Fetish photographer Norman Richter draws the viewer into a sensual, tactile world like few others. The slick shine of his latex is so immaculately lit that the photos seem almost wet, and his muse stretches and sprawls in her skin-tight glossy colors with such glamour and grace that the resulting art is exquisitely polished in every way. We spoke with Richter about love, latex, fashion, fetish and photography.
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Sez G: You have perfected the art of shooting latex! Your images are so slick, shiny, contrasty, smooth and tactile. When did you begin shooting latex?
Norman Richter: Oh WOW! Thank you for your kind words! I started with basic photography until I first saw photographs with "shiny stuff"…I thought it was lace, realizing only later that it was latex. I think that was in 2000.
Sez G: How have you grown as a fetish photographer since then?
Norman Richter: The perfect shine of latex has always had a big appeal to me, and I have since learned how to light it much better. I used to be unsatisfied with my work, but it took a while for me to realize why: I was comparing photography of tight latex to my unprofessional results with lace. My first results were really deflating, but it motivated me to become better.
Sez G: Your partnership with fetish superstar Susan Wayland is notorious. How did you two begin working together?
Norman Richter: Susan was a member of the Gothic scene and interested in photography. She was also a big fan of shiny material, so we met often for some simple shoots.
We finally collected all our money to buy a very expansive red corset. That was our very first latex shoot!
Sez G: So is your relationship purely professional, friendly, intimate...all of the above?
Norman Richter: First and foremost, we are a couple who loves each other, but our relationship also regularly crosses into professionalism. We constantly motivate each other, and very much enjoy working together. It's always fun because we know each other so well.
Sez G: How has your work evolved since shooting her?
Norman Richter: It's safe to say I would not be where I am today. Susan is a big motivation for me to improve myself and my work.
Sez G: You have an enormous number of photo sets with Sway. How often do you two shoot? How long does a typical shoot last and what is it like?
Norman Richter: For each shoot, we try to plan every detail because we want to perfect ourselves and our work. We ask questions like "which outfit matches which location" or "is the sunlight strong enough?" Sometimes a shoot must be short because of how long the location is available. If we have more time, we build a set and spend at least one day per shoot.
Sez G: Do you have a stylist on set?
Norman Richter: No, I don't, but it's possible this will change with time. It works well to do it all ourselves because our shoots are more personal as usual.
Sez G: Who are some of your favorite fetish designers?
Norman Richter: Wow, this is very hard to answer! It's also more of a question of what outfit matches which shoot perfectly.
For example if we're planning something with heavy rubber, we think about HW-Design…for a glamorous style, Fraeulein Erhardt would be interesting. For classic outfits, I first think of Bodycult.
Last year we were contacted by Mario of Polymorphe, who is a great guy with very impressive work. Currently, we are talking with Heidi of SavageWear for a new project. So you see, I don't have one favorite fetish designer. All designers are perfect in their place, and different shoots require different outfits.
Sez G: How does shooting lingerie and softer imagery differ from the process of shooting fetish?
Norman Richter: Well, in my eyes it's not too different. When we shoot fetish photography, we try to present the latex fashion in a perfect, glamorous light. Susan does not appear too strong - though maybe a little dominant. The makeup and lighting are all in place to display the beauty of her in latex fashion. It might be possible to up the contrast or use harder lights, but this is not the purpose of my art.
Sez G: You also do web design. Where did you learn your skills?
Norman Richter: Quick change, right? I grew up with computers. My brother is seven years older and a programmer. As the little brother, I was of course very impressed with his work. When I started working on computers, I really wanted to produce something good and useful - just like in photography!
In learning by doing I got a feeling how a computer works. Within a short time I learned different programming languages like basic (I'm sorry but yes it is), java, delphi (year), c++ and finally php. That was my first step to realizing more projects like our website.
Sez G: Do you shoot Susan exclusively now, or do you shoot other models as well? Does she only model for you?
Norman Richter: Currently, we are shooting a lot because we have big goals, but I would not say we are working exclusively. Sometimes she does shoots for a non-latex designer, and I'm also working with other models… but it's obvious we mainly work with each other.
Sez G: What's next for you?
Norman Richter: That's a good question. First, I want finish my studies which will be done in six months. Of course, I will still continue working with photography. Furthermore, I want learn more about video production. This is in my eyes also a very interesting area that will take a lot of time.
To learn more about Norman Richter visit NormanRichter.com.
Norman Richter - by Sez G.