WOMAN standing in front of nude body painted super hero photograph Copyright Mark Laurie, InnerSpiritPhoto.com Inner Spirit Photography

Calgary Taboo Show Stories

It’s the Naughty But Nice sex show, and we have seen some wild things there. We were one of the first exhibitors 15 years ago when the Taboo show arrived in Calgary. It was pretty scandalous at the start. Sketchy was how one reporter put it.

At this year’s Taboo we show off literally 100’s of my images at our booth, with live demos and images of our clients from sessions past.

While the Taboo Show had a vision in 2000 not everyone was sure about it. To fill the show lots of fringe elements signed in.

There was this really scary lingerie show, very outrageous erotic, sexy stuff worn by equally over the top sexy models. The really shocking part was when the designers were invited up on the stage. Taking the applause was this sweet looking couple, long grey hippy hair, short and delightful; I could not match them to their designs.



For some of the years, topless and scantly clad participants were encouraged and allowed. It was odd to see nearly naked partners tied to each other walking around. The body painting was very bold and very plentiful.

This year Melody Kielek leads a team of body painters to create living art works from tame to outrageous! We are offering a Body Paint Experience Special with a stunning savings.

The S&M tent moved around until they finally found a good spot for it. There was a year where it was in the middle, all isles went through it. The crowds were huge moving rivers of people. During a walk around I got behind an older couple being flowed with the crowd into the tent with full demonstrations going on. No matter where they looked they were shocked.

We were able to thrill the S&M crowd when my model on a walk-around with me asked if she could try out the spider spin wheel. She was in very sensual lingerie for our demonstrations. Brody was a huge hit.


For a few years we brought in baby lions for people to pose with. The little lions loved it; our trainer had brought in 3 that year so they could be swapped out. The poor photographer who had brought in a Lamborghini car for the same reason could not compete with cuddly little lion cubs.

I remember this really sweet southern California looking blonde girl. She was all perky explaining her cage bondage product. She would strip off her cheerleader outfit, slip into her cage for demonstrations, proudly describing how she built them herself. Her name was Tracy, she seemed so out of context, but drew a huge crowd each time. Sales, she said, were very good.

I was photographing the Fireman’s Calendar back then, wrangled them a gifted booth to sell the calendars from. You can still find them there. The response from the offer to sign the calendars was unexpected. Many women responded by taking off their shirts telling them to sign these instead. The bashful boys always complied.

Jason Hunt- Cover

Jason Hunt- Cover

In the middle of all these sexually charged booths, it was odd to see this 20 foot square bookseller, all tame books laid out. He was there for several years. His was a booth of innocence in a sea of wild choices.

We always have large wall décor samples of my work. My clients loved to come to show to be photographed with their nude wall piece on display. Some would become minor celebrities. The show has been a great place to reconnect with old clients.

One of my client booth helpers asked if we could put her images on the ipad so she could show them off. She was a regular woman, heavy-duty mechanic with two adorable young daughters. We got her images finished just in time for the show. Her poor husband had to come to the show to see them. I am not sure how many hundreds of women saw her nude images before he did!

I would give posing demonstrations with a live model on the main stage. She was a stunning model and a good friend. I was never too sure if the huge crowd that gathered, overflowing the space, were there because of her or to hear me. I am pretty sure it was her though. She always had wicked lingerie, huge heels and the biggest smile.


Every year her thrill was to bring in topless fireman so she could pose in their arms. I think it was a thrill for both of them.

She was the inspiration for the demos in our own booth. I would pretend for the crowd that she had numerous body challenges. Then I would show how I fix them with a pose or lighting. It gave the crowd a sense of why my images worked so well..

This year I will be adding tips on how to be photogenic in front of anybody’s camera. That should be popular. What would you like to learn?


Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.