Undeniable beauty...

Posted on Feb 05, 2017

J. Stephen Hicks 1956-2013

"The very first time I contacted DD, in 2009, possibly '08, Stephen wrote back to me personally. It was obvious right away that this site was different, both in beauty and the obvious respect for women. I told him something to the effect that it wasn't easy for someone with my Christian background to go to a "porn" site (however soft...) and not feel guilty. He wrote back that my message brought tears to his eyes. The owner! This world-class photographer! And I've been on board ever since." - Anonymous member

The story above is a wonderful reminder of one of the many people Stephen touched on a personal level through his work that he cherished so much. He would reply and engage with every member who sent him an email...good or bad. Moral issues, production technique, sports, life, you name it, and the discussion was on!

It's hard to believe that tomorrow, February 6, will mark the four year anniversary since his passing. Stephen often spoke about how he wanted Digital Desire to feel like one big community... from his employees and members, to the models and agents, to all the people-components in between. I think he has done that and we try our best to keep that torch lit.

It's no secret he was a legendary photographer, but Stephen was also an avid surfer & mountain biker. He loved to travel the world to exotic locations and found true joy in bringing back visual treasures for all of us to experience.

Amber Sym

Kyla Cole

Bella Valentine

Carli Banks

Jelena Jensen

Hailee Rain

Jannelle Priego

Kayden Kross

Veronica Zemanova

It was indeed an honor for me to share time with him. He always had a listening ear and helping heart. Stephen was truly one of a kind...


S.I.P. brother (surf in peace)

11 Member Comments

mrshred (Admin) over 2 years ago
Thanks everyone for your kind words. Sweet sorrow is just that. And to ALL the members of our wonderfully unique community...thank you for being here...we truly appreciate it.
jdocj314 over 2 years ago
Seriously, WoW!
charles65 (Admin) over 2 years ago
Stephen was a very cool guy indeed... I was very lucky to have met him... not many people i can honestly say that about... Not one day did I every dread going to work... I sometimes find myself saying out loud during a shoot " Stephen would have loved shooting her" ...
dudeski over 2 years ago
Stephen J Hicks was a legend, being a long time on and off subscriber of DD, I am glad the art of Stephen J Hicks lives on! Those were the days my friends, and these current days are no exception.
pulchra over 2 years ago
I think the greatest tribute to the man is that he was able to train people who could carry on his work after he was gone. In my view, the quality of photography on this site is still the best anywhere, and the standards he set have been faithfully maintained since his untimely departure.
coniow over 2 years ago
Funnily enough, that second sea-scape has been my desk top for some months. (Replacing the blue breaking wave, also from JSH). My 86 year old mother saw it a week or so ago, prompting: "Wow!, Where did you find that.?" That was an interesting one to answer! I remember a number of posts about the top comment: A good response is that perhaps the dividing line between pornography and art comes down to the intention of the artist/photographer/creator: Is it appreciation and respect of beauty, (arguably art), the teasing of the erotic, without being explicit, (art/soft porn?), or the raw response to carnal desire? My take is that JSH was a master of the first two, and felt no need to pursue the last. Also why I, as well, have remained a member for as long as I have. "Respect."
drknight1 over 2 years ago
Wonderful tribute to a great photographer, I to, try to achieve this in my work and hopefully accomplish just that. Thanks for the tribute and indirect encouragement.
trinity1945 over 2 years ago
Very nice tribute, Shred, and a powerful reminder of what we lost. The model examples you chose sent me to the archives for a couple of hours, which only reaffirmed my belief that many of the models Stephen photographed did their absolute best work with him. Must have been his attitude -- treat them as collaborators instead of objects and the art you produce together is, well, ART. Thank you, Stephen. Go in beauty. (Hate to be the one to point it out, but the Carli Banks image is damaged, both here in the blog and in the 10176 set & zip).
mauddibb over 2 years ago
Nice post, Shred --I know it was you. (And thanks for, well, you know what I'm talking about.) Like valarana1000, I thought I had downloaded most of Stephen's nature photos, which always make great desktops that don't require discretion! ;-) I'll have to make another pass through the archive. S.I.P., Stephen [Sipping beverage-of-your-choice In Peace]. You enlarged my view, and appreciation, of the world. How many people in our lives can we say that about?
valarana1000 over 2 years ago
Thanks for sharing, Shred. I had not seen many of the nature photos, as like some others here, I get distracted by the glorious ladies. Wonderful work of JSH and I agree wholeheartedly with rickmar's comments.
rickmar1 over 2 years ago
It seems like only yesterday that I logged on to find that horrible announcement. I had not been a member of DD for that long at the time, but, one could recognize that JSH was a genius behind the camera. I still miss his work, but, am happy that you have been able maintain the standards he set.

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