Jock Sturges is an American photographer, best known for his images of nude adolescents and their families. Sturges was born in 1947 in New York. From 1966 to 1970, he served in the United States Navy as a Russian linguist. He graduated with a BFA in Perceptual Psychology and Photography from Marlboro College and received an MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute.
His subjects are nude adolescents and their families, primarily taken at communes in Northern California and at the Atlantic-coast naturist resort CHM Montalivet in Vendays-Montalivet. Much of his work features California resident Misty Dawn, whom he shot from when she was a child until in her twenties. Sturges primarily works with a large 8x10-inch-format view camera. He has taken some digital photographs but prefers to work with prints.
His work has been the subject of controversy in the United States. In 1990, his San Francisco studio was raided by FBI officers and his equipment seized. A grand jury subsequently declined to bring an indictment against him. In 1998, unsuccessful attempts were made to have his books The Last Day of Summer and Radiant Identities classed as child pornography in Arkansas and Louisiana. Customers in Alabama and Tennessee sued Barnes & Noble for stocking the books, resulting in protests throughout the United States, largely inspired by conservative radio host Randall Terry.
His photographs appear as cover art on three novels by Jennifer McMahon, Promise Not to Tell
, Island of Lost Girls
, as well as Karl Ove Knausgård's 1998 debut novel Ute av verden (Out of the World)
. The band Ride used some of his photographs on different releases, i.e.: the Twisterella
and Leave them All Behind