WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PICK UP A CAMERA?
That’s a great question, one I relish with a bit of sadness actually. When I was married, my wife a former Dutch model turned USAF nurse told me my job was so stressful that I needed a hobby to help distract me and relieve the stress. Little did I know that photography has its own set of stresses but, in a rather enjoyable way. My wife became my model and helped me understand the nuances of lighting, posing, makeup, and wardrobe. This was a great part of our lives but, it all ended with her and my daughter’s untimely death due to a car accident. I suppose I still shoot because I enjoy it immensely but, also to honor her privately. Now, I want to produce something that I can look at and say wow which, inspires me to try more things.
WHAT PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE WITH EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AS OPPOSED TO OTHER GENRES?
Erotic photography has a broad spectrum of sub-genres to me. What strikes me as most challenging is actually getting the model to feel her inner self and letting go, knowing that many people will be viewing her as an example of what is sexy, exotic, alluring, and maybe a bit naughty. Erotic models are a “standard” whether we want to admit it or not. It’s not always easy to let go with a new photographer, new setting, and new expectations. I think the photographer has to be empathetic to a certain degree, to help the model bring out her/his best and if everything goes well she/he will bring out the best in the photographer however, this may apply to all photography. I like a really fun, relaxed atmosphere when I shoot and let the banter fly freely if it will help get us the shot we want. I think it’s fairly easy to capture a beautiful body, so to speak but, I find it a challenge to get the right pose and facial expression together. Of course I will not say all the other elements don’t come into play, Lighting, Clothing, Setting, Makeup, and of course Finish. We all have a different idea of what is erotic and what isn’t so I suppose, ultimately it is getting a shot that most viewers will like but, for me, often times it’s capturing a shot the model likes and will use, getting to that wow factor.
DO YOU PREFER TO SHOOT WITH FILM OR DIGITAL?
I started with film and really learned a lot about how to put a shoot together to say nothing of developing film and printing thereafter. That learning process stays with you and consequently follows you to the digital age which makes putting together a photo shoot easier. Today’s digital cameras are incredibly sharp and they will pick up every flaw the photographer and model has to offer, no mercy. I shoot exclusively digital now. With the advent of Lightroom and Photoshop we have an entire darkroom at our disposal that also allows us to create some pretty incredible images without the chemicals, etc. It’s also great to not worry about the enormous cost of development and custom printing, we can do it home with the right equipment.
WHAT KIND OF SHOOTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK ON IN THE FUTURE?
I’ve not really done an Alt shoot, that is something I would like to try. I would also like to try a fashion nude shoot, I think that could be a lot of fun.
Perhaps a dark grunge kind of shoot would be fun as well. I started on putting together an Anime shoot but, I have to perfect my Photoshop skills or send the shot out to really get that Anime look. I try to stay true to the subject matter. I am honestly pretty open to anything.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?
My advice would be to read, read, read, and question everything because it is an extremely creative industry and many times the rules do not apply or you will not want the rules to apply. Going outside the box is much more the norm now and I often wonder if it is going to be cyclical in nature. What I mean is; are we going to see a back to basics kind of photography even with the enormous leaps and bounds digital photography has taken over the past few years coupled with the advances made with Photoshop and other media? For some people going to school is a great thing for others maybe not. I would also say experiment challenge yourself and find a muse if possible to help you experiment. Always listen to the input from your model but, remember you are in charge. If there is a particular photographer you like, as questions of him/her. Go on a shoot and act as a second camera or help with lighting and observe. Last, treat everyone with respect.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CREATIVE MEDIUMS YOU WORK IN?
Well, by creative mediums I hope you mean Lightroom,Photoshop, Illustrator etc., I work with all of them. Currently I am adjusting to and learning the Adobe CS6 Master Suite, it will be sometime before I get a real handle on the programs.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
I like most any music. I grew up playing the Oboe, Clarinet, and Soprano Sax. My mom insisted I get the classics under my belt. I guess I was looked at as a slightly odd kid because I played those instruments as well as played for the chess, baseball, football, and hockey teams.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
I like to play tennis, read fantasy novels, play EQ2, and of course shoot.