Long time no post.


Thought I would give you a brief up date of what I have been up to as I know it has been a bit quiet on the blog lately and my twitter feed is awash with sarcasm, summer antics and not much photography talk.    I finally finished the MA (at last), handed in dummy versions of the books in May and graduate in October.  For those of you who would like to know, I got a First for my dissertation that asked the question "Is it possible to reclaim the word whore through creative practice as research?"  but that does not mean it is the end of Whoretography - oh no my peoples, this is only the beginning.  This is now my passion, my photographic purpose that I will do along side my commercial work, this matters to me.

This is what I have been doing: 

  1. Hand delivering box orders, if I have not got to you yet you will hear from me on Sunday.
  2. Applying for PhDs - currently waiting to hear back from a few universities. 
  3. Updating the rejection page on the website to list all the mainstream places Whoretography has been rejected from - the list is long my friends.
  4. Ironing out a few kinks and quirks with the commercial photographer's list.
  5. Finalising the dummy books to get them to a stage I can present them to publishers
  6. Arranging exhibitions andinstallations influenced by the work of Christer Stromholm who once said, that his images of prostitutes as being“about insecurity… about humiliation… about the quest for self-identity and the right to live” (Vaillat, 2017). This coupled with the notion that “the book is the natural home, and the best showcase for photographers, because of the nature of the medium itself, making a photobook by virtue of the fact that it requires the selection and sequencing of a number of photographs, gives meaning to the photographers work.   The photobook allows the photographer the potential to tell a story, the possibility of constructing a narrative.”
  7. Heading to Australia to design a book cover for an academic publication and to work with an amazingly inspirational woman whose daughter was a remarkable person.
  8. Working on edition two of the magazine and submitting the original edition to competition for self and independent publishers.  AND FINALLY
  9. The matter ofInsuh Yoon,  I have written an article about him and sought some legal advice prior to publishing, as soon as I make the required changes we are good to go.


Commerical Photographers List

In response to the unfolding scandal involving photographer Insuh Yoon I have decided to create a commercial photographer section to the Whoretography website to help navigate the internet in finding a trustworthy sex worker friendly photographer.  This section will include;

  1. A list of sex worker recommended photographers by country/county/state, I will only accept sex worker referred photographers. No self referrals, photographers need to earn a place on the photographers list.
  2. A list of photographers to avoid based on intel received from sex workers and that includes photographers who operate perfectly respectable business on the surface but pack a hefty dose of whorephobia into their camera bags.
  3. Blog posts about copyright and other issues when it comes to booking photographers
  4. Blog posts from sex workers regarding their experiences with creating their visual marketing.

If you want anything else added, then just hell out.  This is very much a work in progress and I am doing this out of pure rage at the stories I have been told re Insuh Yoon and photography is my thing, so this is my way of giving back to the sex worker community and well, fuck that arsehole!

Add Recommended Sex Work Photographers

Here you will find the details of photographers who shoot commercial visual (image and film) content for sex workers. Whilst I am a photographer myself, I do not currently offer photographic services to sex workers.  The photographers on this list have been recommended by sex workers, I need at least 3 positive recommendations before I will add a photographer to the list, please note that I will not list photographers who self recommend or sex work clients who have decided that the are emerging photographers. 

To recommend a photographer, please provide the following information:

Photographers Business Name

Photographers Name

Photographers Gender

Photographers Website

Email Address

Telephone number (if applicable)

Twitter Handle



A few words about your experience with this photographer, not just about the quality of the photos but the quality of the overall experience

You can let me know this information via DM on the twitter @Whoretographer or by way of email, please use missclairekeeler@gmail.com for now.

Come with me and join the creative resistance in the fight for rights.

Hey All!

I am taking a bit of a break from social media for the coming weeks.  I envision it to be six weeks, but we will see how long I can go for without engaging in sarcastic Twitter banter. I can give up sex and cocaine, affairs with handsome bourgeois married men of Battersea but I am not sure if I can give up the Twitter, even for a brief time. We will see.  I will occasionally be tweeting from the wonderment that is TweetDeck about the books and magazines.  Sorry, I feel dirty saying this, but I need to schedule my tweets in advance, the Twitter equivalent of faking perhaps.    I apologise for my lack of spontaneous tweeting. I apologise for the lack of sarcasm in the coming weeks.  I am sure it will come back with a vengeance and a hefty dose of wit, honesty and sarcasm come May.

