I am pleased to present this interview with Anatoly Borodin, a photographer and an entrepreneur from Moscow. He runs a popular pantyhose fetish-oriented website pro-kolgotki. It has been 10 years since he started photographing women in pantyhose and he is currently working on publishing a high quality printed photo book of his best work. This is a crowdfunding campaign to spread a word about the beauty of women in pantyhose. Anatoly proved to be the most interesting person to interview so far. Some of his answers took me by surprise, some made me disagree, some made me wonder whether he is the next Pierre Molinier, and some made me realize that my degree of pantyhose obsession is no match to his. To sum it up, Anatoly left me with even more questions than answers. Enjoy the read!
How do you select your models? Is it a requirement for them to love pantyhose? I remember helping to dress models at a Vancouver fashion show and many had no idea about basic concepts like “backseam is supposed to be at the back” type of thing.
I look for amateur girls who want to have good photos of themselves in order to publish them on their own blog and to improve their self-esteem. These are ordinary girls from Moscow, Kiev and other Russian and Ukrainian cities.
There’s no requirement to love pantyhose. If it was in place – I wouldn’t find any models. LOL.
I simply publish a job post in fashion & modelling communities with explanation that ‘we shoot underwear and pantyhose’. Then I make a selection of the best girls who have replied to my job post. Usually it is 50% of all the replies. Then I contact them and ask if they’re OK to pose in underwear. At this point another 50% of girls leave. The reason for double-checking is that models are usually young absent-minded girls with ‘a wind between their ears’, honestly. So they reply to all castings and all job posts without even looking at the details. Calling a potential model and double-confirming the type of shooting is essential – it saves a lot of time and energy.
I do not tell that the session is of certain fetish type. Because it’s not! Surprised?
Yes, my sessions are NOT related to pantyhose fetish. Don’t want to go deep into details, just check the vocabulary’s definition of ‘fetish’ and you’ll get the clue. My sessions are about women and their true tender beauty. Pantyhose are just a garment that emphasises the femininity of certain girl in a certain session.
Yes, women DO NOT KNOW A THING ABOUT PANTYHOSE. For more than 15 years I’ve been researching this alluring riddle, testing hundreds of pairs of pantyhose, learning the hosiery industry on all continents. Completed hundreds of interviews with women of different cultures and ages learning their attitude and wishes towards nylons.
My conclusion is that women do not really care about hosiery. They purchase random tights at random places without looking at either the brand name or the visual quality.
I don’t judge. I understand them completely. The woman’s world contains so many more important things like health, relations, and daily tasks, looking after kids and so on. The list is endless. A pair pantyhose is at the very end on that list, if there at all.
I adore seeing women wearing pantyhose in everyday life, there aren’t so many of them around. That’s why I came up with my project’s idea – to create more real women wearing pantyhose. It’s all right that they wear pantyhose only at my sessions. But the pantyhose wearing index it’s already above zero. Do you get my point?
This is our reality, and there’s nothing good or bad about that.
Is there a type of pantyhose that is the most difficult to photograph? There are a lot of little details to watch for during any photoshoot, especially the lighting.
Surprisingly, seamless sheer pantyhose is the most difficult to shoot, like Wolford Fatal 15. I love the idea of seamless pantyhose, but it is almost impossible to show them in a beautiful way without going to too explicit images.
The thing is that seamless pantyhose are unthinkable to be worn with any underwear. The seamless concept is so super-sexy and so super-feminine that I can’t allow my model to have anything under them. Any kind of panties look weird and odd under a pair of seamless pantyhose.
Another disadvantage of seamless pantyhose is that they’re too matt and too thin to be clearly visible on the photographs. So it usually takes a lot of efforts to place the right lighting and take a shot under the right angle to make a good photo.
That’s why I don’t shoot seamless pantyhose in my sessions anymore. Too much of hassle of balancing the image between being feminine, tender and pure and the explicitness.
Do you retouch your photographs? I’d like to know where you stand on this, some fashion photographers pride themselves on never releasing an image without first spending a few hours on it in Photoshop.
Yes I always retouch every photograph. One photo takes from 10 to 30 minutes of retouching. One issue of my magazine contains up to 400 photographs. So one issue release takes from 66 to 200 hours of my daily work.
I love what I do, so I’m working without weekends, and at night. But don’t get delusional, a good photograph that people would want to pay money for is always based on hard work and years of experience. Throw away the stories of ‘get rich in one month in two clicks’.
AND! Do not ever listen to any ‘fashion photographers’ who say that. Everybody retouches photos. Without retouching any photo look ‘too ordinary’ . It’s a general trap that many starting photographers get into… sometimes for life.
The whole point of artistic depictions that people would like looking at is in ‘creating a vivid unusual image that one can’t find in everyday life’. It has a lot to do with the increased contrast, vividness, color balance and many other things.
It is a known fact that amateur photos get way more attention on social media than studio photos. Why do you think this is the case?
In my opinion amateur photos are quite popular because of higher level of intimacy on them. A photo of yourself taken in your private kitchen or your bedroom is much more intimate and ‘true’ than any studio photo. But popular doesn’t mean profitable. People want to watch amateur photos for free, and don’t want to pay.
