MALIBU, Calif. — Ron Harris, the softcore adult photographer, filmmaker and pioneering website operator, passed away on Friday. He was 83.
Harris was a veteran New York fashion photographer working for Cosmopolitan and Vogue, among other publishing giants, who gravitated to the world of adult in the 1980s by creating the first sexually charged exercise video series, “Aerobicise,” released by Paramount Home Video. In 1995, he released the video, “Totally Nude Aerobics,” which was re-released in 2000 in DVD format.
Between 1995 and 1999, Harris directed and produced a lineup of Playboy TV programs, including “Ron Harris' Camera Up-Close & Dangerous,” “Ron Harris' Star Shapes” and “Naturals.”
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner at the time called Harris “The King of Erotica.”
By 1996, Harris launched RonHarris.com, an adult site featuring models specifically between the ages of 18 and 22, and went on to operate about a half-dozen erotic online properties, including RonsAngels.com, KaraDuhe.com, Harris-Archives.com and Harris-Art.com.
Harris was confident with his online content’s array of material, saying at the time that “we have the best of everything — girls, photography, lighting, resolution, videos and performance. You name it. We do it best. My mission in nothing less than to turn pornography into real art.”
“I've found what the men of this world like, and it's the same thing I like,” he said at the time. “I shoot sweet, beautiful girls, having real orgasms. I catch them when they are most adorable and still exploring their sexuality in an innocent and exciting way.”
During the early 2000s in a review of his websites, RabbitReviews.com called Harris’ adult content a “pornographic treat.”
"The strengths of Ron Harris lie in his understanding of eroticism, the angles he chooses and his relationship to his subject and subjects,” the site said in its review.
Harris also started up a blog — Blog.RonHarris.com — serving up photography tips and techniques, reviews of photography equipment and tips on handling models and creating a functional studio, as well as his personal reflections on his work.
Harris passed away at his home in Malibu, Calif., on Friday.
An outpouring of thoughts and wishes of sympathy to friends and family were made on Facebook over Harris’s death.
CAM4'S Gunner said: "His attention to detail and pursuit of perfection were evident in his work and obvious to anyone who knew him."
Battleship Stance’s Jason Tucker called Harris a “nice man with a great eye.” “Rest peacefully Ron. You will be missed,” he said.
Payze’s Doug Wicks said Harris was a “good man.” “RIP Ron! He had a knack for business that was certain,” he said. I cherished our political discussions over the last 20 years as well as his great ideas.”
Lightspeed Media’s Steve Lightspeed said: “Damn. Ron Harris was a huge influence on me and my style of photography. RIP.”