Whoretography has morphed into something more than what I could have ever imagined it to be.  It has gone from an off the cuff (I should say off the pillow) remark post fucking Steve McQueen when it dawned on me that I wanted to photograph him naked. Photograph us naked together.  Somewhere between realising I was in the business of a photographic conspiracy in which my camera was acting as an agent for the falsehood of couple cohesion and intimacy, and the idea of documenting paid-for sexual intimacy (okay, mainly with a married Steve McQueen) as the antidote to the visual falsehoods of wedding photography.  I remember it like it was yesterday but it was not, it was sometime in 2014.  I quipped that he could call me the Whoretographer and three years later, here we are today.

It is now the reason I have to take a break from social media for about six weeks.  There are many things I need to accomplish;

  • Finish writing my dissertation (crikey!)
  • Finishing the books for the MA (double crikey!)
  • Compiling the box sets and orders to send them out.
  • Arranging a Whoretography Exhibition
  • Re launching the bookshop
  • Redesign of the website to move it from a creative practice asresearch platform to a commercial self-funding visual activist and book publishing platform.
  • Applying for PhDs
  • The never ending quest to find funding.

I still very much need your help and support, and you can be a champion of Whoretography in many ways.  Come with me and join the creative resistance in the fight for sex workers' rights.

You can be a part of the creative resistance by;

  1. Following Whoretography on the Twitter ( find us on facebook too!)
  2. Buy a magazine, a PDF, an e-book or physical book.  Everything is printed in-house (or via blurb) and is sex work positive.
  3. Comment on blog posts, retweet where you can.
  4. Donate if you wish by way of gofundme, bank transfer or Bitcoin.
  5. Submit content and send me examples of where the media betrays sex workers by the visual rhetoric they circulate.
  6. Send me suggestions for books to review for the Sex Worker Review of Books.
  7. and anything else you can think of!

Thanks for reading me and many thanks!

Sex Work Photo Book Rewiew Julia Fullerton-Batten's, The Act.


I will start by saying that the audience of this book is not sex workers nor is it really about sex workers.  It's about a carefully curated selection of whores, who somewhere along the narrative, in the eye of Julia Fullerton-Batten lose the status of a prostitute and transcend to that of the desired model.  I should say the white model which is comical given an article in Huck Magazine about The Act begins with the line the sex industry in 2017 is as diverse as ever,  but you'd not know it from this book.  This book is all about white toned skinny modelesque whores with token women of colour thrown in for political good measure. 

The Act is no different from other photo books that depict sex workers. They are never about sex workers nor are they intended for the viewing of sex workers.  The Act is a visual expression of how a non sex work photographer views whores and the validation of an already existing worn out photographic gaze that falls upon the bodies of sex workers. A gaze perpetrated by photographers who seem to think photographing whores is some pinnacle of visual expression that will eventually bestow the photographer with accolades for creating art from the bodies of a marginalised group.  Sorry, but to me c'est passé! 


So, if this photobook is not for sex workers then who is the audience?  Well, to me. That is obvious and should go without saying.  Fullerton-Batten's book The Act is for the eyes of men only.  History is littered with a visual representation of sex workers created for the titillation of male eyes only but I am no Whorestorian though, see Whores of Yore for that expertise.  The intended male only audience and well, to be honest, everything about this book makes me question the role the photo book plays in the ordinary lives of sex workers. The role they play in the fight for rights.  This is not a critique of the images, though. They are stunning, cinematic,  quirky, dark and as Fullerton-Batten says herself they are playful and somewhat sexually charged.  I'd expect nothing less from a collaboration with Vogue Italia but I can't be the only one who sighs at yet another photographic essay of naked topless sex workers. Legs spread. Mouth open. Tits on display.   It's not to say I have an issue with nudity, it's to say I have an issue with the reductive view of sex workers.

The stunning photographs are independent and interdependent, the way movement flows through the book is a stroke of creative genius and the haptic experience of this book, the highly sexualised tactile sensation is key to its success, and here the heterosexual male audience comes into play. 

