Laurent Benaïm, born August 24, 1965, is a French photographer. Her specialty is erotic photography of amateur models; he mainly works with gum bichromate, a photographic process dating from the 19th century.
Laurent Benaïm did his very first photographic project around the nude around the age of 22. While working in advertising, budgetary restrictions limit his commercial activity and he decides to devote himself exclusively to erotic photography. He discovered gum dichromate about 25 years ago during a visit when he was looking for a room: a huge print hanging on the wall prompted him to do his research in a library. He finds a book dated 1850 which he uses to develop his first eraser at home in a soup plate. Immediately falling under the spell, gum became his favorite medium. He continues today to use this development technique, focusing more on the effects of light on his work. This draws him comparisons with, for example, Man Ray and Patrick Faigenbaum. He also says he prefers black and white photography.
During his first sex shoots, he photographed couples and left them free. Gradually, his projects became more elaborate, employing up to 30 models and sometimes recruiting volunteers from all over Europe2. Over time, he became known through his clients, as well as through Tumblr and FetLife in the United States. The participants in the shots become more and more “kinky”, and his photographic work evolves towards an exploration of sexualities in their diversities, exploring “all silhouettes, genders and fantasies. » Despite his photos around less conventional sexualities, Laurent Benaïm does not identify himself as an activist, seeking rather to provoke reactions. He says that he does not judge the fantasies of his clients: "my models are representative of women and men who, in parallel with a busy active and social life, are balanced by the fact, for example, of wearing a costume associated with a submission.
Everyone is free to interpret what, in my opinion, demonstrates a form of freedom and playful enjoyment allowing them to explore “the Human”1”. His work appears in various publications, including three published by the Atelier du Chat Soleil which he set up with friends. In 2016, Laurent Benaïm was selected by Vice magazine to be part of their collection Our favorite photos of 2016
In 2019, in collaboration with Dian Hanson, Laurent Benaïm publishes a book of 300 of his photos with Taschen editions.
In 2022, with Incarnatio Editions, he launched his second book, Endorphines.