Ed Fox Interview

Model: Tori Black. 


This interview/pictorial was featured in issue #8 of Sinical. A print copy of this issue can be purchased here.

 

Ed Fox is a photographer and video director known primarily for his foot fetish work. He attended the Art Center College of Design, graduating with honors, despite faculty criticism for his focus on the erotic. Debuting in Leg Show Magazine in 1997, Fox’s work has since appeared in many celebrated publications. Well respected in an industry not so well respected, Fox has worked with high profile models including Dita Von Teese, Aria Giovanni, Tera Patrick, Jelena Jensen, Belladonna, Penny Flame, Alexis Texas, Sunny Leone and Tori Black. The noted art publishing house, Taschen released his 2nd coffee table compendium: Ed Fox II, in 2011. His photography has also earned him two Key Arts Awards  for Artisan Films’ “The Center Of The World” and 20th  Century Fox’s “Le Divorce.”  Ed has also shot for Disney,  Gerber, Getty Images and Mario Lopez’s line of underwear - Rated M.

 

Andrea Rosu, Damon Pierce, and Ed Fox.


Danny Stygion: You are known for your erotic photography. What drew you to shooting erotic material?

Ed Fox: I wanted to shoot for Playboy so I went to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA to learn how to become a photographer. After graduating, I got side tracked and ended up shooting for Leg Show, Club Penthouse and a few others until finally reaching a goal I didn’t even think was possible - my first TASCHEN book: “Ed Fox: Glamour From the Ground Up”.Flipping through this beautiful publication “Playboy’s Wet & Wild Women” in 1987. I IMMEDIATELY knew it’s what I wanted to do for a living. I’m an esthete so I combined that with the little talent I had together with determination and persistence in order to become what I am today. Believe me, there were a LOT of road blocks along the way, like finding models, taking shit from people that questioned me for wanting to shoot this stuff and not having any experience.


Danny Stygion: You have an adult foot fetish site, footfactory.com. What is it about woman’s feet that appeals to you and when did you first realize you had this fetish?

Ed Fox: I finally figured out I had the fetish at the age of 15. I was embarrassed about it up until I started to shoot for Leg Show. Even then, I didn’t like to talk about it much. It’s difficult to describe and even for me understand but it really comes down to the shape. There can be so many curves, little details and ways it can point and flex to show expression. Odor is a big part as well. When they smell a little cheesy like popcorn or Frito’s, ooh, the eyes will roll.

 

Model: Kayla Jane Danger.


Danny Stygion: You are considered the “foot master” when it comes to shooting woman’s feet. Do you have a special technique or way of shooting women’s feet?

Ed Fox: Almost always the soles will be dirty and visible. I try to pose light and or compose feet in a way that will bring out the most shape. The pose is either going to be a profile where the model is told to ‘arch up’ or do this flex pose - that is difficult to explain. I always think of it like if a girl were about to step out of a car and stop herself before the foot touched a dirty or cold puddle of water. The ball of the foot protrudes and the toes kind of flare and curl while the entire foot twists at the ankle outward. Usually there is a gap between the big and middle to where you could probably stick a pencil or finger to fill it. This isn’t just spreading of the toes.


Danny Stygion: What type of camera and lighting equipment do you use?

Ed Fox: I have ALWAYS been a Canon man. Right now I use the 5D Mark II. I prefer to use natural light because I can shoot quicker and be challenged to follow the sun and work with what I have. When that timer is up, I can whip out the lights. I use Speedotron strobes or Mole Richardson hot lights.

 

Model: Princess Donna Dolore.


Sinical Magazine: What are some of your favorite lighting setups?

Ed Fox: Most of my shoots, including ones where artificial lighting is used, are pretty minimal. I like shooting a little more on the contrasty side so ideally, shooting late in the afternoon with a fill card. When using artificial light, a light or two on the subject and one or two on the background if needed.


Danny Stygion: When creating a composition what is your main focus?

Ed Fox: No matter what format I’m using, the composition has to have a nice flow. I started to use the first lesson I learned in high school and now just use it subconsciously: The rule of 3rd’s. I like to have a background or subject line coming out of a corner of the frame usually. I’d say 90% of the images are shot vertically mostly because I don’t want do crop out legs or feet.

 

Model: Mia Matsumiya.


Danny Stygion: Who are some of your influences?

Ed Fox: Music is what actually influences me to create. I don’t follow too many people’s work for being afraid of seeing ideas I have and then feeling like I’m copying them. Since Playboy is what influenced me to become a photographer, then I’d say Arny Freytag, Richard Fegley and later Bob Guccione’s work. Andrew Blake’s work opened my eyes to what could be done with video. I was amazed the first time I saw one of his pieces. Way before all of this was Ansel Adam’s work. That’s what really caught my eye to photography


Danny Stygion: How long did it take for you to develop your own signature style and break away from your influences?