The Act is described as;

Generously sized, beautifully printed, hand-crafted, sumptuously bound in a soft material flesh-like to the touch, and embellished with a lace garter, the book is a dream for collectors of fine-art photography.


They only way to interpret this is,  The Act is a dream for men. I imagine the removal of the garter, the touching of the flesh, inviting you to enter the book, exposing the photographs is akin to the feelings of fingering a woman. I need not have to comment re the reference to being generously sized.  I'm not convinced nor am I impressed. This presentation plays straight into the argument of a whore as an objectified sex object and what seals this book's fate in my eyes is the comment made by Fullerton-Batten herself “Although it’s not a choice of career that I would make"   Well, why the hell not?  Fullerton-Batten is that far removed from women who are sex workers that it has clouded her photographic output.  If, as a photographer, you can't imagine yourself as a whore then you have no right or place to be photographing whores.  This renders The Act, in my opinion nothing more than high-end fine art wank material.

Whoretography, the Magazine. On Sale Wednesday 11th Jan.

It's difficult to pinpoint where exactly Whoretography began. I had been a wedding photographer for some time and had grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of critical thought in the wedding industry.  It was evident from the beginning of my photographic career that I was never going to fit in with an industry that expected photographs to conform to a set of predefined photographic wedding rules.  The rules conceived so long ago that asking the simple question of why do wedding photographers shoot the way they do was routinely met with the answer we are wedding photographers, it's what we do.    I was never comfortable with that dismissive approach to wedding photography and sought a greater understanding of my craft from a theoretical perspective.

So, I began wondering about what was the actual role of wedding photography. Was I reflecting reality with a creative edge? Was I part of a conspiracy of intimacy in which my camera was acting as an agent for the falsehood of staged love?   Was I in the business of creating photographic bullshit to help husbands and brides to be to convince themselves of couple cohesion and family unity?

These thoughts would swirl around my head at ceremonies and receptions.  Consequently, my work took on a more rebellious edge; I started to challenge the conventional norms of wedding industry as I steered away from soft hues and romantic presets to dark imagery that began to make a social comment about marriage, feminism and the illusion of togetherness.  I was subconsciously producing advant garde imagery that reflected the internal conflict I had about being a wedding photographer.  Had I sold my photographic soul to a £6 billion a year industry and will my photographic archive only consist of marital photographic fluff?

Something had to give.  Then something did give.  I got outed as a sex worker to a wedding magazine editor, and all hell broke loose.  A horrendous time of business loss, homelessness and an 18-month bout of vile whorephobia followed what was an exceptionally painful and challenging period in my life. 

When I came out the other end, I was more determined than ever to be the type of wedding photographer I wanted to be.  At the same time challenge convention and well, to be honest, stick a cheeky fuck you two finger salute to the people in the wedding industry who took offence to a whore in their midst.   It was irrelevant that I was an award winning, published photographer who'd shot magazine covers.  There was no way a clique of bloggers and editors with their cliched wedding ideas and apparent rock n roll approach to the industry was going to welcome a whore.

So, I did it without them.  Fuck 'em!

When I was rebuilding my photographing career, I returned to sex work and committed the cardinal sin of falling for a devilishly handsome married client.  Within three visits we'd stopped using condoms, within four he'd stop paying and then what were monthly visits and became weekly trysts.  So, this is part two of how Whoretography began. 

I had a longing to document the sexual encountersI had with that Battersea Bourgois married man.     To photograph that connective (what felt like MDMA-inspired) Friday morning fucking that we enjoyed.    A desire to shoot that feeling of how deep he was inside of me, photograph our hot entangled bodies, to photograph that look on his face as he convulsed beneath me as he came. To capture it all before we royally fucked up by making a baby. 

Our affair exists now to me only as a stash of Polaroids secreted away in an innocuous metal box in my studio along with the ultrasound scan of the baby we lost.  A baby who like our affair ended up as just a collection of photographs.

It's this belief that we all end up as a collection of photographs that made me, as a wedding photographer, question the role photography plays in creating the illusion of couple cohesion and marital intimacy.  Made me explore the role wedding photography plays in creating the falsehood of togetherness. That happily ever after we chase. If wedding photography is a grand illusion of intimacy, then my thinking was documenting a recently married man with a sex worker is photographic proof absolute of the lies printed on the pages of wedding albums.

