Award-winning photographer Ernst Coppejans is shining a light in what many consider a dark place by highlighting the lives of gay male escorts working in Amsterdam. “I went online to look for guys working as escorts and who were willing to work with me on this project,” “In the Netherlands prostitution is legal. In Amsterdam we have the famous red light district. Only women work there, however.”
Coppejans lives and works in Amsterdam. His photo series Gay Escorts features images of male sex workers in Amsterdam.
“Male prostitution is way less visible,” Coppejans explains. “I wanted to know who these guys were and what motivated them. It’s a very international crowd. The guys come from all over the globe. Spain, Brazil, Czechia, Israel, Poland.”
Coppejans photographed each of the men in the privacy of their own homes and interviews them. He learned that many genuinely enjoyed their line of work.
“It was their choice,” he said. “Most of them were having sex very often anyway, so they figured why not charge money. Some started because of a crisis [like] losing their job, and found themselves still working even after it was no longer necessary.”
“These guys are normal guys who maybe have a job that’s out of the ordinary,” Coppejans says. “They also have hopes and dreams.”