I follow PJ Thornton publications for weeks on Flickr: she is a master of eroticism for me. Each pictures carries a different atmosphere and instantly sends whoever looks at it in a full world of itself: Looking at a picture is as if you watched an entire movie describing the same scene. It takes skill to reach such a level and probably hours of work.
So when my friend Aaron told me he shooted with her, I asked him to introduce me to her. He did and I was granted an interview with this talented producer. Thanks Aaron!
We convened to meet at her studio. It is actually always my favourite option to meet producers in their environment, I guess they feel more comfortable than in a stranger office, so more inclined to talk. She was working on a set for one of her next production when I arrived. She gently interrupted her work and invite me for a cup of coffee in the waiting area where we had the interview.
“I follow your work since quite sometime on Flickr. Highly erotic and very well done … you probably work a lot at preparing your scenes beforehand … your work is fantastic” I said.
Thanks, I am getting pretty good with the posing systems. A lot of the stuff I do is fairly spontaneous, I come up with an idea and a setting and try to shoot from there.
“Ok tell us about you … who you are? What you do in Second Life apart being a talented photographer, what is your personality?”
Apart from photography, I like to just chat with people from around the world. I also love fashion and the shopping here. Most people in porn might be surprised, but I do have a quite varied wardrobe.
“How did you come to erotic or porn photography? What was the inspiration that brought you to do this?”
I have a photography background in RL and I have always enjoyed making pics in SL, both erotic and fashion. As a way of saving Lindens on making in-world snapshots, I started using my Flickr to post my pics instead. Once I started exploring other people’s photos, I began to understand the potential of the in-world tools for photographers. It’s really a creative outlet for me that I don’t have in RL.
“Is there a photographer who inspired you in particular?”
In SL, there are quite a few. I was inspired by Notorious B.E.N. and he was one of the people that helped a lot when I started, we worked together so much and learned a lot together too. I was also fortunate to work with Sasquatch Rhino, one of the best at posing in SL. Other people that I loved were Laura Richards, Dokie and Talisker Braveheart. Each of them had a very creative approach with their own signature styles.
“How would you define your own style? How would you describe what you do to someone who has never seen your work?”
My style is a reflection of how I used to work in a film photography environment. There it was important to get things right in the camera, you didn’t have the luxury of Photoshop. When I started my Flickr I set out to follow that same ethic. So, with few exceptions, my pics are directly from SL. I also try to bring some inspiration from painting and photography from RL too.
“Very impressive, so no post-processing tool? What are the tools you use in-world then?”
No post work if i can help it. I use advanced lighting, customized Windlight, and make my own projector lights. Then it’s just a matter of composition and zoom levels.
“How many pics and movies in your stream?”
I’ve done close to 1400 pics. Many are multiple angles of the same pose. I don’t have any movies, it’s just not my thing. I like to capture that moment in time that still photography provides.
“Would you point for me in your stream the 3 or 4 pics you’re the most proud of and tell us why? I know it is a difficult exercise.”
This photo is one of the ones I worked hardest on, even for a simple solo nude pose in an existing build. I played with the light until I got it just right. Usually when you do a pose with multiple people you have to balance perfection with the good will of your models. With this I could just manipulate it for a logn while until it was just right.
This one is just pure smut, a complex pose that is highly erotic and lewd. It was the most people I’d ever posed put in one shot together and it turned out so well.
With this one I think I captured the tension and mood of the moment. This is a serious situation and I am vulnerable in it, yet also asserting myself. You can almost feel the electric buzz in this room. It had a few well placed lights with fade to get a vignette effect.
I also like to try to reproduce art and photos from RL, sometimes with a twist. I always liked this take on a famous photo. This one is inspired by a Karsh photo.
Once I have an idea I often go through my friends list and ask specific people, based on how they might fit in the scene. I also do open casting calls through groups and request what I want. I’m not sure if it’s the type of pics that I do or just a numbers thing, but it’s far easier to get female avis than it is to get males.
“Do you have new ideas or projects in mind you would like to share?”
Just that I hope to continue with my series of pics based on neighbourhoods in my town. And also, the project I mentioned earlier,based on the office lunchroom set I am building.
“Last question … tell us something about yourself that might be surprising”
Compared to SL, my RL sex life is completely unremarkable, monogamous, and vanilla. The pics I make are all just fantasy visions that I’d never play out in RL.
“Thank you PJ! What does two letters mean by the way?”
Just PJ, I wanted something brief and memorable.
This is on this simplistic answer that we closed the interview. PJ amazed me really, now that I know she never, or nearly, edit her pictures after shooting them, I look at her entire work completely differenty. This is raw data we look at in her albums, I considered her work amazing, but now it is beyond this. It is a lot of work beforehand definitely, and to master lights and windlights to reach such a level of quality.
PJ told me as well she could be interested to meet some new models and so I told her we identified some talents already. I am sure all of us would be honored and excited to work with her anyway.
To conclude, I selected some pictures from her stream as you can measure the talent of PJ Thornton to its full extent, enjoy!
And a lot more to see on her Flickr stream.