What if we told you that a well-known artist, film maker and photographer, made an interesting, surprising and rather out-there debut, behind the scenes at Babestation? Well, Bronia Stewart did exactly that. We are talking being right at the heart of the night action at Babestation. Seeing the babes getting dressed and undressed, watching them mic up behind the scenes, enjoying their time off and interacting together off the set and bouncing around all over the place! Bronia was right in the midst of it all. What a dream!
If you look at Bronia Stewart's website. You will see that this London-based top photographer has been featured in the Guardian, The Sunday Times, the New Yorker, and more. So, what’s the story with Babestation? In fact, Bronia spent not one night, but many nights over a 9- month period behind the scenes with the Babestation girls.
Bronia initially studied for an MA in Photography at the London College of Communications. She was then invited to take part in ‘FreshFaced & Wild Eyed.’ This was an annual competition, designed with photographers just coming out of degree courses in mind.
Bronia Stewart was always avant garde. She wanted to artistically explore the relationships between people who work in the adult industry, and particularly to differentiate the work of sex workers to those in the adult entertainment industry. But imagine, how could a young, female photographer, newly with an MA under her belt, get behind the scenes at Babestation?
In an interview with the Guardian she revealed “Someone I met at the Erotica show in London put me in touch with the channel, and I managed to gain unrestricted access. I decided to focus on behind-the-scenes interactions.” I wanted to show the familiarity that existed between everybody who worked there.” And, talking about one of her pictures, she says, “The shot also highlights the fact that our culture has become so sexualised that it's fine for people to be chatting away in their underwear. Everyone at the studio was pretty relaxed about the nudity – in fact, I became comfortable with it, too. It didn't matter who had clothes on and who didn't.”
For her project, Bronia Stewart spent numerous nights arriving at 8pm and then leaving at 1am. It took some time for her to gain the trust of the Babestation girls. Let’s face it, all the babes are used to other babes walking around naked or semi naked. The producers have seen it all too. But, throw a complete stranger into the works, particularly one who is clothed themselves and backstage with a camera, and you can understand that there may be some mixed feelings and questions to begin with. Yet Bronia Stewart came out tops.
Over time and with commitment, Bronia became accepted. She got to know many of the babes, and the Babestation producers too. She didn’t find the environment intimidating. She always found the atmosphere playful and great fun. She was also surprised about the consistently great relationships the babes had with one another, as well as with the producers.
Having built up good relationships, Bronia was able to shoot the Babestation girls and also quite a few of the producers. Here you can see behind the scenes without any forcing or posing and in a completely natural way. Bronia then very carefully selected a series of images to complete her Babestation portfolio. The pictures she chose were intended to open the viewer’s scope to interpretation. In her interview she said “ I didn’t want to create photographs that forced a particular opinion on to the viewer. I want people to be able to critique the images themselves and have their own view of the industry.”
Bronia Stewarts pictures of Babestation became well known. But, in the end, what did the photos tell people? In an interview in AnOthermag, Bronia says “Babestation is a proper business and it’s run as such. Also, it’s a nice environment. It’s a fun environment. Very secure, safe, comfortable. They’re treated well. All the men who work there are producers. In the photos I thought it was important to show the girls’ interaction with them because it’s very positive.” And of course there are some lovely natural shops of the babes interacting with each other too.
And what did the photos look like? Can you see the pictures for yourself? Course you can! Just slippy on down to the Bronia Stewart blog at itsnicethat.com and see her behind the scenes at Babestation pictures. Different. And, completely natural.