NSFW PHOTOGRAPHER: The Sensual Art of Sven van Driessche

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Sven van Driessche is an analog photographer based in Ghent, Belgium, where he works for Total Petroleum as an Operator. He has a very long history with photography, learning analog photography and darkroom processes in the days before digital was born. Van Driessche began shooting Polaroids in 2010, turning his camera toward vintage objects (old cars, old signs, dresses, etc). Three and a half years ago he was inspired to make a Polaroid replica of the classic painting by an unknown Renaissance artist, “Gabrielle d’Estrées and one of her sisters.” It took him one year to arrange the photo shoot, but it was a pivotal experience for van Driessche. After that, his focus turned toward creating art that is slightly erotic, with an emphasis on softness, beauty, and sensuality. He often poses his models in various urban and natural environments around the world.

Whether in color and black and white, van Driessche’s photos marry the atmospheric qualities of integral and instant pack films with the sensuality of his models. The effect is often painterly, intimate, delicate. The softness and vulnerability of the nude feminine form is often juxtaposed with untamed landscapes or graphic urban architecture. Other photos in the series read like fine art paintings, with luminous colors and classic compositions.

Van Driessche has traveled all over the world, taking photos wherever he goes. These days, he often schedules photo shoots with models when he travels, working with both professionals and amateurs.

Despite being a perfectionist in his photography, van Driessche likes the unpredictable nature of expired film. He embraces its inherent perfections. He says it is thrilling when an instant photo develops before your eyes, and it happens to be exactly what you were hoping for. And equally frustrating when, for whatever reason, the photo just doesn’t work. He says that you have to be very sure of everything, the composition, the lighting, the poses, before pushing the button. Instant photography requires more thought and more patience than other forms of photography, but the rewards are worth the effort.  

His work has been widely featured, having appeared in Dreck Magazine, Tata Magazine, 100 Volume 1, Latent Magazine, Hylas Magazine, and Fine Art Photo Magazine. He has been interviewed by the on-line magazines Whataroll and Kaltblut and he recently participated in a group exhibition at the Brick Lane Gallery in London in March 2017.

Van Driessche cites these photographers as his influences: Anton Corbjin, for his square format and black and white images; Helmut Newton for his nudes; Stephanie Schneider for her California dessert scenes and work with expired film, and Carmen de Vos, for her nudes and erotic images and her TICKL magazine.

You can connect with Sven van Driessche on Instagram, Facebook, and on his website!


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Anne Silver is an instant photography aficionado who lives in Paris, France and is a member of the 12:12 Project. Connect with Anne Silver on her Website and on Instagram!