Usually I have something very clear in mind that I want to do and since I'm all about vamps, those are the type of people I seek out for in my work... femme fatales, not the girls next door, you know? Many times, of course, it's what the model brings to the table, but I do like having backstories to what I represent and having concrete ideas of vignettes in what I portray. Stories are important in photos even if they aren't straightforward. When you see a model dressed a certain way, the expression... I like the idea of making people think 'Who is she and what is she up to?'
I feel there are two sides about the mainstreaming of fetish culture; on one side there's a more positive reception by being less underground and viewed in a less taboo way. I like the idea of people being more open and into trying new things by being less judgmental. But then with that it also becomes more bastardized and trendy to the point where it turns ridiculous and it loses its seriousness and meaning. It develops into something kitschy, as with anything which first came from the underground. Its appeal was how hidden and dangerously thrilling it was. Then you end up seeing movies such as 50 Shades of Grey, which get BDSM all wrong in its casual approach without any of its context. This medium has a bigger reach and the distortion damages the originality and things become mass culture, which in the end just cheapens it.
I'm very happy with how much advancement has been made in the approval of different forms of sexuality. It seems like a lot of people are more open-minded about this, than for example, back in the '90s when I was a teenager. Younger generations increasingly question conventional gender stereotypes, and this is probably going to create a fascinating shift in our culture. When changes like this happen they're also reflected creatively as interesting things come out when people explore their identities by questioning them. Also the more accepting our culture becomes, the less struggle people who identify differently face in being themselves and ultimately this leads to happier people who aren't repressed.
The Villain, available at Threadless.