Elmer Batters (November 24, 1919 – June 25, 1997) was a pioneer fetish photographer who specialized in capturing artful images of women with an emphasis on stockings, legs, and feet: ahead of his time in popularizing foot fetishism imagery as erotic entertainment.
Batters started out publishing his photographs himself, and since the late 1960s his work has been featured in magazines such as Leg-O-Rama, Nylon Doubletake, and Black Silk Stockings, to name but a few. He paved the way for such critically acclaimed modern foot-fetish photographers as Ed Fox and Johnny Jaan (Fox has his own photo book due out from Taschen Publishing in February, 2008). Several foot-fetish web sites (e.g. footfactory.com, FeetFair.com, Footpixies.com, johnnyjaan.com) continue Batters’s pioneering photographic style through the use of classic visuals referred to by foot fetishists as “Feet-and-Face” and “the Pose” images.
One of Batters’ favorite fetish models was a Rubenesque woman named Caruschka. Little is known about the model’s life, but Batters was smitten with her as were his fans. Several photo shoots featured the chubby, attractive Caruschka on a garden swing displaying her petite feet in classic foot-fetish “Andalusian-fan” poses as well as exhibiting a set of fine high arches and well-formed calves.
“When I say Caruschka was my favorite model,” Batters once wrote, “I don’t just mean me. No girl in the history of my leg art business has attracted so many admirers as she. Kinda hard to believe these days; I know she is a little heavier than the fashion. Caruschka has charisma though; she still shines through. She also has a beautiful set of full shapely legs, firm and thrusting tits, and delicate, high-arch feet. But are these things what make us love a woman? I think not. I think love or even sexual attraction comes from the sparkle in a girl’s eyes, the lift of her eyebrow, and the way her lips curl into that provocative smirk that hooks a man’s soul like a hapless mackerel. This is Caruscha’s strength. Her face seduces me even now–these 25 years later as it has seduced thousands of you. Go ahead and give in to her. Even back in the unliberated (years) when these photos where taken, Caruschka was a girl who loved to have men masturbate over her. Yeah, she was a tease but isn’t every woman worth a damn?”
As a foot-fetish pioneer starting in the 1950s, Batters helped make this formerly closeted field of sexual interest more acceptable, even fashionable, among today’s hip, well-educated alternative lifestyles set.
Near the end of his life, Batters was rediscovered by German publisher Benedikt Taschen who produced three books of his work, including “From the Tip of the Toes to the Top of the Hose” and “Legs That Dance to Elmer’s Tune”. Taschen became acquainted with Batters’ work in “Leg Show” magazine, where editor Dian Hanson introduced a new generation of fetishists to his photos during the 1980s and 90s. Today, original photographic prints by Batters fetch up to $1500 among fetish-art collectors.
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American Suburb X, LLC. 2011