Do you have any entertaining photoshoot stories? One time I was at a fashion show in Toronto where the model was in such a rush to put on that jacket, she walked out with the hanger still on her back.
Can’t recall any specific funny story. Mainly because of my sessions are completely directed and pre-arranged. So I’m the conductor of the set and can do whatever I think is reasonable.
There was one plus size girl who brought her red evening dress but didn’t bring any heels. I asked her about what she was thinking about when she packed an evening dress and her sneakers… So we had to shoot her in that dress and with bare feet. The result was still nice.
Oh! Let me tell you the biggest fun: girls do not have a clue of what does them and what doesn’t fit them.
Women do not have a clue of matching pantyhose and underwear colors. They think ‘it’s OK’ and ‘nobody sees it anyway’.
But men see. If you’re a girl reading this, get this clear: yesterday you wore stockings under your skirt and I guarantee most men you met on that day knew you were wearing stockings. Don’t ask how. We, men, train our skills.
If you’re a man reading this, you’d probably agree with me.
Moreover, when you’re young you never know in whose bed you will end up today. It’s OK. But in order to look holistic, tasty and stylish – please, PLEASE (PLEASE!) think of matching your underwear and pantyhose colors.
There’s nothing more tasteless than a white panties under a black sheer pantyhose. It just degrades you down to a country redneck girl (is that OK to write like that? LOL).
Black pantyhose = black/dark panties.
Nude pantyhose = nude/white/light panties
Colourful pantyhose = up to you, think of and try the complimentary colors.
(Red vs blue, yellow vs violet, pink vs sky-blue, orange vs dark-green… should I continue or you’ve got the point?)
Not saying about all other accessories, belts, bracelets, watches, earrings, and lipstick’s color matching the whole outlook.
Some girls come to my sessions having their periods. This is awkward, but to me it is funny! I mean no offense. I’m laughing at myself getting into such an awkward situation. It’s inconvenient for the girl in first place. And when she doesn’t feel secure, the photos would be a complete crap. I can’t even press the shutter button when I see a tense insecure girl in front of me.
When a girl decides to come for an underwear session at her ‘days’, this means she just wants money. I understand and don’t judge. But we won’t get any good result out of that. There’s no easy solution for this, because I can’t ask my potential models about their periods over the phone. It would be too awkward. So all I have is to rely on girls’ discretion, and to laugh at such situations.
Looks like you are an open-minded kind of guy. What is your opinion of men who wear pantyhose for comfort and enjoyment? This is probably one of the most common questions I get.
If that’s making you feel good, then IT IS GOOD.
Yes I wore pantyhose and I found it exciting. The good pantyhose make your legs look and feel so smooth and sleek. I regret I can not wear skirt because when pantyhose are under your pants the legs can’t touch each other. Although I’ve tried it at home. I believe that this sensation of your legs covered by sheer pantyhose touching each other is very important! And very revealing! Like the whole unknown universe opens before you! A universe of women’s feelings, sensations, thoughts, and motivations. This experience has allowed me to feel what women feel, and as a result to better understand them.
And here I’d like to say that I understand WHY women hate pantyhose. I really do! Because after wearing a pair of sheer pantyhose for 10-12 hours they bring a lot of discomfort at the end of the day. I felt that my legs were like in a cage. And especially the sweat that have spread along the legs, making pantyhose feel like something wet and rubbery.
BUT ONLY THE LOW-QUALITY ONES! Hear me out! Only the low quality pantyhose bring that kind of discomfort by the end of the day! The good ones, for instance Wolford Satin Opaque 50, or Neon 40, are so luxurious that you wouldn’t want to take them off. I’ve experimented with many women of different ages and ethnicity. All of them declined to take them off after a 4-hour long session.
Listen to me; it’s a man telling you this stuff. Don’t take this as an advertisement, I simply haven’t found anything better than Wolford during my 15 year extensive research of hosiery.
I’ve even tried wearing laced sexy panties, but that’s too inconvenient for a man simply because of the physiological reasons. It could give you some bad consequences with your health in a long run. I looked at myself in a mirror wearing laced panties and sheer pantyhose, and it was the most miserable view in my life. I felt it was all too fake. It was like a wishful act – trying to be someone you’re not. That moment I decided that I prefer seeing beautiful underwear and luxury pantyhose on real women.
We all have both male and female essence in us. Seeking for another gender’s essence in you is normal and good for finding yourself. Usually, normally, we go through that sex/orientation thing at our middle childhood when trying on another sex’s garments, shoes, clothing. It’s normal and it’s very important in forming your orientation. That’s what I believe in.
I’d like to emphasise this to all men interested in pantyhose, who are insecure about their interest. If something makes you feel good, and it doesn’t affect anyone else, then it’s nothing but the good thing.
Just do it and enjoy your life.
Contact Information for Anatoly Borodin:
Facebook profile: Anatoly Borodin
Facebook fan page: pro-kolgotki (direct transliteration of Russian “about pantyhose”)
Best Pantyhose Magazine on Earth: pro-kolgotki.com
Crowdfunding campaign to publish his book: Women in pantyhose Photography Book Project.
This interview was conducted by Jessica, the founder of this website. Please note that views expressed in this interview are Anatoly’s only and they may or may not reflect the views on the same subjects of the Fantasy Stockings team.