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July 12, 2017

Adult Stars Captured in Nate 'Igor' Smith's 'Instaxxx'

LOS ANGELES—Before there was Instagram, photographer Nate “Igor” Smith was using a Polaroid Instamatic camera to document his girlfriends, filing them away as emotional mementos of his relationships. With a degree in photography from Virginia Commonwealth University, he began documenting the punk rock scene in Washington, D.C., where musicians like Henry Rollins once rocked the stage. In 2008, Polaroid discontinued its Polaroid camera and Smith began using Fujifilm’s Instax Wide Film. Moving from taking emotionally driven images to being more concerned with the image itself, Smith continued to photograph women. Mostly naked women. He captured the intimate moments of girls; from regular girls to high fashion models to porn stars, sex workers, girlfriends and girlfriends of girlfriends. The result is Instaxxx: A Book of Nude Instant Photography. The incredible and intriguing 180-page coffee table photo book features hundreds of naked ladies throughout its 300 pages. His charming, down-to-earth, bad-girl-next-door aesthetic has not changed since he first photographed his real-life girlfriends in the 1990s. But his technique, composition and artistry have matured into an amazing book of work. His casual, off-the-cuff style is accomplished, he says, “with no Photoshop and no lighting.” And instead of getting the girls to pose, he does the opposite, preferring something more “natural” like capturing girls in their environments. Scenarios includes girls hanging out in hotel rooms with other girlfriends, girls brushing their teeth, girls eating on their beds, and girls hanging out on their couches. His rock ’n’ rollness emerges when he captures naked girls in 6-inch stilettos climbing wire fences like they are fleeing the scene of a crime, or trying to scale a fence to get into a rock concert. The fun for the viewer is guessing what they are actually doing. “I’m not trying to sexualize people,” he says, a refreshing take on a man taking nude photographs of a woman. The photos look unposed, and remind the viewer of amateur porn, with an outtake feel. “Real life is interesting to me,” he says. “I’m just capturing the moment.” Although the book is inhabited by adult stars, including Stoya, Joanna Angel and Kimberly Kane, he says that the book is “not pornography.” “But I like shooting porn people because they are really comfortable being naked,” he says. “The photos can be more real when someone feels more comfortable.” The photos have an emotional, haunting quality about them that the viewer can project into and interpret as he/she likes. And although the viewer sometimes has no idea what the background or life is of his subjects are—whether or not they are strippers, porn stars or stay-at-home moms, he extracts a vulnerability and goes to the core of his subject by bringing out the innocent “girl” in the photo, no matter what their stories may be.  For $40 you can buy the book here. Instaxxx will instantly become a conversation starter on your coffee table. The author is hosting a book party for Instaxxx in Los Angeles on Friday, July 14. The event takes place 7-10 p.m. at Superchief Gallery LA, 739 Kohler St., Los Angeles, CA 90021. Sounds will be provided by adult performers Carter Cruise and Joseline Kelly, and Charlotte Sartre and Riley Nixon will be working the Photobooth, posing with guests for Instax images.

 
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