Lori Mann has been shooting glamour and erotic/fetish photography for over 17 years, working originally out of Los Angeles and more recently out of Philadelphia too.
About five years ago she started teaching short seminars on erotic photography for The Learning Annex (an adult education programme in Los Angeles) and from there wrote a book on the subject (available on Amazon) and started doing her own two-day workshops.
She began with two-day weekend workshops geared toward fairly new shooters, but found that many of the participants were asking for more advanced programmes.
So about three years ago she started putting on fairly high-end one- and two-day workshops for intermediate and advanced photographers.
“I do about one of these a year,” she says, “and I’ve always managed to find amazing locations for them. Last summer I did one at a ghost town in the California desert, complete with diner, motel, gas station and swimming pool.” (See our third gallery, below right.)
“I bring in amazing models such as Kumi, Ulorin Vex, Mosh and Angela Ryan as well as stylists and hair and MUAs,” Lori continues. “I keep the model-to-photographer ratio as low as possible and only allow one-on-one shooting.
“I don’t believe in the ‘shoot-out’ type of workshops that are so common these days, with groups of ‘paparazzi’ shooters ganging up on fairly unknown models. My workshops are all about the opportunity for participants to get real quality images with incredible pro models at stunning locations.”
The amount of work involved in putting one of these workshops together, if done properly, is huge — which is why Lori only does one a year, she explains.
“I have to charge a lot for them as well, because my expenses are high. But the fact that I have participants who have been doing my workshops over and over again for years now tells me that they feel they are getting their money’s worth.”
Besides her experience in photography, Lori Mann has a Masters Degree in Education, and believes in workshops having some educational value.
“I actually teach during these workshops, as opposed to just setting up the lights for people and walking away, which occurs at many other workshops.”
When possible she also brings in other lecturers with specialities that she doesn’t have. Last summer for example, Allan Amato of Venus Wept Photography spent a half day teaching his legendary Photoshop techniques.
When possible she also brings in other lecturers… last summer Allan Amato spent a half day teaching his Photoshop techniques
Advanced shooters who don’t want to sit still for any of the lectures or demos are free to go off and continue shooting. “Either way, it is extremely important to me that participants are satisfied at the end of the weekend.”
Lori’s latest event, which she called The Steel Factory Workshop owing to its location at a 20,000 square foot dilapidated old steel factory in North Philadelphia, took place on May 2-3 this year.
“As soon as I saw the place, I fell in love with it and knew that I had to do a workshop there,” she reveals.
“It’s a four-story building with one 8,500 square foot floor converted into a huge photo studio with dressing rooms, multiple sets, stage with fashion catwalk as well as meeting and dining areas.”
The rest of the place is the factory, with multi-storey-high pieces of rusted machinery, chunks of textured metal, crumbling brick ovens, and parts of the roof open to the sky.
“It’s a location wet dream — especially for shooting latex and fetish,” says the photographer. In fact, she considers this last workshop to be the best she’s ever done.
“For the more intermediate photographers I had demos and ‘mini-classes’ throughout the weekend on various topics including studio lighting, mixing daylight and strobe, the business and legal aspects of erotic photography, shooting for content, etc.”
The advanced shooters, on the other hand, took off on their own with the models of their choice to find a spot and shoot it up.
“I thought the format worked wonderfully — everyone had what they needed from the workshop, and the feedback from the participants was great. We had amazing models such as Mosh, Angela Ryan, Kerri Taylor and Anna Evans.
“And we had the most perfect weather we could have asked for — one day of sun with shafts of light coming through the openings in the roof, and one day of rain, which allowed us to backlight the rain that was falling behind the models for very dramatic effect.”
The workshop also enjoyed a surprise visit from Philip Warner, aka Lithium Picnic. “He graciously did a couple of demos of his shooting style, which was quite a thrill for the participants,” explains Lori.
In addition, Vance, another much admired fetish photographer (and also, like Philip, a Fetishistas contributor), demonstrated his unique lighting style.
“And we had lasagne for lunch,” adds Lori. “Naked girls, latex and lasagne. You can’t beat that!”
On a surprise visit, Philip Warner (aka Lithium Picnic) did a couple of demos of his shooting style – quite a thrill for the participants
Our thanks to Vance of PhetishFotos.com for setting up this interview for us and for organising the use of images from Lori Mann and the other featured photographers