Mr Robert Babylon - The One & Only!

One of the best photographers from the UK and certainly one with a totally new look on erotic is Robert Babylon.  His approach to photography goes beyond what most of us could imagine.  I had the pleasure of interviewing him for erolife.

Phil: How long have you been in photography? 

Robert: I was about ten when I created my first image with a camera. It was my mother’s red Kodak Box Brownie which I still have. I remember my parents’ strict warnings about the cost of each photograph – at that time each press of the shutter button meant the film negative needed to be processed and a physical print made.

I started creating photographs with a passion when I was about seventeen and my first “erotic photographs” soon after. I created my first “true fetish” photographs when I was about thirty.

Phil: You have a rather unique style… how did you come about discovering it?
Robert: Thank you, being told I have ‘a rather unique style’ in a society where everyone has a camera and everyone is a photographer is a very great compliment. I guess being a self-taught photographer helps, I wasn’t constrained by being told what was and wasn’t possible. When I first started looking at fetish photographs I really loved the work of China Hamilton. Later I got to meet him and he became my friend and mentor, more than anyone else he has helped me discover and refine my style.

Phil:  What type of person usually approaches you?
Robert: I’m particularly proud that more women than men approach me about my work – both my artwork and for private commissions. I don’t like the old idea that sex is for men and “good girls don’t”.

Phil: Have you ever been asked to do something that’s gone over your head and made you laugh?
Robert: One private commission was for a woman who wanted to surprise her husband with some naughty photos of her for his birthday. He had already found the underwear and shoes she had secretly bought for the shoot and when she went ‘missing’ for the day of the shoot he thought she was having an affair. I had to rush the photos over to him as quickly as possible to save their marriage!

Phil: Do you find that because of your unique style there are no shortage of willing models?
Robert: I don’t know if it’s just my unique style, hopefully it’s my personality too, but I’ve never had a problem finding models. Most of my art models are already my friends – I’m blessed with a lot of very attractive and adventurous friends!

Phil: If someone wanted  to make a serious start in erotic photography what would you say is the best way to source models? … or should they start with their partners?
Robert: Starting with friends and partner is the way I began, however there’s a lot you can learn from booking  a friendly professional or semi-professional model.

Phil: Erotic, Porn, or Art;  which one do you prefer when it comes to being behind the camera? Or for that matter is there a difference?
Robert: There is a difference. Porn imposes stereotypes on people, it has no function other than to sexually excite. Erotic art expresses individuality, art should stir all sorts of emotions, it should make people think and question. I hope that all my work is erotic and the best of it is erotic art.

Phil: Do you prefer the great outdoors or studios?
Robert: As a control freak I love shooting in a studio where I have complete control of the light and every other element. Stripping out the background to concentrate on the subject is part of my style.

I had the great privilege of working in The Seychelles, a truly beautiful fantasy location, but being so close to the equator the magic light around sunset only lasts minutes! To get the shots we had to work quickly – and rush and hurry isn’t very Seychellois!

Phil: Would you ever go back to using film?
Robert: If there was an advantage to using film for a particular job I would happily return to it, it taught me to visualise the image before releasing the shutter. I don’t miss the expense of using Polaroids to test lighting setups though!

Phil: How big is the jump from photography to shooting video?
Robert: Photographs tend to tell their stories in a single image, videos tell theirs in a sequence. Video often has the added complexity of sound but apart from that the rules are very similar.

Phil: I speak to a lot of photographers and most of them say that Photoshop has taken the edge of the skill of photography. Would you agree with this?
Robert: Image manipulation programmes like Photoshop along with digital cameras have changed the way we approach photography. I used to be very pompous about using Photoshop when I still used film. I have used it since the early 90’s for my graphics work but would never ‘lower’ myself to alter my photographs with it. Then I suddenly saw it from a completely different perspective. It’s a very powerful tool and it should be used to improve images but it can’t create a great image from a bad one.

Phil: What advancements would you like to see in photography?
Robert: Cheaper cameras and cameras that produce images with less noise in lower light.

Phil: What advice can you give to people wanting to take better pictures of their partners?
Robert: Use natural light if possible – on camera flash tends to be harsh and unforgiving. Try standing further away from your subject and use the Telephoto (T) setting on the camera rather than the Wide Angle (W) setting. It keeps everything more in proportion and is far more flattering for face and figure.

Phil: Do you have any exhibitions in the pipeline?
Robert: I’ll be at London Fetish Weekend on October 5-7th, Venus Fair in Berlin 18th-21st October and I’m preparing a new collection of work for another exhibition at the SoHo Gallery in New York early next year.

To see more of Robert's work or contact him about a commission, view his profile here.  Robert is also kind enough to supply erolife with page headers for all our guests and members to enjoy.  Thank you Robert and we look forward to seeing more of your creations on erolife soon!

 

  

Quotes
“Without a doubt Robert's most amazing and unique work is his UV work, every one I show it to loves it, it’s where he really stands apart form the others and it’s very safe to display as its sexual messages are very subtle.  His images have a unique and very visual power, they leap away from the conventional, especially the amazing colours he generates with the use of UV. I think he is very much a master of this very 21st century erotic art.”
China Hamilton (Photographer)


“It is fascinating how an artist can take a mundane image or photo, add a strategic splash of color, and give it new meaning and life. That is what Robert Babylon has done with his use of Neon Lights.”
Dr. Naomi Wilzig (Owner of The World Erotic Art Museum)

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