Jackass of all Trades: Photographer Garret McNair

Article and Photography by Garret McNair @kinky.macrame // Editing by L. McWilliams
Gear: Sony A7 digital camera, Certified Adobe

The photos you’re looking at are a window into this phase of my evolution as a photographer and kinkster. I’m proud to share the collection as an extension of me and everyone around me. I want to show that you can be kinky wherever and however you want to be, completely confident in your own skin.

I was a photographer long before I was a kinky rope top. My grandfather left my first camera to me, and I discovered my deep relationship with it during my freshman year of high school. My incredible teacher, a representative for FujiFilm USA, opened up a new world of education, regional competitions, and my first publications. His teaching helped me develop my own style of photography and made me love it even more.

With his guidance, I explored my two favorite subjects to shoot: people and cars. I’ve been heavily involved in the automotive community since before I could walk, so I started with off-road racing. I moved from there to car shows, then models with cars, and finally focused on the models in boudoir and fetish photography. The process is similar. There’s no single “best” angle, subject, or setting. It’s about highlighting an asset, showing the core of it off, and showcasing what makes your subject unique.

Photo by Garret McNair

I did, though, learn very early that I hate studios – fluorescent lights and a blank backdrop that takes away from the image and its surroundings. I favor a darker, more intimate style of photography. I learned to use a low-light camera and tailored my equipment to that style so I could shoot anytime, even in the middle of the night, with minimal lighting. My style is about connection: the creative communication between model and photographer.

I love shooting in nature. I’ll shoot on the Strip any day. It’s an incomparable experience. Having random people around, letting the model show her skill, ability, and confidence in the space in front of everyone is amazing to me. I want my photography to be a co-creation with my models.

My time in the rope and kink community and the intimacy of the subject matter drew me to fetish and boudoir. I don’t call what I do “kink” photography. Kink is the action, and fetish is the idea. You can shoot a scene between two people, but you won’t feel what’s truly happening. The photos taken of me while I’m playing certainly don’t represent the actual connection between me and my play partner. Fetish photography shows everything that’s there. With rope, it shows the body harness. It shows how the model feels in it. How they can move and flow in it. If kink is sports photography, then fetish and boudoir are portraiture.

Boudoir shows a representation of you in a more seductive or sexual manner. It’s the personal, romantic, sensual moments—the beauty of the client’s body. Making you feel like the sexiest, most badass person alive and appreciating that. I love having a model’s partner there for the shoot. It’s a big, fun experience for everyone. It is amazing to get those pictures of the partner helping their person get dressed in a more complicated lingerie piece or picking out shoes. It’s that real moment of connection—the appreciation of the act.

Communication is priority number one in a shoot to create the safety and energy for great photos. I need to know what someone wants, and what the intention of the imagery is. There are lots and lots of conversations between models and myself. There needs to be comfort and mutual respect. For example, one of my hard limits is shooting explicitly sexual acts. I shoot “pornographic” imagery, but not your standard definition of porn. I have no issue with porn or being on set for filming; I’m just not the photographer for you.

If we add rope, it’s an entirely separate set of negotiations. Any kink act is. Are they comfortable in a suspension? Are they claustrophobic? Do they have a part of the body that they’re looking to accentuate? Do they have any injuries? I tie the same way for photography that I tie for play, though I’ll make sure the rope looks cleaner for photos. Being involved in rope and with my kink family has allowed me access to many spaces and clientele I would never have otherwise. It’s also deepened my understanding of consent and what you can play with in photos.

In the ten years I’ve been doing photography seriously, I’ve maybe had two or three photoshoots done of me. I look so much better behind the camera than in front of it. Knowing that about myself has deepened my appreciation for and amazement of the models I’m lucky to work with. My philosophies about photography and kink align in that way too. Being a good photographer means understanding how it feels on both sides of the lens. Being a good kinkster means topping and bottoming both, tying up and being tied up. Being a proud switch means seeing myself and others from every perspective I can. My kink and camera are invaluable because they help me broaden my horizons and immerse myself in my life and my people.

Thank you to the models:

pup demos

PROUD & Kinky Magazine - Issue 3

This article was originally published in the second issue of PROUD & Kinky Magazine. You may read it in its original format here.