We ask fetish photographer Rene Zuiderveld – SMartPics on Recon – a few questions about his work and his fetish. Here's what he had to say:
Tell us about your photography style and viewpoint
In my photography I search for imagery that always places the human being in the centre, showing what is mostly considered an underground and often subversive aspect of male eroticism. The domestic and theatrical settings of many of my images also emphasize trust, strength, warmth and longing. I try to take photos that let us see my models in suggestive, playful and erotic images. Sometimes using sharp colours, sometimes nodding to the kinky/fetish world, and very often showing joyful eroticism.
I have had various reactions to my images - some simply appreciate the playful aspect in many of my photos, while others read the subtle comments on inequality in society.
My primary objective in creating my work though is a close collaboration with my models and, through that process, achieving imagery that invites viewers to finish what they see by using their own fantasy.
How did you get into photography?
Following on from serious surgery and a long period of chemotherapy, I discovered photography quite by accident. Taking a compact camera along on my daily bike rides (to recover after my illness), I began to photograph the environment I had lived for several decades already. Taking pictures grew into a passion that developed from architectural and nature photography to portraits… and finally to a specialisation in male photography.
What is it that interested you in fetish photography?
Fetish photography was a rather natural choice, because on a personal and sexual level I have always been interested in it as well. Besides that, fetish photography often adds an element of theatricality to the image, which is always an extra inspiration.
What does fetish mean to you?
Fetish to me means more than just the sexual experience. It also shows me a side of the man that is non-conformist to society, an alternative to "standard" society that allows guys to play and forget about how things are supposed to be according to so many less openminded people. In fetish, very often there are no different social classes. All what counts is finding a common ground.
When did you first get a taste for fetish and kink?
In my early twenties I discovered my interest in kink (mostly kink, then a decade later leather fetish followed). But I have never been solely attracted to a certain fetish or type of fetish man. I sometimes say jokingly that I have fetishes for connection, personality ... and if kink/fetish is part of that connection I am even more happy.
Do you have a favourite fetish to shoot?
I do not have a favourite fetish for photography; the personality, connection and interaction count more for me. So, leather, rubber, sportswear, naked ... all is inspiring …from suggestive to explicit, from erotic and sensual to action and play.
Are there any photographers who have influenced your work?
Although I admire the work of several photographers (amongst others Robert Mapplethorpe, Erwin Olaf), I try not to let their photography influence me in my photography. At least not intentionally, not consciously.
Are you looking for models, and how do you choose them?
Yes, I always am, and for locations too (play rooms, derelict buildings, nature, interiors, garages, attics ... anything that offers perspectives). Guys who are not afraid to share their kinks and fetishes on camera, who love to collaborate in order to create images that are somewhat more artistic.
Are you working on any projects at the moment, do you have anything coming up?
With a good friend I have been invited to present a collection of gay art that shows a wide range of disciplines - from photography, painting, to jewellery and sculpture. This will be the first gay themed exhibition presented in the museum in Zandvoort (on the Dutch coast). My photography will be part of it - the less kinky genre of my photography, but I will most certainly hint to the fetish scene.
Check out SMartPics Recon profile, as well as examples of his work, using the links below