I’m Ellen Stagg, photographer known for shooting women of dress and undress. I’m 5’8″, long blonde hair, Aquarius, 39 years old and I love long walks on the beach with my pitbull and cuddling on the couch with my two cats.
You are a photographer who works in, among other areas, erotica. How did you get started and what drew you to erotic photography?
Since I started shooting in 1994 I have always been drawn to the erotic, I was a huge fan of Madonna back then. At the time I was 16 so there was only so much I could do. And when I moved to NYC to go to the School of Visual Arts I tried my hardest to make erotic work, but using friends and then mainstream models I could only do so much and a lot of them didn’t want the work published. It wasn’t until I met Justine Joli in 2005 that I could really explore the erotic with a professional. It was amazing to met an exhibitionist that was happy to be nude.
You had a new book come out last year called Dirty Girl Collection. What was the inspiration for the book and what can people expect to see inside?
It’s 420 images from the past decade of my work on Staggstreet.com. I have been dying to do a book, but just needed to find the right publisher to do it with and Goliath stepped up.
You have an upcoming event at the Museum of Sex involving this book. How did this come about and what is going to happen there beyond you signing copies of your book?
I asked my publisher for a signing and they suggested the Museum of Sex. I was dead set on doing it there, as what better venue for a sexy book. The signing is on Thursday, February 9th from 6-9pm at the Museum of Sex and I will have two of my models Penny Wren and Sapphire Jones hanging out in lingerie and I will be selling and signing my book with cocktails. It will be right before Valentines, so its a sexy event and great gift to give to your loves ones.
I would still shoot naked women, but I have been working more with film and Polaroids recently. Its very time consuming, but I love it so much. Also, film isn’t cheap, so I would just do that. I would shoot outside, traveling around the world and making art with naked woman.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about getting into photography?
Shoot all the time, minimum once a week. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule is just a drop in the bucket. I have been a pro for 18 years, studying photography for 22 year, and I’m still working on my craft. I think the best way to better is work all the time and make yourself better. No excuses.
What would you say your easiest and most difficult shoots were for whatever reason?
It depends on if I vibe with the model or not. If she is a lovely person, it always easy. If she is a diva or not really wanting to be there its difficult.
Who would you say are the people you really want to work with but haven’t had the chance to as of yet?
I have always wanted to shoot with Belladonna, but it never happened and she is retired now. I just think she is a magical unicorn.
Who would you say your idols are, either within the industry or not?
Bettina Rheims, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Walton Ford, Madonna, Howard Stern, Pee Wee Herman, Stevie Nicks, Salvador Dali, David Lynch and Riot Grrls.
What sort of things do you like to do when you aren’t working? Any hobbies?
I love making friendship bracelets and any kind of crafts. I recently made a dream catcher. I can’t wait to be an old grandma who makes crafts all day.
Are there any projects or special events coming up that you would like to promote, if so please do so?
I show my fine art work every year at parlor-gallery.com, It all film and Polaroid work. Otherwise here is a list of all my sites and social media
Commercial site- EllenStagg.com
Art Site- EllenStaggart.com
Pictures are, from top to bottom, Charlotte Stokely, Ellen Stagg, Stoya and Justine Joli and Zoli