My married lover was my muse - well he was until he left me while I was miscarrying.   Married in July 2013, he came looking for me in November of 2013.    I was interested in photographing that rapport and alchemy that was absent from his marriage.   Not alchemy with a husband and wife but with man and whore. 

I am fascinated with documenting human connection, the courtship rituals within the confines of payment. Lovers and friends but within the boundaries of a commercial transaction.  
I want to photograph the genuine intimacy married men seek out of their marital beds. I am fascinated with the hidden worlds of husbands.  Steve McQueens ( I called him Steve McQueen because he'd show up riding his motorcycle, travelling all the distance of 7 mins from his home to mine), His role of the husband, was a source of fascination to me, as was his role of lover.

Moving forward, I approached a university with the idea of documenting paid for sexual intimacy as the visual antidote to the false visual intimacy of wedding photography.  Whoretography has since morphed into a Masters Degree in the field of digital photography and creative media arts.  It's avisual platform at the intersection of images, technologies, society and the sex worker rights movement.  It's a combination of cyberethnography and visual research methods.  It's an independent publishing and activist platform.

It'scalling into question the role imagery plays in the online transaction of sex and marriage. Whoretography IS the first academic, ethnographic and creative platform dedicated solely to understanding the role photography plays in sex work.



There are no methods to my photographic madness (madness is probably not too strongly put) I am a little nuts bonkers when it comes to cyber ethnography. I am an obsessive hoarder of pictures. If only I collected lovers the way I collect photographs. Editor as Author. Creative Director. A photographer not using a camera. A collector. A curator. I've plundered the depths of the internet; I can't unsee shit, torn out images from magazines, spent money I do not have on books. I like to create order with typologies. I rescue images from the chaos that is the collapsing digital archive we call the internet. I am obsessed. Whoretography is a compulsion, an addiction, a love letter to prostitution, a rebellion against brides. A fuck you to a lover who left me; it's the moment we change the way sex worker imagery is understood forever.

You can buy the Whoretography magazine for £3 via the Whoretography shop on Blurb as a PDF or an e-magazine as of Wednesday the 11th of January. I will post the link on Wednesday morning.   This edition is not suitable for printing (the photographs are low resolution, purposely so), subsequent editions will be sold as limited edition hard copies also.

The aim is to make the magazine a quarterly publication but given this edition took me 5 months it make take sometime before it comes to fruition ...

Vape I say ...

I don't normally do this, talk about non sex work, non photography stuff on the blog but I wanted to give a shout-out to a friend of mine who has been a massive supporter of Whoretography since before, well before Whoretography was just a random post fucking idea I had whilst staring at a naked sweaty Steve McQueen.

As a freelance photographer, I know running a small online business can be a ball buster, so I wanted to give a shout out to my friend who has launched an on-line Vap Store and to be honest, I am not sure what goes better with fucking than smoking (okay, vaping)

Please follow him on the Twitter @OnlineVapeStore and visit his store here   If you want more information just email him ... info@theonlinevapestore.co.uk 

and in the spirit of changing the visual landscape one awesome photograph at a time, be sure to enter competition via the Twitter  Who sends in the greatest picture of vaping in London #theonlinevapestore #londonvapers. The winner will receive a great selection of random prizes from our store to enjoy.

Many thanks, go forth and Vape peeps.

False photographic consciousness: the visual war on sex work.

Whoretography scored a nice blog entry as part of the Beyond the Gaze Project , you can read the blog post here.  It's a redacted version of the one that I'll publish in the Whoretography magazine https://www.beyond-the-gaze.com/2016/11/17/false-photographic-consciousness-the-visual-war-on-sex-work/

Here is a snippet ....

The prohibitionist visual portrayal shapes everyone’s understanding of the lives and bodies of sex workers.    It's that; we must challenge and call out.   A new interpretation of sex worker imagery can change the visual landscape that forms the political and social views that rob so many of us of autonomy.  Change what people see of sex work, and we change what they understand.
People’s perception of other people’s experiences is informed by the images they see,  so it's unsurprising prohibitionist picture selection always drums out the victim narrative.  Except Rachel Moran, because Moran thought it fit to sell a harrowing tale of a working class girl abused with a fashion inspired photograph airbrushed and photo-shopped to boot.  I believe they are not aware they are doing it, a false photography consciousness.  So blinded by their visual rhetoric they believe it to be the obvious visual truth.  This denial is handy if you seek to indoctrinate people perversely with their not so subtle attempts at visual rhetoric.

