Anybody who knows my sense of humor knows this collection is right up my alley. So I'm quite happy to see that this project is now one step closer to reality. Please check out this link for more information about Shiloh and the Dirty Minds Project, and read on for my little hit-and-run interview with the man behind the monkey-spanking!
It’s a little hard to describe, but everyone knows it when they see it. I like to say “The Dirty Minds Project” is a series of portraits of people acting out the literal act, or representation of a sexy word or phrase. So for example, “Spanking The Monkey” there is a photograph of someone spanking an actual monkey. It’s all about sex, but it’s also funny and weird and sometime can be a touch uncomfortable.
What was the inspiration for this collection?
I’ve always had a very literal minded brain, so it was an easy blend to turn the naughty bits on and this project is what came out. I think the inspiration for all of my work comes from the desire to tell a story and to have a viewer feel affected by an image. In the case of “The Dirty Minds Project” I think it’s hilarious and love to make people laugh. There’s nothing better than watching people look at some images, try and figure out what it is they are looking at and then have that, “Ahha!” moment - look at me and shout, “Choking His Chicken!”
Is there any particular sexual euphemism that comes to mind that you think might be difficult to bring to a literal photographic interpretation?
Oh man, this keeps me up at night! One I’m trying to figure out is how to suspend a couple of dancers for “The Horizontal Tango.” So many different ways to shoot that one. The one I really want to try and do and not sure how it would work is: Missionary Position. I was thinking maybe I could have a a model dressed as a Missionary Priest who is playing a specific position in a soccer game or something - I don’t know how to make that one work, but it could be so funny if I could get it right.
On your blog, you state that, "...in everyone there is a story to be photographed and told in an interesting and unique way." What is it that you, as the photographer, do to bring that story out in your subjects?
Great questions! Story runs pretty deep. Story is everything to me. History is a story. We define who we are through our stories. Life is narrative and the amazing thing about being a photographer is that I get to craft or enforce or shatter a subjects story through my images. So, I guess to answer your question, what I do to bring that story out in my subjects is to first discover what they want theirs to be and then how I want to photograph that. I love working with actors and models who are passionate about creating a narrative with me. Like with “The Dirty Minds Project” it’s a narrative, but wrapped up in a visual sexual phrase and a moment, so there’s a lot of layers there - which I find so much fun discovering with my subject. When it clicks it’s so sweet.
Thanks for appearing on the blog, Shiloh, and good luck to you and the Project!
Want to see more of Shiloh's work? Check out his commercial photography page here: http://www.shilohstrongfoto.com