Digital Pix!

a digital portrait of Rob
by Mark I. Chester

Mark I. Chester studio
1229 Folsom St./SF
between 8th/9th Sts

Answers to some questions!

What are you doing?
I did fine art black and white radical sex photography from the late 1970s until the early 2000s.  You can check out that work by clicking on this link.
I've been doing color digital since 2000.  Due to the generosity of friends who believe in what I am doing, I have recently been able to upgrade to a digital SLR.  I am now working with a Canon 40D which produces 10 megapixel images.  It is a great camera and the digital files are high quality.
I particularly enjoy portraiture.  While I mostly photograph other gay men, I am open to photographing anyone who needs new photos.  I can do portraits your Mom would love and many other things you wouldn't share with Mom: body portraiture, nudes, sexual portraiture, leather, fetish or sm.
I am open to working with a wide range of people - from young adults to seniors, from vanilla to leather, from preppy to sleazy.  I work with both men and women of all genders, all sexual orientations and all sexual styles.  Just tell me what you want and what you need.  You set the parameters and the  limits.

What are you REALLY offering?
The Canon 40D is a 10 megapixel camera and the images are sharp and detailed.  They reproduce in a wide variety of situations from images posted on the net or sent in emails to digital prints up to 16"x20" and larger.
My digital pix look different than most digital photographs because I don't use the flash built into the camera.  I use strobe lights for a more professional studio look with sharper clarity and more detail. I particularly like working in the studio and using light and shadow creatively.  If done right, just a body and light can tell quite a story.  It reveals and yet can hide all at the same time.

When do I get to see the pix?
At the end of the session I download the images to my computer and you get to go through them with me and choose the best ones.

What will the pix look like?
To keep the download time on web pages and in emails minimal, I normally reduce the file size to approx. 5"x7" (although the actual size depends on the resolution and size of the display) and somewhere between 100-200K.  On request, I can make the images larger or smaller, depending on your needs and interests.

I put my photo credit on the side of the print, in a location where they don't obscure the image.  I can give you duplicate files without a photo credit to be used on websites and in ads where text is not allowed or for images you want to send to family and friends.

On my website ONLY, I often put an additional line of text through the image, in order to discourage people from stealing and misusing the images. 

a digital portrait of Chris
by Mark I. Chester

Where are you located and when is your studio open?

My studio is on Folsom St between 8th-9th Sts, in the San Francisco, civic center south of market area, right next door to Chaps II and near such other establishments as the Lonestar and Eagle Tavern, the Bay Area Reporter, Mr. S., Stompers, Leather, Leather Etc, the Hole in the Wall Saloon, the Lonestar Saloon and the PowerHouse.

I am only three blocks from the civic center BART and Muni underground station at 8th and Market St.  I am two blocks off the Bay Bridge exit at 9th and Harrison.  Muni bus lines 19 Polk, 27 Bryant, 12 Folsom come within a block of my studio and bus lines 14 Mission, 47 Van Ness, 9 Potrero come within 2 blocks.
I am an artist.  Everything I do is private and by prior arrangement only.  I do not have open hours and my studio is not open to people walking in off the street.

How much does it cost?
There is no cost.  But as an underground artist working outside the system, I do accept donations to help support the fine art work that I do.  Everyone is different and everyone's situation is different.  Please talk to me personally about this.

What happens to the photos you take?
I keep the original files, but they remain private and are for your use only in emails, in chat, and on websites.

While I retain the legal copyright to all images I take, the photographs can not be used in any way without your permission.  What this means is that neither one of us can make commercial use of the imagery or seek financial gain from the images without the consent of the other party.

So your image will never appear on my website, unless you give specific permission for me to do that.  Every photo subject on my site has given me permission to show the images that you see on my site.

What can I do in front of the camera?
I don't know, what CAN you do in front of the camera? <evil grin>  I'm friendly, open and supportive.  I've been around SF since the late 1970s.  So just tell me what you really want.  I can't help you unless you speak to me openly and frankly.

Whom and what are you interested in photographing?
There are no age or body requirements. As long as it is consensual, doesn't risk anyone's health (or my sanity <grin>) and doesn't mess up my photo room, I'm probably interested.

I do a full range of work from portraits, to nudes, to images that are more provocative, explicit including fetish, leather and sex.

My site leans towards leather because leather guys are more willing to let me use their images on my site as samples of my work, BUT I photograph ALL types from young to more mature, vanilla to radical sex, clothed to nudes, and execs to trashy pigs.

If you'd like to help me do an erotic gallery of more traditionally erotic images, let me know.  I'd be happy to give you the photos in exchange for letting me use them.

But I am not photogenic!  But I am not a muscle god!  But I am a real person with flaws!  But I never take a good photograph!  Can you make me look like Jeff Stryker?
Getting your photo taken can be a stressful experience and brings up issues for most people.  You might be surprised to know that 99% of the men I photograph tell me that they are not photogenic and that they don't like photographs of themselves and they definitely don't like being photographed.
I love men.  I love all kinds of men.  I love male energy.  And the photo process can be mysterious even to me at times.  So I see this as a shared process.
I like taking photographs that are honest.  At the same time, I try to use clothing, a very simple studio set up and light and shadow to highlight your best qualities and hide your flaws.
I know it's scary to have such personal work done by someone you don't even know.  I'm here to help you through the process.  To make it less stressful and hopefully, even make it a fun experience. : )

What should I bring with me?
A sense of humor. <g>
The kind of photos you are interested in - portraits to more revealing - will determine the clothing or gear you should bring with you.
I suggest that people bring a variety of things that are comfortable, and that they think they look good in.  For more revealing images, I think that just a little bit of clothing can do wonders to accent an image, make it more interesting and help cover your worst flaws.
This could include one or more of the following depending on your particular interests:  briefs, jockstraps, speedos, t shirts, torn garments from pants, to shorts, to t shirts, socks, sunglasses, hats, caps, armbands, harnesses, leather, fetish gear, or even just a robe or towel.

But I can't make ANY donation!  I am unemployed.  Is there any other way that I can get you to take photos of me?
Occasionally I do a special event where I take photographs for a reduced donation.  To get notified of these events, send an email to and please specify that you want to be notified about any future digital pix specials.
I am open to creative suggestions and barter, but it has to be something that I need and want. : )

What do you look like?
I look like an underground radical sex photographer, whatever that looks like.  I'm 59, 5'7", 225#, moderately hairy with a crop, silver goatee and glasses.  I am pierced, inked, masculine and very good at what I do.

What's really important is that I can take great photographs of you, particularly if you are willing to put yourself in my hands and let me guide you through the process.