Inspired by a babysitter he surprised in front of the bathroom mirror shooting pictures of herself with his Polaroid, photographer Uwe Ommer decided to put together a book of erotic self-portraits by inexperienced photographers. Arming participants with cameras and basic technical instructions, Ommer asked them to photograph themselves in any way they pleased—liberated, so to speak, from the voyeuristic eye of the photographer. Some chose to use mirrors as they captured their portraits, while others braved the camera without the help of their reflections. While many subjects required no intervention by Ommer, for others he acted as "ghost photographer," helping them with the lighting and setup; in both cases, the models were free to indulge their inspirations in any ways they pleased—from sexy and provocative to romantic to simply being themselves.
The cast of self-portraitists includes a wide range of personalities, from students to artists, actors, stylists, dancers, models, musicians, teachers, and more. This highly original book gives us a rare glimpse at the way everyday women see themselves—or wish they did.
"A strange and original way to work. The images blend exuberance and insecurity with a healthy dose of variety."
—Dazed & Confused, London
Uwe Ommer became fascinated with photography at a young age and in 1962 moved to Paris, where he initially worked as a photographer’s assistant. Within a few years, he opened his own photography studio, primarily shooting fashion and advertising photos. Quickly gaining respect for his work in Paris, Ommer began showing in local galleries and eventually published his first book, Photoedition Uwe Ommer, in 1979, a collection of personal and advertising works. In the following years, he would publish five more books of his photographs. In 2002, Uwe Ommer was awarded an Honorary Fellowship to the Royal Photographic Society for the impact of his lifetime of work. His books for TASCHEN include Black Ladies, Asian Ladies, Transit, and 1000 Families.