Ed Fox: I think since my Jr college and even first photo class in high school I was already shooting with the light being very directional to bring out shape. I actually still use a photo from high school as a portfolio piece. The only time I tried to imitate other people was before I started to shoot for Leg Show -when I was trying to get into shooting video box covers for companies like Wicked or Vivid. Unfortunately shooting for men’s magazines pulled me away from making the work more personal since they wanted everything lit and in focus in order to see EVERYTHING!

 

Model: Jessica.


Danny Stygion: How does the city of L.A. inspire your work?

Ed Fox: I was born and raised here so probably a lot? I happen to love the warmth of the desert and all the diversity that L.A offers so I’m fortunate to live here and take advantage of theelements that are available to me.

 

Danny Stygion: Do you prefer to shoot in a studio or on location?

Ed Fox: Location for sure. Either indoor or outdoor but really prefer outdoor. Although, shooting in a cozy and controlled environment is nice too. I couldn’t always JUST shoot in studio or JUST location. I’d go crazy. Same thing goes for subject matter. If I shot girlies ALL the time, it would become a ‘job’. in order for my mouth water, I need to mix it around so I’m excited to shoot whatever subject is in front of me: cars, portraits, babies or babes… haha. I never use that word but it kind of worked after ‘babies’ : )

 

Model: Sierra.

 

Danny Stygion: How much planning goes into your shoots?

Ed Fox: There used to be a lot of planning and thought into the shoots but I have no time now. I find myself looking for locations and putting the rest of the shoot together a day or two before the shoot and just going with it. I’m trying not to dwell on things. Also, about half the time, something doesn’t go the way you wanted anyway so you have to compromise on the spot.

 

Danny Stygion: How long did it take for you to get your first TASCHEN book  published and how was that process?

Ed Fox: I patiently waited and shot for 10 years until Taschen finally gave me a call about wanting to do a book on my work. I then submitted links that included over 5000 photos which were quickly narrowed down to about 500 by the editor, Dian Hanson. After I got the contract, the 500 were narrowed down even more. I simply gave them the negs and transparencies of the winners for scanning and they did the rest. The DVD portion of this book was actually THE hardest part. I spent endless hours editing and massaging it and working with my brother, Albert Fox, to score because it was my chance to show the world that I was also passionate about video.

A year later, I got a call to do my second book, which by the time it was published had 2-4 years worth of new work in it + a few random shots that didn’t make it into the first book.

 

Model: Tori Black.

 

Danny Stygion: When did you first shoot for “Leg Show Magazine” and how has this relationship developed?

Ed Fox: 1997. I made and sent Dian Hanson this patina’d brass portfolio case which had sexy foot fetish photos in it. By “foot fetish”, I don’t mean close ups of feet. I was given the o.k to shoot a model out in the desert and after the results were mailed to her, I was given the opportunity to shoot a monthly theme of porn stars who’s feet met my criteria. “Ed Fox’s Searrch For The Ultimate XXX Feet”


Danny Stygion: You’ve shot Mario Lopez’s “Rated M” underwear line campaign. How did you end up with that assignment and what was it like working with Mario Lopez?

Ed Fox: Like most, that job fell out of the sky. I got a random call to shoot ‘products’ and later found out Mario was going to be the model. I didn’t believe it until the day he walked in through the Quixote studio doors. The first thing he said was, ‘I can tell you are fast my man’, because he hadn’t eaten in like 24 hours to stay lean for the shoot. He was dying to knock it out so we could have lunch and do the second half of the day with the Rated M shirts. He was nice and good to work with but I was a little surprised how stiff he was. I assumed anyone that was an actor was automatically a good model. I’m hearing now from other celebrity photographers that it’s not the case. Regardless, we got some great stuff.

 

Model: Britt.

 

Danny Stygion: What projects are you currently working on?

Ed Fox: I can’t really say in case I don’t finish or doesn’t come out how I intended. Sorry. In the meantime, I’m currently working on getting out of shooting erotica as a profession and making it a hobby so I could focus back on my mainstream career. One of the several reasons is that Blue Horizon Media Inc. sold the magazine titles to Magna Publishing last year and I was left with $14,000 worth of outstanding invoices.

I’m fortunate for starting when I did and having the magazines as a platform, otherwise I may have never risen to the top with the over saturation of photographers and photography on the web today. The web keeps us pro photographers on our toes because of all the new great talent that has been given a chance to prove themselves. Because of that, most new comers and even some pros will now only be able to call photography a ‘hobby’. Just look at your phone? What’s THE first thing you can do before even being able to dial? Shoot a picture.

 

This interview/pictorial was featured in issue #8 of Sinical. A print copy of this issue can be purchased here.

 

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