blog

Feature Menu

"Off the Set: Porn Stars and Their Partners"

Photography duo Paulie & Pauline are coming out with a new book in April called “Off the Set” which features porn stars and their partners in intimate, non-porn moments. Paired with the images of the ten couples are essays by the photographers and some of their subjects, actual love letters, and stories that humanize people often thought of as sex machines. We asked Paulie and Pauline to give us some background on a few of the images from the book (which you can pre-order from Amazon):

porn_stars_and_their_partners

“This cover photo is of Digital Playground contract star Jesse Jane and her husband Rich. Her given name is Cindy, which is just perfect because she reminds us of sweet little Cindy Loo Hoo from How The Grinch Stole Christmas! She’s a tiny slip of a thing, especially when she’s standing next to her husband, who could easily be mistaken for a Na’vi from Pandora if you painted him blue. We photographed them one hot summer morning at their home outside Oklahoma City earlier this year. We played with their dogs and looked at photo albums of a very pregnant Jesse and ate pastries in their kitchen. Paulie even stripped down to his skivvies to wade into the pool with his camera to get shots of them being goofy together. We knew we had the cover shot when we saw Jesse’s big smile as Rich gave her an “airplane” by the pool. Her smile is infectious, and her laugh is twice as big as she is.”

jesse_jane_porn_star

“This is one of the last images we made during our shoot that day. We had spent the morning with Jesse and Rich and we were all just hanging out in their kitchen putting away our gear when I snapped a few last frames. Pauline’s family is from Oklahoma and she and Jesse were sharing funny stories about their families and I couldn’t resist photographing her one last time.  As a photographer, one of the biggest challenges can be trying to capture truly unguarded, candid moments, and this can often be especially difficult with image-conscious celebrities. But Jesse didn’t put up any walls separating her real self from my camera. The Jesse you see in our photos is a sweet, goofy, country girl who is perfectly at ease in her own skin.”

seymore_butts_porn_star

“This is a shot of Showtime’s Family Business stars Seymore Butts and Mari Possa. Theirs is the shoot that inspired this project. We were commissioned to do a portrait of Seymore. He and Mari asked to take a break a couple of hours into the shoot. Jet-lagged and exhausted from their busy promotional tour, they spooned together on the bed in their hotel suite. Instead of dozing off as we expected, they talked softly and caressed each other like two new lovers who were enjoying a moment alone during a rare break in their busy lives. With their nod of approval, we continued shooting. There was nothing staged or performative about the way Adam and Mari reached for each other. No production assistants or makeup artists darted about. The chemistry and ease between them was apparent. They smiled. They laughed. They were surprisingly quiet. And they kissed. We did our best to remain invisible while attempting to capture their intimacy, falling back on our reflexive instinct to capture what was happening in front of us. It wasn’t until later, when we were looking at the photos together, when we realized how lovely and honest the photos were.”

lorelei_lee_porn_star

“We photographed Lorelei Lee in San Francisco, just a couple of months before she would move to New York City to pursue a masters degree in NYU’s creative writing program. Lorelei also wrote an essay for “Off the Set,” titled “I’m Leaving You,” in which she relates the story of how she ended the relationship with the man in her photos. Her prose details her agonizing decision to move across the country to pursue her goals. In the context of her story, the photos we made of Lorelei and her partner take on a heartbreaking quality that will resonate with anyone who has ever had to make such a difficult choice.”

MORE FROM EM & LO: