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These Intimate Photographs Capture Female Sex Workers in 'The Act'

Happy Finish, 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Happy Finish collaborates with photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten to retouch this series of images

These Intimate Photographs Capture Female Sex Workers in 'The Act'

Globally acclaimed fine-art photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten has unveiled ‘The Act’, her latest project that examines the lives, and tells the stories, of 15 female sex workers. 

Fullerton-Batten has teamed up with global creative production studio Happy Finish, who delicately retouched the series of intimate photographs. 

The role of the sex industry within contemporary society is a heavily debated topic, and Fullerton-Batten’s intimate project examines the lives of a number of female sex workers hailing from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Encompassing escorts, dominatrices, porn actresses, live performers, sexual surrogates, and transgender individuals – Fullerton-Batten’s work captures her subjects in mini-theatrical sets, each of which is unique to their distinctive professions. 

Mouse, Ping Pong Girl, 2016

Long-time collaborators with the photographer, Happy Finish worked with Fullerton-Batten to bring the overall look of the images to the level of quality required for the fine art photography large prints. Happy Finish worked on compositing various image elements and adjusting the light and colours of the images to achieve a particular atmosphere on each.

Nick Nedeljkovic, Retoucher at Happy Finish, explains: “This is far from a ‘typical’ retouching job because, as with most fine art images, there is no real prescribed way of working in terms of the requirements. It is instead about understanding the artist’s vision and working towards it together. Julia requires absolute attention to detail when compositing the various image elements, and at the same time she is open and encourages suggestions with regards to the colour and feel of the image. I’ve had the honour of working with Julia over the years, and together we’ve developed a deep understanding of where she wants to take her images.”

Julia comments: “I have worked very successfully with Nick for many years now. He understands that I don't want him to retouch the images too heavily, and he now knows exceedingly well what I mean when I ask him for only subtle retouching. We’ve developed a great working relationship. I was over the moon when I found out how well he was able to bring even more magic to my ‘The Act’ images.

Ella & Chloe, Slaves, 2016

The photographs avoid sexually explicit scenes where possible, presenting the individual subjects as if they were giving a performance. Accompanying each photograph is a story, giving insight into the reasons as to their chosen profession and how they view their life within the controversial industry. 

Nedeljkovic adds: “Whilst the images are explicit, they aren’t rude and they’re packed full of multi-layered meaning. They tell a story, bringing attention to the subject whom Julia is raising so the visual treatment is chosen to emphasise that.”

On his favourite image, Nedeljkovic adds: “It’s very difficult to choose one image over the other as each one of them makes you think about the subject’s personality in a different way. This was a project that took a couple months to complete and, working on all of the images, you really get attached to all of them.” 

Richard Tisdall, Sales Director at Happy Finish, comments: “I have always loved Julia's unique vision. She creates images that are consistently compelling, and she’s also a great story teller, weaving a narrative into her remarkable imagery.”

Post Production / VFX

Retouching: Nick Nedeljkovic @ Happy Finish

Print / OOH

Photographer: Julia Fullterton-Batten

Genre: People , Photography , Scenic , Storytelling