Business Cards ....

I thought it time I printed business cards for Whoretography since I commence a speaking circuit of sorts in December. The image is classified as a found image. One of the hundreds of found polaroids ofwomen who auditioned to strip at a club in the 60s and 70s. The polaroids bought for $10 and came with a box of 400.  Despite the gentleman paying for them, he does not, in fact, own the copyright, that belongs to the original photographer and since he or she cannot be found, the images are classified as found photographs and can be registered pursuant to the Orphan Works legislation for commercial use.

Donating to Whoretography (https://uk.gofundme.com/w-tography) helps me to register these images as Orphan Works.

The prohibtionist trade in dead hookers and appalling photo editing ...

How much for that dead whore in the window? 

No bloody idea to be honest but if you ask Mouvement du Nid I'm guessing a badly edited over photoshopped mock dead whore shot is a must have for the prohibitionists for profit these days. If pimps apparently profit off the prostituted then prohibitionists profit from death and questionably choice in editing.  Trigger warning; the photo editing is woeful, can't believe these muppets won an award for this photographic nonsense.

This is an extract from an article to be published soon. The tame version to be published on an academic site and the more passionate I blame you people for the murder of prostitutes, I'm not letting you off the visual hook version in the magazine.  If their intentions were not so vile, the editing would be laughable. They don't look dead they look liker they need B12 injections and a bit of sun.


The French anti prostitution organisation Mouvement du Nid, created a fake escort website (http://girlsofparadise.sex) with the aim of deterring men from paying for sex. The site a perfect example of why the dead whore is such a powerful visual marketing tool.   Mouvement du Nid argue they are fighting violence against sex workers by using violent images, completely oblivious and ignorant to the way photography gives justification to the violence Mouvement du Nid claim to want to stop.   So ignorant,  they celebrated upon being awarded a prestigious advertising award for doing nothing more than promoting a stereotype.  For an organisation that claims to save sex workers, an image of a dead prostitute is essential for bringing in cash donations. 


The uncharitable bastards at the Salvation Army also understands the financial benefits of maintaining the visual status quo. They were forced to make a public apology after sex workers complained over the representation that vilified them as bad mothers.  Although the Salvation Army issued an apology over the offensive material, and lacked the photographic balls to use the dead hooker look,  other campaigns that visually depict sex worker as hapless deviants continue to form   part of their fund raising strategy.  Perhaps, one should ask them how much for that dead whore in the window?  No, that is not a rhetorical question, as I'd love to know the amount of money a dead hooker photo is worth in so called charitable donations. 

Whoretography update

My apologies for the blogging silence of late but I have now returned to blogging on a regular basis.   Thought it would be best to list what I am working on in addition to the academic requirements of a practice-based MA (writing my dissertation and completing the 5/6 books)

So, this is what is happening with Whoretography

  1. Launching the Whoretography Magazine, a quarterly e-magazine dedicated solely to the discussion of sex work and photography.  Subsequent editions will be available as hard copies.
  2. Maintaining an internet presence via the website, blog and twitter accounts. I deactivated the Instagram account as not sure of its direction, and the Twitter account is locked due to a few people thinking its acceptable to spread whorephobia.
  3. Set up a Gofundme account for those who wish to support Whoretography anonymously www.gofundme.com/w-tography
  4. Publishing a book of anonymous found sex worker polaroids
  5. Photographing the cover of a sex work academic book
  6. Writing for the Beyond the Gaze research project
  7. Preparing to speak at an academic conference in January (will publish details soon)
  8. Preparing to speak at a well-known chain bookstore details to follow as soon as I have more information.

Whoretography Magazine

Whoretography began because I had a longing to document the sexual encounters I had with a married man. That connective (what felt like MDMA-inspired) fucking that we enjoyed. A desire to photograph our entangled bodies before we royally fucked it up.

Whoretography has since morphed into a Masters Degree in the field of creative media arts. It's a visual platform at the intersection of images, technologies and society. A combination of cyber ethnography and visual research methods.  An independent publishing and sex work activist platform.

