t have a criteria of what i consider good or bad. Photography, like most things, is as subjective as colour, one would never claim blue is better than red. We all have preferences but i don’t consider anything ‘perfect’ or ideal, things are just as they are, as they should be. Humans tend to over analise everything.

Women really enjoy being photographed/filmed naked. The Internet and digital photography have profoundly changed peoples perceptions of nude/erotic photography. ‘Pornography’ no longer exists.

A part from women and their bodies, does anything else remains? I see beautiful journey photography, do you think you could work just in this?
I used to shoot more portraits than naked fashion models but sex sells. Women really enjoy being photographed/filmed naked. The Internet and digital photography have profoundly changed peoples perceptions of nude/erotic photography. ‘Pornography’ no longer exists.

The winning combo of many of your nudes is this type of very skinny as busty woman. In an interview you said you find women with big bosom to have big personality as well because of their being always at “the centre of attention”. I actually find them frightened by the sowed interests. Am I just unlucky? I mean: where do you find all these amazing models?
You must have met the exceptions! Of course there are women with big breasts who feel intimidated with the attention they receive, but I look for the woman who thrive on the attention, those are the women that make my work what it is.

I have never wanted or had the desire to be anyone else. I admire many other photographers work, but never wanted to be that person.

Changing the topic, you are very active on Tumblr. How many followers do you have? What do you find as more intriguing feature in this social in comparison to others? (If it’s like that..)
My assistant, Alissa usually posts stuff on my tumblr. I have around 46,000 followers.

It is used to ask to artist who are their inspiring ones. But I’ll ask you, if you weren’t Mike Dowson, who other photographer (contemporary or not) would you like to be? Or could you be?
I have never wanted or had the desire to be anyone else. I admire many other photographers work, but never wanted to be that person.

Recently you published your Naked fashion girls with Goliath. How was working with them? Did you have creativity freedom?
Goliath were pretty cool, I objected several times to the title of the book, eventually we came to a compromise. To me ‘naked fashion girls’ sounds like pidgin English, I preferred, ‘fashionably naked’ or ‘naked and fashionable’.

Last question: what does Mark Dowson do, when he’s not shooting? (As for example, on Sundays…)
I work everyday. If I’m not actually shooting I am scouting for girls, attending castings, or editing on my lap top.

 

Exclusive interview by Fluffer founder Dario Morgante with amazing photographer Mike Dowson. Originally published on issue 8 of the magazine.

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