Playboy, December 2001
It's hard to depict eroticism on film, particularly moments and feelings that have any amount of kink. That's why fetishists should rejoice that Steve Diet Goedde has delivered The Beauty of Fetish: Voume II (Edition Stemmle), a sequel to his impressive first foray into the ineffable. Here he documents the textures of latex, PVC, leather and other forms of restriction. Goedde avoids the dungeon and seeks out natural settings. Thanks to this effect, the curious underpants and trimmings are no longer silly - they're persuasive and hot.
Skin Two #37 post-release review
Steve Diet Goedde's second book has already been previewed in SKIN TWO #36 with a portfolio that we thought gave a pretty good idea of what to expect.
However, like our readers, we hadn't seen the finished product at that stage, and I must report that having it at last in my hands is an even more edifying experience than I had anticipated.
As many of you will know from our previous coverage, The Beauty of Fetish: Volume II marks his transition stylistically from 'Chicago monochrome' to 'California colour' - a result of his move to Los Angeles a couple years ago. But the work here is more than a simple conversion from greyscale to full visual spectrum. There are some competent B&W photographers whose work has not improved by their deciding to put colour film in the camera, and it's important to state categorically that Goedde is not one of them.
The California light that now shines on Goedde's subjects has illuminated both his B&W and his colour work, allowing him to further develop and refine a style that was already quite distinctive in his early Chicago years. Flicking through the 120-odd big images here, it is now possible to say, "That picture could only have been taken by Steve Diet Goedde" with the same certainty that one would have felt identifying a Helmut Newton photograph 20 years ago. In other words, Goedde has emerged as a true stylist, his technique now beginning to be copied by a new generation of fetish hopefuls.
Two things that this book shows have certainly not changed are his twin passions for female pulchritude and shiny rubber. While L.A. may not yet be overflowing with the latter, it certainly suffers no shortage of the former, as the range of gougeous divas on display here bears witness. I wonder if Steve realised just how many of the West Coast's kinky movers and shakers would willingly pose for him in their fetish finery once he set up shop in the city of dreams.
This is fetish glamour at its most glamourous, but Goedde's pictures are also packed with personality, and it's this that makes them so much more than just pin-up fodder.
> Tony Mitchell
Skin Two #36 pre-release notice
For a photographer who has built his reputation on creating distinctive black and white fetish imagery, a move into colour is not to be taken lightly. The arcane craft of the darkroom does not easily release its grip on the practitioner. And when the subject is fetishism, whose portrayal in the traditional medium is still so widely enjoyed, a shift into colour might seem to be even more of a shot in the dark.
But in the new work of Steve Diet Goedde, created since he left (as he puts it) the monochromatic landscape of his native Chicago for the saturated colour of California, it is clear that the gamble has paid off. His ability to capture mood, personality, attitude and (importantly) humour in the fetish moment has not diminished. His knack for conjuring eroticism from a quirky pose, an unusual angle or a bold crop is as sharp as ever. In Goedde's work, colour has not obscured meaning - it has simply enhanced detail.
His second book for Stemmle, The Beauty of Fetish Vol. 2, majors on Goedde's new full colour oeuvre. This big coffee table book includes no less than 140 colour and duotone plates, the latter demonstrating not only that Steve hasn't abandoned black and white but also just how well his old and new styles coexist.