[Cream Pie]
Ken Marcus

[Ken Marcus]

Please take a moment to read Ken Marcus' biography.

Note: In the original feature, the thumbnails are linked to the larger picture.

Cream Pie: Hello Ken and welcome to Cream Pie. I know that you're famous for being a glamour and fine arts photographer as well as won awards for commercial photography. Today, as a photographer, how do you classify yourself?
Ken Marcus: I'm an erotic photographer.

Cream Pie: What do you consider to be your best work? In other words, if someone does not know Ken Marcus what should they see to appreciate your work?
Ken Marcus: Well, I think the area that I'm working in now seems to be the most interesting. Which is the area of bondage and fetish, and kind of unusual erotica. One of the advantages of living in Hollywood is that we have a population of counterculture people that are very very interesting as well as very beautiful. So, it has provided me with an opportunity to photograph these people expressing a side of themselves they don't normally put out for the camera. Many of my subjects are either former centerfolds, actresses, or sometimes even adult performers that don't always get the opportunity to express who they are. They are usually performing a role to someone elses specifications or acting in a movie or modeling for pictures. What I tend to do is customize my photo shoot to pick up the personality of the model and create images that allow them to express what they would really like to express. I don't start off a photo shoot with any preconceived idea of this is what we're going to do today. I work with my models and allow them to express what they are interested in and we kind of use that as a springboard to get creative.

Cream Pie: The models that you're shooting, are you shooting them for a publication or other media as an assignment or commercial project?
Ken Marcus: Oh no, vast majority of work I do is exclusively for my website. Although I do allow the models, if they have a web site, to use the pictures on their site. I allow them access to the content. The pictures are not done for other companies or assignments for magazines. These are all things that we do as a collaborative cooperative project.

Cream Pie: This is for kenmarcus.com?
Ken Marcus: Yes

Cream Pie: You mentioned bondage. It's my understanding that the adult industry in the U. S. doesn't show any penetration especially in videos. I've seen penetration in your work. Is the work on video and still photography viewed differently?
Ken Marcus: Most of the rules that cover bondage in video and photography have to do with distribution rather than content. For instance, bondage pictures that are produced in the United States are not allowed to be published in Canada or the UK due to importation laws in Canada and the UK that go back many many years. With the bondage that is produced, shot, developed, and printed in Canada or the UK, there is no problem with it. Which is why in Penthouse magazine you will see all kinds of very explicit activity but you won't see bondage. If a woman's hands are tied they cannot publish it because they cannot get the distribution they need or their sales will suffer. So, there is kind of a defacto censorship there. It's not an actual censorship but it would be foolish to make that kind of investment and not be able to sell your product in other English speaking countries. Whereas the internet doesn't seem to have that type of restriction. Fine art has never had that kind of restriction. You're able to photograph people expressing their sexuality. Certainly in the real world, people do bondage with penetration. They do bondage with sexuality. Bondage is a great foreplay and playground in which sexuality is a major part. It's only in the printed media and in the video media that you seem to find this odd censorship.

Cream Pie: You hire a variety of models. Is bondage what you favor?
Ken Marcus: Let me set the record straight. I've yet to pay a single model to be on my web site. I do not hire models. Generally speaking models come to me because they are aware of the photography that I do and they either want to be a part of those kind of photo sessions with the idea in mind that they could have some pictures for their personal usage or if they have a web site they will have those pictures to use as content. Which puts me in an interesting position that I've never been in before as a professional, up until recently if you wanted a model to work for you or with you, you had to pay her. I didn't want to be in a position where I was preconceiving ideas and coming up things and hiring models to portray activities. I decided that with my web site, if a model comes in and does bondage it's because she is enjoying the bondage that she is into and she is there because that's what she wants to do.

Cream Pie: Can anyone who wants to model approach you to photograph them and as long as they allow you to use the pictures on your web site, you will work with them?
Ken Marcus: Oh yes, absolutely. I get five or six requests each month. I've come up with some exceptional models by people finding me on the internet, e-mailing me and sending me pictures. It's actually been a successful way of expanding my contact.

Cream Pie: So, others can contact you and request that you photograph them.
Ken Marcus: As a matter of fact, I got an e-mail today from a woman in Memphis, Tennessee who wants to come and pose for me. I just did a shoot last month of a girl from Toronto who turned out to be quite beautiful and we did some great work together.

Cream Pie: If a person wants you to photograph them but doesn't want the photos published on the internet, how much do you charge for such a photo shoot?
Ken Marcus: Generally, I have two prices and these prices are only my rate. In addition to my price there would be the additional costs of a makeup artist, film, processing, wardrobe, lunch, generally anything ... whatever the expenses are. My fee is for a half day I charge $2,000.00. For a full day I charge $3,500.00.

