Back to Writing / 4-12-2005

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From Playboy to Skin Two, from Penthouse to Marquis, prolific fashion and fetish photographer Robert Chouraqui has made a vibrant mark on the world of erotic art. He has said he's inspired more by the "intimacy" of faces rather than the "anonymity" of bodies.

Sez G: Where in France are you based?

Robert Chouraqui: I am based in Provence, the sunny south of France, after many years spent in Paris. It is more quiet, but the models love to come down there. I also shoot a lot in London and sometimes in NY and LA.

Sez G: How do you think French fashion and women compliment your artistic attitude and creative necessities? What kind of fashion design are you drawn to?

Robert Chouraqui: Strange fashion or designer fashion. The more extreme the clothes are, the better the challenge. It's a chance to shoot out a superb photo.

Sez G: How do you decide when to shoot black and white instead of color?

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Robert Chouraqui: I use to do both during each session, but now that I've gone digital, I do less black and white…though I still shoot occasionally in black and white with old medium-format Fuji film camera. I still employ black and white when I want very strong contrast or Horst feeling in the picture.

Sez G: You shoot a lot of the darker side of desire. What's your personal relationship to the fetish community and BDSM world?

Robert Chouraqui: I have always liked to photograph all different faces and looks: gothic, punk, princess, submissive, etc. I don't like to shoot strong BDSM; I prefer the sensuality, for example, of the soft use of ropes. I have never photographed technical rope suspensions where the girl cannot move anymore.

Sez G: How much computer retouching do you generally do?

Robert Chouraqui: A lot to add backgrounds, but it is rapid, as I am good at it and the computers are now powerful enough. I used to do a lot of darkroom magic before the digital area like Polaroid transfers and lith printing.

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Sez G: What kind of relationship do you have with your models?

Robert Chouraqui: Usually very good, but it is up to them to really say. When they come back for more, I think the feeling is the same on both sides

Sez G: How much of a shoot (setting, lighting, etc) is planned out for you and how much is spontaneous? How much direction do you give your models?

Robert Chouraqui: Nearly everything is spontaneous (except when an art director for a catalog is there). I keep the giving-direction thing to a minimum, except if it is a shoot involving several people where you need to be more direct to coordinate everyone.

Sez G: What's coming up for you in the future?

Robert Chouraqui: I'm working on a new book and exhibition at Echo gallery in Chicago in October.

You can learn more about Robert Chouraqui at

Robert Chouraqui - by Sez G.