« Youles »

« Youles » is a personal project about the economic-sexual exchange in France, inspired by the people involved. It’s the fruit of a year of research and learnings about the economic-sexual exchange in France and another year of meetups and photographic realizations.

The book aims to use fashion photography as a tool to discuss a topic that has been a taboo, to deconstruct the stereotypes related to sex work and to highlight a realistic facet without glamorization.
The reality of the economic-sexual exchange is complex.
The people photographed are directly related to this phenomenon in different ways. Some models are porn actors, strippers, camgirls/boys, prostitutes, escorts... and can be refered to as sex workers. However, others are related in a less formal way and do not consider themselves as sex workers. For example, the person might own an onlyfans account, sell their underwear or have a sugar daddy...
For the purposes of this project, I have met with the models coming from different regions in France.

This photobook highlights the complex mind-body relationship and tells the stories of these people. It will include editorial photographs shot in the studio as well as documentary ones taken in more intimate and realistic places such as the participants’homes.
The book also includes testimonials telling the stories of the participants. These texts won't necessarly be related to specific pictures. They will be mixed to garantee the anonymity.

In this project, models have been key participants in art direction as they have chosen the story to be told, the way they wanted to be represented and have actively participated in creating the moodboards.

Fashion is also a key factor, that is why a whole dedicated team of stylists and makeup artists have contributed to art direction.

I chose fashion photography to destigmatize the topic by not attributing a social environment or a context that might put these people in boxes. The studio, being empty with a white background, is the perfect canvas so that no added element can influence the perception.

By mixing fashion and documentary photography, we can see that the borderline between the two is quite blurred. Fashion photography exposing a social phenomenom is also a form of documentary photography while the latter can also include an important fashion dimension and thus be considered as fashion photography.

Soon to be published by Rue du Bouquet in 2024.