Cream Pie: If anyone wants to hire you that would be the rate?
Ken Marcus: Sure. I do get a number of private commission each year from generally a lot of married couples who want to have erotic photographs taken of themselves. They're not interested in being distributed, being published, or on the internet. They want the photos for their personal usage. So, I do book in anywhere from seven to fifteen of these types of shoots per year.

Cream Pie: Let's step back a little. You started glamour photography in the 1970s, is that correct?
Ken Marcus: Yes, I was the first American photographer for what was then an English publication, Penthouse. They moved to the United States. I was with them for their first three years. Then I went with Playboy for eleven years. I left Playboy and started to work with Penthouse again and at the same time worked with Muscle and Fitness magazine photographing bodybuilders.

Cream Pie: Have you ever ran into any unusual situation with any of your models whereby they wanted more than just a photo shoot, you know ... like sex?
Ken Marcus: Actually, in giving a lecture, I was asked by a member of the audience if I've ever had sex with any of my models. I believe my answer was, yes. As a matter of fact, I sleep with all of my models with the exception of three but I cannot tell you which three they are. So if you've ever ran into anyone that I've worked with you won't know if they're someone that I've slept with or not.
Cream Pie: (Laughing) I remember you telling me that in Florida.
Please note: This is Ken's humorous side. Having known him for a while he is a man of impeccable taste, discretion, and maintains both a profession and wonderful relationship with his models. He is not a player as most people would like to hope. He does not sleep with the models.

Cream Pie: Who are some of the models that you enjoy working with and why?
Ken Marcus: Oh my gosh. Each one is an individual. I've been working with some great models recently. I just did a shoot with Julie Strain who is a former Penthouse Pet of The Year. I photographed her about 10 years ago. As she has gotten older, she has gotten better. She is a tall, powerful, very talented model. I did a shoot of her with another girl where she was a dominatrix. Certainly working with someone of her caliber is always interesting and exciting. I've worked with a couple of contortionist who has skills that I can really appreciate and envy their ability to be flexible and do things that the average human being do not or cannot do.

Cream Pie: Is that Suzy Ming?
Ken Marcus: Uh hu, yes, Suzy Ming is a fabulous model. She does these things and make it look effortless. Makes my back hurt just thinking of her.

Cream Pie: Looking at some of the models you shot, Melissa looks interesting.
Ken Marcus: Yes, she is an exotic dancer from the Reno area ... Reno, Nevada ... I don't think she has had a lot of experience modeling. She has a certain power to her face, her attitude, some interesting tattoos, and a strong body. She is a small girl. I forgot how tall she is but it certainly couldn't have been more than 5' 1" , 5' 2" or something like that ... a teeny little girl. Much bigger in her image than her actual size.

Cream Pie: In the pictures of her, is that her clit hood and labia pierced?
Ken Marcus: Without looking at the picture I couldn't actually tell you. Let me go in and take a look and tell you what she has. (Logging into his computer.) Yes, she had some interesting piercings.

I'll never forget the first time I photographed a woman that had some rather extensive labia piercings with some pretty heavy jewelry hanging off of her. As she was getting undressed I was looking at her and I saw these big rings hanging from her and I said to her, "Gosh those things just don't look comfortable.". She ruffled up her feathers and looked at me and she said, "Well, some folks aren't into comfort." Oh well, that kind of says it all.

Yes, it looks like she has labia piercings and a clit piercing. Also Zarah Lee, who I had a couple of shoots with. I've done her with another girl, a couple of guys, I most recently added stuff of her with Sean Michaels. She has her clit pierced and both labias.

Cream Pie: Do you mean her clit hood or the actual clit?
Ken Marcus: I'm not really sure. It could be actually through it. She is a pretty extreme lady.
Cream Pie: After meeting Zarah, I gathered that she was extreme and that's why I asked the question.

Cream Pie: Another of your other models, Alexis Winston, has a charming look about her. Tell me about her.
Ken Marcus: She is a charming young lady. She is the current runner up for Penthouse Pet of the Year. She has been featured in a number of pictorials, yeah, she is a great girl.

