Steve Diet Goedde: Extempore
For over 25 years, Steve Diet Goedde has been photographing women. Women in the nude, women being intimate, women dressed in latex, women in stilettos. Obviously, he has a clear knack for making women feel comfortable enough to reveal intimate truths of themselves while posing before his lens. The images never cross the line of being exploitive and the subjects appear to have a clear connection with the man behind the lens. They look strong and never weak. In many ways, Steve Diet Goedde is like a butterfly catcher and his camera is a net that captures extraordinary beauty and power women possess.
Steve Diet Goedde is celebrating another milestone. His new book entitled Extempore is a collection of mostly unpublished images from 1996 to 2018 and explores the spontaneous parts of his work. Many of the photographs included in the book are candid behind-the-scenes moments which give us an intimate glimpse between photographer and subject.
Steve Diet Goedde was kind enough to answer
Q: Tell us a little bit about your new book “Extempore”. How is it different from “Arrangements – 25 Years of Steve Diet Goedde“?
A: The new book explores the more personal side of my work when photographing models. In addition to formal posing, I like to capture models being themselves, sometimes in the act of adjusting their outfits or simply having fun in front of the lens getting ready for the more “serious” shots. Sometimes when performing light readings with my camera, I capture unposed moments of playful candidness. These collected (and mostly previously unpublished) photographs make up the majority of the new book. “ARRANGEMENTS” is a three-part collection of my 25 years of photography featuring classics and unpublished images. Releasing the volumes in reverse chronological order, we started with the third volume featuring work from 2007-2015. I’m going to continue working on the second volume (2000-2006) once I’m done promoting “Extempore”.
Gorgeous large format, hardcover erotic photography book by Steve Diet Goedde includes 160 pages and measures at 11 ¾” x 10 ¼”.
Q: What was your first camera?
A: I remember my first camera! It was one of those little 110 cameras that had used little negative cartridges. The photo quality was especially shitty because each negative was the size of a human pinky fingernail. But looking at those photos now, the low-fi quality of those images perfectly creates a nostalgia for that particular time in the mid 1970s. I’d actually love to do some new shoots with that camera, but I have a feeling that they don’t make the film anymore.
Q: Why do you take photographs?
A: In its most basic form, I love looking at light and documenting it. What that light illuminates is secondary, whether it’s the human form or urban street scenes.
Q: What do you think makes a great photograph?
A: It has to be a perfect triangulation of light, composition, and emotion.
Q: Out of all the images you’ve created, what is your most favorite and memorable?
A: If I had to choose my most life-changing photograph, it would be my latex hands image. That was from the first day I decided to shoot some fetish-themed imagery in 1990. That image opened up the world to me. The fetish photography genre was somewhat void of artistically-minded material those days, so my work really stood out. It even made the mainstream by being chosen as the cover of Italy’s La Fotografia Actual magazine.
“In it’s most basic form, I love looking at light and documenting it. What that light illuminates is secondary, whether it’s the human form or urban street scenes.”— Steve Diet Goedde
Q: There are so many available subjects in photography, what drew you toward fetish photography?
A: Ever since I was a little kid, I had a fascination with women’s shoes and tight, shiny clothing. Once I became old enough to feel and understand sexual attraction, that fascination took on a whole new meaning. During that time, I was also gaining an appreciation for photography. One day, I combined the two interests and discovered I had a unique eye within the genre.
Q: Earlier in your career, your work was label as “fetish photography.” What are your thoughts on the difference between “fetish” and “erotic.” Do you still consider your work
A: For me personally, the two are melded together because I find fetish fashion extremely erotic. For others, mere nudity is their turn-on. We all have our own personal definitions of what we find erotic.
Q: How does black and white vs color play into your work? Do you find them to be totally separate beasts—or complementary?
A: When I’m doing a photoshoot, I have to assess the styling, light, and environment to determine if it’s more suitable for color or black and white. For instance, if I have a model wearing a red dress surrounded by lush greenery, that’s all about the color and not just the light. If I were to take some black and white photos in the same environment, her red dress would appear gray, and visually that’s not very dramatic. I like working with color and love it when it works for me, but black and white will always reflect my true passion
Q: As a photographer, do you ever get sexually excited when shooting?