Out soon!



I want your cock ..... shots.


So this is a side project of mine not directly related to Whoretography and my MA but it stems from the number of unsolicited penis photos sent to me via my MA website. There have been more than a few.   Thanks, but no thanks.   Not sure what offends me more.  The state of hygiene these days (soap peoples)  or the appalling quality of men's photographic abilities.

Then I got to thinking. What would happen if I started curating these images? So I did.

Whilst bed bound post miscarriage I started to group together (so to speak) random male appendages.  I want to turn these visual tools of male aggressiveness into photographic social commentary via a digital & physical book. A book form with an emphasis on the photo-book as an exhibition space looking at the visual maleness on the internet.

Why not use these poorly lit and badly focused cock shots as a social comment about the aggressiveness of men via a visual medium?   A photo-book mock the cock if you will. The use of photography and satire to make a point about random penis and the sharing of imagery.

Why the fuck not? 

So I am in the process of curating a book. Any suggestions on a title is welcome ... no really, tweet me!

Just so we are clear!!!

I have never solicited nude photographs as part of this MA and at NO point in time have I EVER requested random penis photos from strangers on the internet. So what better way to challenge this anonymous hyper sexualised aggressive behaviour by publishing them as a fine art book that takes aim at what frankly men should be aiming elsewhere other than my inbox.

So, I relish in the fact that the Orphan Image (Works) Legislation permits me to use any image I like for commercial purposes just as long as I have made reasonable attempts to find the owner of the image. So listen up! To the men who have sent me unsolicited cock shots. To satisfy legislative requirements he is my reasonable attempt at finding the owner of this images.

Dear random anonymous dude,

Did you send me an unsolicited photo of your penis in the last 18 months because I am going to use these unsolicited images for commercial purposes. If so and you don't want me to use them for commercial gain, please come forward and claim your cock shot.

Thank you random dudes.

My book at the moment is a little short and well,  not as thick as I would like it to be. Size matters in publishing . Its all inches and diameter. So if you are a sex worker and have had the unfortunate experience of receiving unsolicited cock shots, please send them to my via DM or email me at info@whoretography.com. 

Men take note, if you send me cock shots, I will publish them with your email addresses.  I really just want the cock shots that have been sent to sex workers.

Massive thanks to sex workers once again and average (in some cases less than average) thanks to the men who have already cock shot me.


Want your client voice heard?

Are you a customer of escorts/sex workers  who advertise on line or via apps? Do you purchase webcamming services? Are you a customer of a professional dominatrix?


Please Help Us Out & Contribute to an important study on internet based sex work


The  research project ‘Beyond the Gaze’ is the largest study to date of internet based sex work and is being carried out by an experienced team of researchers at Leicester and Strathclyde Universities, who have many years experience of carrying out research with people working in adult services/sex industry including their customers.   It is a legitimate and important UK wide study which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is exploring the use of online and digital technologies in the sex industry.   Go to our website to find out more about the research and the team who are carrying it out http://beyond-the-gaze.com/   As part of this research we are seeking the views and experiences of customers  through an online survey which should take no longer than 10 minutes.  This survey is designed for customers of  all genders and sexual orientations.   The survey does not collect any identifying information, it is completely anonymous, has permission from the University ethics committee and we work within strict ethical guidelines to protect the privacy and anonymity all people taking part in our research.


Please go to the survey at the following link;https://leicester.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/customersbeyondthegaze


The survey is open until  31st August 2016. We’d really value you input! Thanks for considering this and hopefully for taking part.


If you would like more information about the survey or the project please feel free to contact: Professor Teela Sanders on tlms1@leicester.ac.uk

Project Mention.

Whoretography scored a mention at an international conference on media and communication held last Saturday. Whoretography was discussed in relation to sexual marketing on the Las Vegas strip. Some of the points raised were the dangers of the continued use of the hyper-sexualised images of sex workers that lead to violence and stigma and that sexual marketing is about the spectacle, the illusion, the mirage of sex and very little to do with actually selling sex.

This is how Whoretography started (part one)

Whoretography began because I had a crush on a bloke. Yup.  No surprises there. 