Cream Pie: You've shot Janine Lindemulder peeing and you titled the pictures "Janine 1st Pee". This was her first time peeing on camera. How did that come about?
Ken Marcus: I was sitting in the studio minding my own business, one day. All of a sudden, I get a phone call from Janine, from her car phone. I guess she was just coming from a shoot somewhere in the valley and she had on all her makeup and stuff. She was a little bit agitated. She said, "Ken what're you doing right now." I said, "Well, just working on the computer. What're you doing?" Janine replied, "I just finished a shoot and I've got makeup on. Can you shoot some pictures of me?" I said, "Sure, I'd love to. Come on by we'll come up with something to do. What do you have in mind?" She says, "Well, I'm really pissed off because all these young girls that are new to the business, they're all doing these peeing pictures and I don't have any peeing pictures. Can you shoot some pictures of me peeing?" So I thought, sure, why not, come on down. She came down and she drank two bottles of iced tea and followed them down with a beer. She kept saying, "Ok, I'm ready to pee. I'm ready to pee." I thought, you know, I don't think that she really is yet. I pretended to fuck around with the lighting a little bit. She kept saying Come on, I gotta go, I gotta go, I gotta do it. I told her ... Well Janine you've gotta hold on for a little bit longer. I've got to check the lighting and maybe add one more light and make sure that we have a back light on it so that we make sure it lights up properly and this and that. Anyway, I managed to put her off for about another 45 minutes and by the time that she was on camera ready to do it she just did the most magnificent job of anybody that I've ever seen do this kind of a shoot. She peed for what must've been 4 or 5 minutes straight. Just when you thought that she couldn't do anymore, she ran over to the kitchen, grabbed a wine glass, filled it up, and poured it all over herself and drank down the rest of it.

Cream Pie: Is that right? Ken Marcus: That was right. She just put to shame any of these young new girls that were starting in the business. So in my mind she proved her right to be the queen of porn. She validated herself.

Cream Pie: Another woman you shot was Justine. How was that session? How did that come about?
Ken Marcus: I've got several sessions with Justine. I have a session with her and a woman named Cashmir. Then I have a session of her by herself.

Cream Pie: This is the session of her by herself when she was peeing into a bowl.
Ken Marcus: Right. That's her color shoot. I did her in black and white and then did some bondage things. A year later, I did her with another girl. About six months later I did her in color. These were actually pictures that she wanted to submit to Penthouse. We submitted these pictures to Penthouse and she was accepted. We shot a layout on for them and they decided that it was quite lovely. I don't know when they're going to publish it. Justine is an interesting lady. She is a submissive. She is very much into water sports. She is about to start her own web site and when she does I will make sure that she is in contact with you. She is very uninhibited and I'm sure she would be able to contribute some nice images for Cream Pie.

Cream Pie: I'm looking forward to that.
Ken Marcus: Yeah.

Cream Pie: Let me see if there are any other models that may be of interest to Cream Pie subscribers. They're all of interest ...
Ken Marcus: They're all of interest. We have this one, Kira Reed who we've done in a couple of different layouts including one called the French Maid where she does her first anal insertion. Kira is a television actress. If you stay up late at night watching Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, and all those movies they show at night where they have nude love scenes in addition to plots, action and all of that ... she is all over the TV. I was really quite surprised, you know, coming from the so called straight end of the business that she was as eager and willing to become as explicit as she has become.

Cream Pie: What are some of the movies that she has done?
Ken Marcus: Oh gosh. Let me tell you now, as I go to her web site www.kiradance.com ... let's see here ... go to her resume and see what she has done. Fast Lane to Malibu, The Woman Every Man Wants, The Brotherhood, Forbidden Highway, Alien Species 2: The Sex Files ... I can go on and on. She has a list of credits there. That's just her movie credits. She has over a dozen television credits. She is a highly trained actress. One absolute sweetheart to work with. She and her husband who is a television actor named Dan are setting up a web site that's going to be called marriedcouple.com Where you will be able to watch them 24 hours a day watch them do their thing.

Cream Pie: Does she run into any problem with her mainstream work and her explicit work?
Ken Marcus: Absolutely not, which just blows me away. If you were to ask me 10 years ago, would someone in the straight legitimate acting field could do anything that was x-rated I would say oh no, that's a line that they just can't cross and the world hasn't evolved to that point yet. I guess the world has evolved.

Cream Pie: Tell us about your experience of being banned.
Ken Marcus: I've been banned and censored and pointed out suspiciously a good number of times throughout my career. It goes along with being a highly visible photographer that deals in the area of erotica. I do a good job at what I do and I do it in an artistic way that is basically nonoffensive to most people and yet I deal with subject matter that is rather explicit. There is that edge there, where I'm invited to come an lecture, show slides, and talk about my work. Yet, when the City Council hears about it, it's like oh my god we can't have that man here. I've been banned in Florida, Colorado, Palm Spring, by the federal government, state governments, local governments, and I've even been banned by a senior citizens center somewhere. So, it's been kind of an interesting life. I've gotta tell you my mother is so proud but I would always prevail. So far so good.

Cream Pie: You mentioned seminars. Are you still doing seminars?
Ken Marcus: I had up until this last year. I'm taking time off right now from doing that. I've been concentrating on my web site. It's an overwhelming job as you know. I'm doing it all myself, shooting the pictures, doing the Photoshop, the HTML pages, doing all the postings, running the site, ... doing everything but handling the credit cards. I felt that at this point, it's like reinventing my business. I don't feel right about booking too many things that is going to take me out of town. So, I've been holding off on the seminars and workshops this year just to concentrate on getting this up and running.

