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25 Intimate Portraits Show Porn Performers Off-Duty

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    Photo: Courtesy of Roger Kisby.

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    When photographer Roger Kisby shot the Adult Video News Awards for the first time last year, he wasn't sure what to expect. Once there, he was drawn to the high energy and passion on the part of both performers and fans. "The vibe there is really fun," he shares. "Nobody cares about how they’re perceived — the performers, the people attending, they're all there for the same reason: They're celebrating porn. There’s no holding back."

    Kisby returned to the awards last month with a clearer goal: "I wanted to do portraits of the performers, to do something that was authentic and honest that would strip away — no pun intended — their outer performer aspects and [get at] who they are," he explains. He decided to use simple lighting and straightforward angles and focus on their faces. Logistically, he knew it would be difficult to schedule time with the adult stars at the conference away from the booths and the crowds. But, he was determined to fit in portrait sessions with interested performers, even if it meant settting up in hotels or in secluded corners at the event itself.

    "It was a challenge. I only had a few minutes with the performers, and I was trying to do a lot in that time — introducing myself, telling them what I do, and making them feel comfortable, so I could grab a real, natural moment." Some of his subjects got it right away, but others were shy at first. "A lot of them have go-to 'porn poses' or 'porn faces' for lack of a better term, and that was something I tried to get them to not do," Kisby says.

    Click through for the 25 intimate portraits in Kisby's photo series (titled "Head"), the names behind the faces, and the photographer's thoughts on his latest project.

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  2. Photo: Courtesy of Roger Kisby.

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    "[The AVN Awards] are like the business front of the porn industry; they’re like the Oscars," Kisby says.

    Pictured: Dakota Skye.

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    Pictured: Anri Okita.

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    "There’s implied nudity, so it’s a nod to what they do on camera, but I didn’t want [the portraits] to be sexual in nature," Kisby says.

    Pictured: Carter Cruise.

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    Pictured: August Ames.

  6. Photo: Courtesy of Roger Kisby.

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    Pictured: Sara Jay.