On Seeing: A Journal – #248

Pardon the pitch, I hope that I may be forgiven, since baseball season is about to start.

Finally! My new book, KINK, number 22 since 1993, has been published and Amazon is currently filling orders. The publisher has informed us that the pre-ordered books have just been sent (if you have one, maybe you’ll send a review to Amazon). We’re also told the good news/bad news: there are fewer than 100 copies remaining.

I’ve included ten never before published images.

Bill Townsley (left) and Thom Leoffel, from Texas. Photographed September 23, 2012.


Jessica Rivet (left), Elena Brasseau (center) and Kara Orban, from Louisiana.
Photographed September 25, 2011.

The first review on Amazon:

from Amazon user, Grrrdaliah: 5.0 out of 5 stars

February 22, 2018

Verified Purchase

I’m not going to lie—I’ve been a Howard Schatz fan for quite a while, so my expectations were high. And this book delivered. Howard’s eye is always focused on images that are sensual, unusual and unforgettable, and KINK is filled with them. If provocative, stimulating art is what you’re after, either for yourself or as a gift, look no further. (And, no, Mr. Schatz did not pay me to write this review! It’s just a very cool concept, exceedingly well-executed.)



Mark Sargent (as Ethel Merman), from California. Photographed September 24, 2008.


Spathic (left), 25, student, and Chip Bury, from California. Photographed September 29, 2013.

There have been a number of magazine reviews.

Here are a few.

From OUT magazine, March, 2018:

The pleasure of a book like Kink is how completely it disarms knee-jerk bigotries by approaching its subjects with curiosity and candor. “The Folsom Street Fair has to do with acceptance and being nonjudgmental,” says Schatz. “Humanity has so many possibilities.” While bondage and sadomasochism can be eye-opening for the uninitiated, or the disinterested, the sense of joy and playfulness in Schatz’s images reduces the space between spectators and performers.

The photographer, who has worked for The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, stumbled upon the fair in the early 1990s while visiting his photo lab on 8th Street and Folsom Street in San Francisco. “There were probably half a million people, half of whom were gawkers, and half of whom were exhibitionists, and the two groups needed each other,” he says. “It was a happy, warm, rich, loving experience for everybody there.” The following year Schatz returned to the fair with a pop-up studio, hiring students to look for subjects.

“Over the course of 25 years I missed only four or five fairs,” he says. “I must have photographed 200 to 300 people during the day.” Each subject received a free portrait, and another if they sent back a questionnaire. Many of the responses are peppered throughout the book.


Trigger (left), Amber Shaedow (center), 32, science teacher, and Puppy Stryker, 24, security guard, from Arizona. Photographed September 23, 2012.

A group shot of Amber Shaedow and her “puppies,” Puppy Stryker and Trigger, is accompanied by candid insights in which Trigger contrasts his “normal” free time, in which he watches horror movies and goes shooting with his dad, with his “kinky” free time, in which he and Puppy Stryker “play as pups with rubber squeaky toys dog collars, dog treats, and belly rubs from our owner, Shaedow.” For Stryker, who describes himself as pansexual, puppy play has expanded the world. “My puppy-side really interconnects with me as a human because there are times when in everyday life a bark escapes my mouth without me even knowing,” he writes.  “Hell, I even have squeaky toys in my car if I ever get bored.

—SAMI PRITCHARD, OUT Magazine, March, 2018
Kink (Lawrence Richard Publishing) is available on Amazon



Jose Gonzalez, from Florida. Photographed September 28, 2008.


This is a link to the review from COSMO Online



Steven Wes Miller (left) and Athena Driscoll, from California. Photographed September 29, 2013.


And, a review from Bob Guccione, Jr. of  Wunderlust Magazine

Howard Schatz is one of the world’s best and most celebrated photographers, who has photographed everyone (as the saying lazily goes), published 21 stunning books, but eschewed the fame-seeking of a Dave LaChapelle or Annie Leibowitz. Kink is his 22nd, born from discovering, 25 years ago and by accident, the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, an ecstatic festival extolling kinkiness and bondage/sadomasochism. This is not a small event, up to half a million people participate or attend. Almost every year since then, Schatz has gone to the Fair, set up an outdoor studio, and photographed attendees in their expressive and sexually confrontational costumes. He sent his subjects their photograph and a questionnaire, promising a second photo if they filled it out. Many did, giving Howard a starkly frank sense of who they were and who they wanted to be. In today’s gender fluid and sometimes gender and sexually confused times, these pictures and self identities particularly and unambiguously resonate. It’s a beautiful coffee table book. It’s not for kids, and it’s not for squares. —Bob Guccione, Jr.



Cara Couture, 25, photography technician, from California. Photographed September 29, 3013.

The book contains 100 images culled from over 5000 portrait sessions. Many of the portraits are accompanied by reflections written by the participants about their sexual preferences and the way that those preferences fit into the broader scope of their lives.


Amazon link:  https://www.amazon.com/Kink-Howard-Schatz/dp/0971021015

Publisher: Lawrence Richard Publishing, Inc.
Photographs by Howard Schatz
Project Director/Executive Editor: Beverly J. Ornstein
Photography/Popular Culture/Human Sexuality/BDSM
April 2018 release

Rene Mesick, 24, artist, from California. Photographed September 27, 2015.

Was this fun, or what!