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Portland-based photographer Miranda Lehman examines feminine intimacy and sexuality in her photography. Read below as Miranda explains the concept behind her book “Into Ecstasy” and her zine “Dirty Pictures,” both available at The Gift Shop this month.

How would you describe your interest in photography?

I see sensuality everywhere. Cream silk dripping with mud. Hands deep in cupcake frosting. Dark liquid spurting from a beautiful woman's mouth. The senses fill me with wonder! Feelings too. A mood can be calm and playful, cut with something dark, or the other way around. It’s like beams of light blasting you moments before the sun goes down and the sky fades to black. It’s all about contrast. In a complex world there's room for everything.

Could you tell us about the book you will be showing at the Gift Shop?

Sex, textures, flowers, decay, mystery, oceans and women... The book is called “Into Ecstasy!” and like the title says, it’s a journey into the bliss of living. I made 10 for The Gift Shop out of an edition of a hundred. Each book is signed and numbered. The pages are filled with girls enraptured. But ecstasy can be dark too, so the book is rich with many feelings. It’s like a magazine of film stills. Each vertical photo takes up a full page and each horizontal picture takes up two. You can really sink into the film grain at that size!  In your own hands, it’s quite visceral.

“It’s good for the soul to see eroticism outside the mainstream.”

What will be the zine “Dirty Pictures” about?

It’s my erotic drawings. They’re simple, so the plan was to lipstick kiss and color each zine with red pencil. I printed two hundreds and the first ones I did were nice, proper even, like a school girl coloring in something naughty. Now I’ve started scribbling, and they look like the work of a psychopath. It’s good for the soul to see eroticism outside the mainstream.

What photographers do you feel most inspired by?

All of them. Photography has become a living monster! We’re all different parts and I’m the navel.