A: When I first started shooting, I was afraid of being aroused and not being able to hide it. But after a few photo
Q: Do you consider your models as muses? And when selecting a model, what is it that you are looking for?
A: I’ve never embraced the term ‘muse’. Some models are easier to work with than others, but something positive comes out of any collaboration I enter into. In regards to selecting models, I don’t shoot as much as I used to, but when I do, I prefer to work with friends or models I’ve had long working relationships with. Now that I’m older, I have less patience when it comes to meeting and getting to know new people. But sometimes I’ll get a solid model recommendation from someone I trust or I’ll just organically meet someone in person where I’ll immediately get a sense of how it would be to work with them. Also, I’ve rarely contacted a model out of the blue to shoot – it’s always recommendations or the models contact me first.
Q: Digital or film? What’s your favorite and why?
A: I definitely prefer film although I end up shooting more in digital. I love the texture and physicality of film, but the one thing I love most about it is that I only have a small, finite amount of exposures to work with. With medium format, that’s 16 shots a roll. That limitation makes me take more time with each shot – film and processing is expensive. With digital’s seemingly infinite amount of exposures, I tend to get lazy and not make sure every image is exactly how I want it. But with that comes the ability to experiment more than I would with film so each medium has its own set of advantages.
Q: Has social media played a role in your photography?
A: Absolutely. In current times, it’s basically the only way people can be exposed to my art other than having features in magazines or gallery shows. Social media is especially valuable because it allows
“I would tell the young Steve to invest in Apple and Google because it’s nearly impossible to make a living doing strictly erotic photography.”–Steve Diet Goedde
Q: As an artist, do you collect anything?
A: As I’m getting older, I’m more concerned with getting rid of stuff. I used to hoard and collect all kinds of fun stuff but it just became burdensome after a while. I’m more into collecting experiences now.
Q: What would you tell your younger self today? What kind of advice would you give to a young person looking toward a career as an erotic photographer?
A: I would tell the young Steve to invest in Apple and Google because it’s nearly impossible to make a living doing strictly erotic photography. I’ve always had day jobs to pay the bills and have always kept my photography more as a passionate hobby. That way I don’t have to compromise my work. I can shoot what I want and how often – it’s all purely me.
Q: What are some of your favorite books on photography – and what about them do you love?
A: The first photography book that inspired me was Richard Avedon‘s “Portraits”. As a kid, my parents loved photography but only if it featured images of beautiful scenery. A photograph’s worth was based on how beautiful the subject matter was. When I saw Avedon’s book, it featured technically beautiful portraits but showed all of the subjects’ flaws. People’s faces were like topographical maps of rugged terrain. I fell in love with the texture and the honesty of the portraits. That opened up the art form to me in ways I had never understood before. The second book that inspired me was Bob Carlos Clarke‘s “The Dark Summer” from 1985. It was the first book that I had ever seen that showed latex fashion photographed in a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing manner. It basically gave me the personal permission to go ahead and shoot erotica the way I had wanted to.
‘This book explores the more spontaneous side of my work. In addition to all my formal shots, I love capturing models being themselves, sometimes in the ritual of tightening a shoe strap or adjusting a latex dress,or simply having fun in front of the lens. Occasionally, I find special moments, when I’m doing lightSteve Diet Goedde
readings,when I end up recording the models at their most relaxed. These previously unseen moments make up the majority of this new body of work. It’s my most personal collection of photos released to date.’
STEVE DIET GOEDDE: EXTEMPORE will be produced in a large hardcover format:
- Size – 30 x 26cm (11 ¾ x 10 ¼ in)
- 160 pages
- First edition of 1,000 copies, plus special numbered clamshell editions of 10, 20 and 30.
- The book has been designed and proofed. It ready to print upon funding goal.
The deluxe boxed edition comes in a gorgeous debossed clamshell case. Only 60 will be created in three offer packages – Bronze, Platinum and Patron’s levels. Each copy will be individually signed and numbered by Steve Diet Goedde. It will be a coveted collector’s item.
Preorder your book today by clicking here.