I tend to use a number of set venues on a regular basis for photographing ladyboys. These are places I know I am safe. Shooting pornography is illegal in Thailand, and if I check into a hotel carrying a couple of big studio lights and am then followed by a steady procession of ladyboys, it will be obvious to even the slower type of security guard what I am doing.
There are a few hotels where I know I am reasonably safe, as I have used them for years without any trouble, and the staff know me. I’m a generous tipper under such circumstances. There are also a few apartments, one of them being in a riverside tower block, and featuring a particularly spacious balcony with a 180-degree view of the river and the street 15 floors below.
For a long time I used this balcony as a setting for the photographs, devoting the first part of the set to shots there before moving inside. In the end I used it too much. Even I realised that, but it was only when Webmaster Spike suggested that if he saw another balcony set he would throw me off it that I decided with reluctance to stop venturing out there with ladyboy and camera.
But it was a splendid setting. And it was also interesting in that it brought out the personality of the ladyboy I was photographing, for their responses to posing provocatively on the balcony were many and varied.
First, there were those who took one look at the unaccustomed height (Thais are not high-rise creatures) and declined to even venture out of the room. Then there were those who were convinced that, as they could see the entire world, the entire world could also see them. In vain I would argue that we were overlooked by no other buildings, that the nearest tower block was a hotel a mile or more away round the bend in the road, and that I had been on the ground level myself trying to see if I could see what was on my balcony, and that I could see nothing. It was simply too high up. The angle was wrong unless you moved a long way back along the road, by which time anything going on there was simply too small to see.
Then there were those who would stand in the shelter of the 6ft high potted fern and gently ease their pants down, which I always used to find pretty exciting. I got many good sequences with that type of model, particularly when the lighting was such that dramatic shadows of the fronds were thrown across wall and girl.
Best of all though, and I have to say these were pretty rare, were the ladyboys who would prance out onto the balcony, completely naked. Cherie was a master of this particular form of exhibitionism, always willing to display her gorgeous little body to the world in general. And taking shots of Cherie, and the others who pulled a similar stunt, was enormously exciting. The fact that they were there, totally naked, with life going on behind them unseeing and unknowing, was a big turn-on for me.
When you think about it, exhibitionism is what it is. We all, I think, have this tendency to want to do provocative things in public. Especially if we know we are safe.