Erotic photography is a style of art photography of an erotic, sexually suggestive or sexually provocative nature. After the 1960s, retro erotic photography began to be less commonly referred to as such, and to be increasingly described as glamour photography.
1920's through the 1970's
Erotic photography generally produces a composed image of a subject in a still position. Though the subjects of erotic photography are usually completely or mostly unclothed, that is not a requirement.
1800's to the 1920's
Classic Retro Erotic photography is often distinguished from nude photography, which contains nude subjects not necessarily in an erotic situation, and pornographic photography, which is of a sexually explicit nature. Pornographic photography is generally defined as “obscene” and lacking in artistic/aesthetic value. However, the line between art and pornography has been both socially and legally debated, and many photographers have created work that intentionally ignores these distinctions.
Vintage Retro Color
Erotic photographs are normally intended for commercial use, including mass-produced items such as decorative calendars, pinups and for men’s magazines, such as Penthouse and Playboy, but many art photographers have also dabbled in explicit or erotic imagery. Additionally, sometimes erotic photographs are intended to be seen only by a subject’s partner.
Black and White
The subjects of vintage erotic photographs may be professional models, celebrities or amateurs. Very few well-known entertainers have posed nude for photographs. The first entertainer to pose nude for photographs was the stage actress Adah Isaacs Menken (1835–1868). On the other hand, a number of well-known film stars have posed for pinup girl photographs and been promoted in photography and other media as sex symbols. Traditionally, the subjects of erotic photographs have been female, but since the 1970s erotic images of men have also been published.