Photographer’s journey: Changing my photographic style for Maria Beatty

Maria Beatty, a filmmaker who lived on the 5th floor of the Chelsea Hotel, was among the first women to agree to be in my book Erotic Lives of Women. As a hotel lobby friend she trusted me, so she invited us (co-editor Marion and I) to her room to shoot her and a partner’s erotic pursuit of pain, pleasure and orgasm. Having already heard in the interview that she was a professional slave/submissive and a feminist porn producer, I had the chance to explore how to portray her intimacy, how to sense its radiating energy, its enticement, its fecund essence. Maria believes that “sexual pleasure at its core is the most ‘I am alive’ sensation people will experience.”

My photographic style was emerging for this body of work so it was a pivotal shoot. I observed the emotional moment where I usually felt the ‘shot‘ to peak, and would snap the shutter, but there in her room I recognized it was more  valuable to hold back and take the shot a few seconds later. It gave the situation more density, a further point on the edge which has proven to be more dynamic.

written by Linda Troeller

featured image copyright Linda Troeller from the book Orgasm