Sensual Self-Examination of the Digital Photographer Natacha Merritt
30 december 2022 
10 min. read

Sensual Self-Examination of the Digital Photographer Natacha Merritt

The American photographer, artist and biologist Natacha Merritt (born 1977) grew up in San Francisco during the 1980s, She had a liberal upbringing, where there were no taboos..

Thanks to a bilingual education in French and English, she enjoyed the complex privileges of dual citizenship. The family moved within San Francisco almost yearly for most of her childhood. She hated the big houses, and always eagerly waited for summer, when her mom, grandma and she would share a bed and a small sweaty apartment in the south of France.

natacha merritt self portrait

Fig.1. Self-portrait

In an interview with Dian Hanson in the book The New Erotic Photography she tells, 'Dominic, my French gay nanny, helped raise me 'til I was 13. His idea of giving me a bath was to get in with me to scrub. Looking back I realize how important it was for me to have 'come to age' in such a safe, sheltered, almost surreal environment where I was allowed to be as sexy as I wanted to be without ever having to worry about the men in the house being aroused.

natacha merritt nude


Merritt shot her first erotic photograph in 1997. When her boy-friend at the time (she was 18 or 19) gave her one of his digital cameras she instantly began taking pictures of their sex life. At the time, the technology was so new that the frames were a low resolution 340 by 480 (the size of most thumbnails today!!). No flash or memory cards and after 20 shots you had to stop and download them onto a floppy drive, while she didn't have a computer.

natacha merrit digital photography


But despite these limitations, she was instantly addicted to this format. And the camera, in turn, made her sex life more interesting: those few captured pixels amplified the sensations. Nowadays she's probably best known for her self-portraits at arm's length with a cock in her mouth (see Premium).

natcha merritt erotic photography


natacha merritt photographer


Merritt considers her photography to be successful erotica when she shoots an image that has the power to get her aroused. She is making this erotica first and foremost for herself. Discovering facets, angles or moments that she hadn't been able to appreciate before arouses her.

natacha merritt erotic


In the same interview, she explains, 'Pornography is the stuff that's created by people who wish they were doing something else. It's the stuff that no one would do if they had "made it" in whatever career they dreamed of: The model wants to be an actress, the director dreams of making legitimate films, even the viewer wishes he had the real thing. I do not think pornography is intrinsically less noble, or "bad," though. On the contrary, I think it ages very well.

natacha merritt nude self portrait


photographer natacha merritt


She continues, 'Shooting a roll of film has been lingering at the top of my to-do list since I met Eric Kroll (in 1998). I shot one roll with a disposable underwater camera three years ago and haven't developed it yet. The first six years of my creative development I was avidly at the forefront of technology. My skills developed roughly at the same pace as consumer-end digital cameras. My relationship climaxed with digital during my work for Cirque du Soleil. For the first time I needed 11 million pixels. I was projecting erotic visuals 40 feet high on Plexiglas. Today I switch between high-end and low-end digital.

natacha merritt digital diaries




natacha merritt with friend


A video on a recent Kickstarter project by Merritt in which she wants to record the sex life of spiders...

In the extended Premium version you can discover more about Merritt's fascinating erotic photography book Digital Diaries, a sensual passage from her personal diary describing an early sexual encounter, and including explicit examples of her lustful self-examination.

Click HERE for the drags, drugs, and sexual dramas of the photographer Nan Goldin

Sources: The New Erotic Photography by Dian Hanson,

Let us know your thoughts on Merritt's digital sensual fantasies in the comment box below...!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
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