Caroline Tompkins’ new series, Butts sees the photographer point her lens a little lower down than usual. Commissioned by The Fader the series is a considered, fresh and a refined take on the posterior. By representing the beauty of bottoms in all their glory, the series in equal parts makes you blush and feel empowered.
Commissioned by The Fader’s photography director Emily Keegin and fashion editor-at-large Shibon Kennedy, Butts is a fashion story for its Love and Sex issue. “They presented it as one part fashion, one part service (how to make your butt happy), and one part just cool sexy butts,” explains Caroline. “I’ve been making a lot of personal work about female desire and sex lately, so it was super flattering for this assignment to become an extension of that.”
Caroline, Emily and Shibon spent the next few weeks deciding on the perfect bottoms to represent the brief’s narrative, “casting models, mostly in our friend groups/mutuals on Instagram, compiling inspiration, asking people to send us butt pics, buying vaseline to make said butts shiny, you know, typical production work”.
The shoot was completed in one day with 29 looks using 12 models on top of a set change for each. “I naively didn’t hire an assistant or set person so I mostly remember being very sweaty and blushing a lot.” Overall Caroline speaks of the experience being “truly heart-warming to see how communal and comfortable everyone was with me and each other,” she tells It’s Nice That. “Maybe that’s a benefit of being a woman, it’s a non-threatening lot in life. We had a cute little station to lather up. People were smacking their asses. Everyone was complimenting everyone. Needless to say, it was a beautiful day for butts.”
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