It's all because of a man. Well, not entirely but he was at the beginning of my Whoretography thought process.  His penis was inspired.  In more than one way.   I wanted to photograph him naked. I wanted to photograph us naked.  Mostly I wanted to photograph him naked whilst he was fucking me.  I had no intention of sharing the images with anyone except him. I had no idea how I was going to hold the camera. I wanted to chronical us together and then tuck the photographs away in a box on a shelf next to the one marked Summer, Paris 2008. He was that glorious belle époque age of a man, 36. There is something incredibly sexy about a man at that age.  He just happened to be very photogenic.  Naked in my bed and a willing co-conspirator.


What started out as a post fucking (literally)  idea in 2014 has evolved into something somewhat remarkable.  We can all thank a certain strapping gentleman for that.  I was laying next to him one morning and just blurted out I want to photograph clients and sex workers together.  It was at the start of our sexual obsession with each other.  I did not have the balls to say I want to photograph us fucking. To bold perhaps. Instead, I said I want to photograph clients and sex workers.  I quipped that I'd call myself the Whoretographer. We laughed. He left and I thought to myself, well actually that's not a bad an idea.


We did,  of course, experiment with photography during the course of our over sexed, ill-conceived and entirely selfish affair.  He would agree and beg to be photographed.  Mainly whilst drunk.  Sexting me from his £1.3 million marital Battersea abode.  The baby asleep upstairs.   A whiskey in one hand. His cock in the other.  On more than one occasion he would come over and find cameras bracketed to the bedroom wall.  That night on that couch will always be a grainy set of prints. 


I wanted to capture the authentic intimacy we had.   That undeniable connection of two strangers taken out of context. Plonked naked next to each other for two hours every week for 3 years. I was over shooting weddings and wanted to shoot him.

To understand wedding photography you need to understand one thing. That you are creating the illusion of happiness, the falsehood of togetherness in one breathtakingly stunning set of images.  Photography as an agent for the  illusion of intimacy.  

If wedding photography is the illusion of faked intimacy then the antidote to that surely was to photograph married men with sex workers seeking the authentic intimacy that was faked in their wedding photographs. Sounds logical to me.

End of part one.


In Plain Sight : Sex Worker Participants Required

As sent to Whoretography

My name is Raven, I've been an advocate for sex worker health, safety and recognition for many years in Canada. I used to run a sex worker organization called PACE Society in Vancouver and I coordinated the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities, a regional sex worker research and advocacy group. My most recent advocacy project was Hooker Monologues, performed March 2016 in Canada. I'm now at the University of York doing my PhD and I'm proud to be on the board of ScotPEP, a sex worker organization. See my Bio https://www.york.ac.uk/sociology/our-staff/students/raven-bowen/

My past academic work was about how people transition in and out of sex work, deal with 'whore stigma' and challenge those who see sex work only as harm. I highlight that some people are not entering or leaving sex work, instead they find ways to balance jobs in both sex work and square (non sexual) work at the same time. I call this 'duality.' 

 I'm seeking participants to interview to explore how people manage information about themselves, decide who to disclose to and who not to, carve out different work identities, keep secrets, switch back and forth between jobs, and how experiences in either job to helps or hinders performance in the other. We will discuss the benefits and challenges of working in this very versatile way and discover tips and strategies to help others who do the same. 

More details are on the project blog https://dualitystudy.blogspot.co.uk/ but here are the basics:

 Participants must:

·         be over 18 years old

·         work in the off-street sex industry

·         hold at least one non sex work paid job (all paid work included, casual, part or full-time,  self-employed, etc.)

·         live and work in the UK and

·         have relevant experience juggling both kinds of work

Other info:

·         This study is open to all genders and nationalities. Since everyone has such busy lives, I am very open to doing interviews over the phone or via Skype™, or face to face where possible.

·         Participants will receive a £25 Amazon gift card or an electronic Amazon gift card if you've done a phone or Skype™ interview as a thank you for providing your insights.

·         This study received ethics approval from the University of York on May 13th 2016 and I will do everything possible to make sure your participation is safe. I will not collect or disclose personal information about participants outside of an email address to send gift cards as needed.

The goal of the study is to expand the ways that people define and describe sex work and sex workers. Some discourses discuss sex work as something that someone is 'trapped' in or has 'survived', or as something that people are either ‘in’ or ‘out’ of. There is very little academic work on strategic involvement in sex work and few studies challenge mainstream notions of who a sex worker is or can be.