I really do enjoy that aspect of my career. I've been doing seminars and workshops for over 20 years. It has been a nice way to see the world without having to carry a camera. I just carry a box of slides or pictures that I've already done. I don't have to drag my assistant, makeup artist, model, wardrobe, and 20 cases of equipment to travel to various places.

Cream Pie: I understand that you have a video series?
Ken Marcus: Yes. It's the Ken Marcus workshop video series. We have three videos: (1) Advanced Glamour Techniques, (2) Studio Glamour Techniques, and (3) Outdoor Glamour Techniques. In these videos we discuss, illustrate, and reveal the secret of how to do professional glamour photography in the style that you see in Playboy and Penthouse magazine.

Cream Pie: How can someone purchase these videos?
Ken Marcus: They can be purchased through Melrose Video which is located at 6916 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, CA 90038. They maybe ordered over the phone by calling Melrose Video at (323) 934-5503. We're eager to get them out there and distribute them. They've been available through various photography stores throughout the country and certain bookstores with a large photography section. If it's not readily available in your area, just give a call and they can get them out to you right away.

Cream Pie: When a someone is nervous, how do you get them to relax? After all, they are posing nude.
Ken Marcus: It's not that much of a problem. I think that I've been lucky throughout my life in that I give off a sense of professionalism and people have confidence in me. Very few people are ever nervous on a photo shoot. Those that are, generally, it doesn't last much more than 5 minutes. They may be nervous because they are not sure what the process is all about. What do I do? What do they do? How are you supposed to do this, that, or the other? Having worked with Playboy and Penthouse for so many years where the girls you're shooting for centerfolds it's their first time modeling. You just kind of develop a rapport with the models that make them comfortable and feel secure. You don't stare at their body. You behave properly, more like a doctor would or any other sort of professional person that works with the body. There is an awful lot to think about on a photo shoot other than the fact of oh my god, I'm standing her naked.

Cream Pie: I'm looking forward to working with you. Do you know what a cream pie is?
Ken Marcus: Certainly.

Cream Pie: Have you photographed any cream pies?
Ken Marcus: Actually, no. It's been kind of interesting. Even though I've worked with a number of adult stars usually a cream pie is not something that they do. Either they do a facial cum shot, do it onto the girl's butt or whatever. In their business, professionally they are thought to show the man's orgasm to its fullest for the point of view of the camera. What I've noticed in looking at pictures on the internet, where you get a lot of amateur people putting up their own home-spun pictures, these kinds of shots are probably more common with what people do in their home in real life. Not so specifically for the mass porn audience.

Cream Pie: We're looking to shoot cream pies together and bring an artistic perspective to cream pies.
Ken Marcus: I'm hoping. I can't promise anything but I recently had a discussion with Sean Michaels and Julia Ann. If you can just imagine them as a dynamic duo, that might be the opportunity to do it. I'm going to present that to them. You certainly know both of these people. They might just be the right ones to do this for you in that manner. Picture the two of them together.

Cream Pie: What can I say to Julia Ann and Sean to make this happen?
Ken Marcus: Ah, begging, whimpering, pounding your head against the wall, heavy breathing, panting, you know ... any of those techniques might work.

Cream Pie: I will contact Julia Ann immediately and get her started.
Ken Marcus: I understand that they are doing their first scene together for a movie. If they haven't done it, I think it's suppose to happen in the next week or so. I haven't spoken to them since we were in Florida. I think they're doing a scene for someone elses movie and they were planning on doing that as kind of a warm up to doing a photo session with me in the studio. So, certainly you should contact her and you should contact him and inform them of our conversation and see if that's something we can get. I think that at this point in time, Julia is kind of ready to move on to doing some nastier stuff ... and she is ready.

Cream Pie: Ken, thanks for joining us today. Do you have any final words for us?
Ken Marcus: I would like to invite all Cream Pie subscribers to come and visit my site at www.kenmarcus.com. We have a wide variety of interesting erotica. I'm shooting more and more all the time. We're going to be expanding the site soon. Recently we started video taping a number of my shoots and we're going to be introducing video clips. Hopefully, what I would like to do is have live WebCam of some of the shoots that we're doing. This will allow members to watch a shoot in progress. We have a good stock of video from shoots that we've been doing. Just as soon as we can get this stuff edited and put into the proper Quicktime format and get it up on the site, that's going to be the next step. So, we're going to have an expanded version of the site. We've been adding more and more content every month. We've got quite a bit in there now. It surprises me as to how we were able to get up so many interesting photo sets.


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