John Coles - Dazzle Studios

Members - Photographers


Originally trained as an artist, and then at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as a lighting and set designer. Worked in professional theatre lighting in provinces and West End, with a particular interest in dance.

Have been a photographer for 43 years, with images in the archive of the National Portrait Gallery, London. I opened my first studio in the old Covent Garden Market, and until recently, the vast majority of my work has been commercial work, commissioned for books, journals, corporate marketing, actor's headshots, modelling portfolios.

Three years ago, I realised that I had a wealth of professional skill that I wanted to bring to fruition through my own, personal work. With the support of my wife, I set up a new studio at EVA Studios, in Exeter, where 39 artists have studio spaces in an incredibly supportive environment.

The work from the first two years has been exhibited at 'Exeter Open Studios' and has just been published as a 200 page book, 'The Edgy Nude', whilst I am currently working on a series of erotic black & white photographs for publication in December of this year.

You can find images from 'The Edgy Nude' on my website: but this does not currently have any of my 2013 work on it because I don't like to exhibit images until I am confident with their evolution.

For example, the work for 'The Edgy Nude' started out sculpturally inspired, but has evolved into images that have a very theatrical quality, inspired by dance or physical activity / martial arts.

I would like to add that I work closely with my models in the evolution of my images, and the majority of my models come from a dance or physical activities background and are excited that we build images together.

I note that you lay an emphasis on how we respect our models. Below are excerpts from the feedback from the male and female model in the double shoot attached (images 0017 and 0019):

Akasha wrote: "... What I adore about John is the fact that he is a perfectionist and will not stop until he gets the right image out of a pose. he also values the opinions of the models and doesn't hesitate to try different things. He knows how to motivate and encourage a model to go the extra mile and is so polite and enthusiastic throughout the shoot."

Cocaine James wrote: " second time of working with [John] was just as enlightening as the first., not only does he approach his work with the spirit of a true artist, but he discusses and interprets and composes his photography in a way quite unlike anyone I've ever met.

It goes far beyond simple form and composition, his attitude to his work is like that of a composer to music. There is meaning and metaphor and purpose to every inch of his frame.....

Beyond all the highfalutin stuff, John is also a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He is ultra considerate about his models and treats every shoot with the utmost sensitivity. On this shoot, for example, I was working with the fabulous model Akasha on an erotic BG shoot despite never having met her before. What could have been a real minefield was instead one of the most enjoyable and productive shoots I have ever been part of, and an enormous part of that was down to John's generalship on the day - he will push you to the limits of your creativity, but his respect for your levels and comfort is absolutely paramount..." end excerpt.

Image by Guild of Erotic Artists member John Coles - Dazzle Studios