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This Photographer Captured People’s Faces the Moment They Orgasm

Alina Oswald's portraits of friends and strangers climaxing are safe for work, believe it or not.

by Beckett Mufson
May 18 2017, 4:20pm

Black-and-white portraits of Munich youth—slack-jawed, eyes closed, and grinning in the moment of orgasm—are a bold debut for 24-year-old photographer Alina Oswald.

She started the erotic series by photographing a friend's orgasm, and then her own. She was soon telling all her friends, friends of friends at parties, and even co-workers about the ongoing series. "I talked about nothing else," she tells Creators. And that's how she recruited her models. "So many people were interested in being part of the project and the experience of having an orgasm on camera."

Moments snowballed as more and more young men and women consented to having Oswald shoot their sexual climaxes. "The project got bigger and bigger. I put my whole energy and thought into it," she says. Visiting the models in their homes, usually with a bottle of wine, she set the mood with conversation as she set up her equipment.

"Then it was time for a hand-job," she says. The logistics of photographing a mid-coital portrait were handled on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes she stayed in the room, sometimes she left and came back as her subject reached the pivotal moment. Sometimes her volunteers invited a significant other into the room or looked at porn. "After, we laughed and talked about the moment, happy and thankful for the experience," she says.

Moments is among a surge of erotic art by women, for everyone. Oswald's goal for the series is to capture the emotion of sexuality. "It's not just about eroticism, its about how we confront ourselves with sexuality, how we deal with the topic in society," she says. "I want to make clear that sexuality is not just in our body. There is more than the porn industry shows."

Oswald will soon begin a new project, but Moments is far from over. "I still have so many interesting people I want to photograph. So I can't stop now," she says.

Moments premiered at the Munich gallery space and venue Altsgiesing. See more of Alina Oswald's work on her website.

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Germany
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Alina Oswald​