I argue that sex workers participate in all kinds of skilled work across jobs in sex work and square work and unless outed, most people can be in a room with or work with sex workers and not know it...and for good reason! The violence of stigma perpetrated by mainstream society keeps people in hiding, hence the title of the study 'In Plain Sight: an examination of 'duality', the simultaneous involvement in sex work and square work.' 

This study will be a way to talk about duality safely and challenge the simplistic understandings of people who do both kinds of work and the biased representations sex workers.

 If you're interested, email me at dualitystudy@gmail.com

Showing Prostitutes The Green Light To Leave ...

I have seen a lot of disturbing content in the last 18 months.  I am sure you can imagine.  I don't need to show the graphic examples.  Everything from child abuse victims to privileged white women dragging out images of so called prostituted ethnic minorities reminiscent of saving the natives colonialism.    

I have seen it all.  I thought I had seen it all.  It saddens me that I have to write this post. I was actually filled with rage when I saw the image in question.  I am a vocal opponent of the commonly used police tactic of using forced portraits of sex workers.   Its an effective strategy for the continued oppression of sex workers and lets be honest,  nothing convinces the middle class masses they are safe more than a photograph of police in action.   I am continually amazed  at the ways state agencies wield photography to degrade sex workers and how the general public suck this up as proof absolute of effective policing.  

The mass circulation of a  photograph of a vulnerable woman being arrested makes the chattering classes of a  neighbourhood undergoing gentrification feel less vulnerable.   Picking up the human filth from the pristine over priced streets. The illusion of safety.  The propaganda of gentrification.  Police view sex workers as devalued commodities and  extend this commodification to their visual representation.  When a sex worker encounters law enforcement they are robbed of their photographic representation, ownership transfers to the state. These stolen images subsequently  inform the social landscape influencing draconian legislation that renders the sex worker dehumanised. 

A few weeks back Hackney Police - Brownswood SNT circulated a photograph  to 5000 residents.  The photograph depicted an easily identifiable vulnerable member of the local community being arrested for street walking.  The police made no efforts to conceal the woman's face. Why would they? This was an ideal public relations moment for the Hackney Police.    The photograph was accompanied by an article proudly boasting of moving these degenerate prostitutes out of the neighbourhood.    If this is Hackney Police taking a holistic approach to sex work  then I'd hate to witness the inhumane approach.   

I am grateful that Hackney Police do not carry guns given how unethically they wield cameras.

The photo is below.  I have crudely edited the women in question out. Took me less than a minute. If only Hackney Police payed the woman the same courtesy. There are other ways to visually demonstrate a crack down on prostitution. I am at a loss to think why the go to image was one of shame.  They effectively outed a sex worker to 5000 residents.   

I find many aspects of the publication of this image questionable.   Not sure what bothers me more. The blatant lack of consequential thinking on behalf of Hackney Police or the gleeful shaming of a sex worker.  It reminds me of a hunter holding up the dead bloodied carcass of his unfortunate catch.


Images have a traceable life path.  All Images are networked.  This image will never be out of circulation. Despite Hackney Police deleting the offending image, the photograph  is now on a journey.  It will proliferate online. Delivered to new viewers via social media platforms. The transmission and reception of this image is now unstoppable.  Hackney Police have robbed this woman of her photographic agency for a cheap publicity back slapping stunt.    In poor image selection, Hackney Police have demonstrated their pathological disregard for the safety and well being of sex workers.  The journey of this ill conceived photograph will be endless and will continue long after this poor woman has been forced out of her community. 

I've printed it. Its pinned to my wall as a daily reminder as to why photography matters in the fight for sex worker rights.  



Lets Celebrate!


Its happy dance time at Whoretography HQ because we have hit 3000 followers on the twitter. What  better way to celebrate than with the stereotypical pretty woman image that mocks photo editors for their lazy visual portrayal of sex workers. 

Happy Dance 3000 peeps!

Whoretography cited ...

Bending into a car window:
The media’s role in perpetuating stereotypes, stigma and the ‘discourses of disposability’ against sex workers

I am really pleased to see that Whoretography was cited at the Gender, Crime & media BSA seminar on June 8th at Birmingham City University.