Megan Eagles likes to photograph her beautiful girlfriends naked, seeks inspiration from '70s softcore porn, and publishes her pics in punky 'zines instead of glossy coffee table books. That's right, this 28-year-old Londoner is pretty much a total badass.
Maxim chatted via email with Eagles about her striking photography and why feminist erotica should always stay sexy.
How would you describe your work?
Erotica shot from the female gaze. I am very inspired by 1970s softcore and I wanted to reimagine it from a female perspective. I tend to shoot friends instead of models, I never Photoshop my subjects and I love tan lines, body hair and women confident in their sexuality.
I feel there is a new puritanical drive in society at the moment, telling women you can be feminist or sexual but never the two at the same time. Look at the newest Pirelli Calendar—for the women to be “inspiring” they have to be covered up. There’s nothing wrong with being a sexual woman and being a feminist, too. I want my subjects and my audience to feel the same way.
What kinds of vintage erotica are you most interested in?
Everything from B-movies to Playboy and Penthouse to saucy books. The women look sexy and I love the aesthetic in which they are shot. I recently got my boyfriend a '70s erotic calendar for Christmas and had a great discussion with the woman in the shop about how much we love the style—she ended up showing me her nudes on her phone!
Are there any secrets to photographing women well?
It all about feeling confident and comfortable—if they are feeling awkward it will show in the image. I try to create a fun feeling during shooting. We have some wine, chill out. Generally they are my friends too, so we’ve seen each other naked before and its no big deal.
Do you consider your work “erotic photography”?
I think it is. A lot of sexual imagery nowadays is very influenced from porn— hard light, open legs, phallic imagery, etc. I want to steer way from that and create beautiful images that are also very sexy.
What was the idea behind your “Babes with the Power” video?
It was a homage to 70s B-movies—I shot it on Super 8 and wanted to make something that was a swan song to Soho in London—a unique place that is disappearing fast.
What photographers have influenced you most?
Helmut Newton and Araki for the way they shoot women, and Cindy Sherman and Diane Arbus for challenging the idea of being a female photographer and what she is interested in shooting.
I know you just put out a 'zine. What do you like about that medium?
I have made one 'zine so far and am in the process of making a second one. It’s a nice process designing and laying out and a great way to display your work and get it out. I try to give them to the girls I shoot and then I sell them all round the world on my site.
Do you have any exciting projects in store for 2016?
I am working on several projects, moving into more video and music videos. New zine coming soon, too!
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