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Group Info Group Founded 7 Years ago Statistics 2,649 Members
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Not going to lie, we at the Nude-Form group let our long-running interview series fall by the wayside but with some hardwork & cooperation, we're reviving it. Our aim for the series is to provide insight in how other people approach things while also allowing us to get to know them. Below is the interview.

We had the pleasure of recently interviewing long-time member nikongriffin . Without further ado, our chat went as follows.

:iconnude-form: Question 1: Let's start by telling us something about yourself?

:iconnikongriffin: answer: Gary Shelly, lifelong resident of Memphis, TN, 1989 graduate of the University of Memphis with a BA in photojournalism.

Q2: What attracted you to the photographic medium?

I borrowed an SLR from my cousin when I was in high school and (no pun intended) it just clicked. After high school I began working at the local newspaper (The Commercial Appeal). Although I was not a photographer I would go into work early and ride around with the photojournalists and observe them. Capturing moments in time became my reason for pursuing photography.

Q3: What do you like to do during your free time?

Ride my mountain bike; work out at my gym.

Q4: As a gym rat myself, what's you gym workout entail?

Weights and resistance to develop flexibility and strength. Cardio is usually done outside the gym on my bike, sometimes getting to the gym.

Q5: Do you partake in any other creative endeavors? If so, what kind?

None. Just photography. I do like watching dance. As I've gotten older the dancers I like to watch are wearing pointe shoes, not 6-inch stilettos (I still like the ones that wear stilettos, though).

Q6: Work long enough in this business, you're bound to experience some comedic episodes even if its only funny in hindsight. Would you be willing to share one of yours?

I was photographing a wedding ceremony and had a landscape orientation photo of the entire party for 'the kiss' picture. During the kiss one of the groomsmen fainted and fell sideways. Since I was using a slow shutter speed he appears as just a blur but you can tell it's a person falling. I actually saw it on Facebook some 20+ years after I took it. Poor guy.

Q7: A groomsmen fainting?! I've got to ask, do you know how the wedding party handled it?

Relentless harassment.

Q8: For the sake of this question, we'll take for granted that "respecting the model as a human being" is the unspoken first piece of advice. What other advice would you give another photographer, perhaps working w/ their first nude model?

Like the question says, follow the the three basic rules: don't touch, don't say anything remotely inappropriate and don't whip it out. Aside from that be careful if you sometimes talk to yourself or your equipment because the model might think you're talking to her. If you're a young man being around a beautiful, nude woman posing in a alluring manner can be especially disorienting so have all the technical details taken care of. Don't give too many instructions. Let it flow!

Q9: What are your strengths?

Discipline. The ability to learn. Being straight-foward.

Q10: We each have a defining moment in our life, sometimes we have more than one. It changes us from who we were to who we became afterwards. Please tell us one of yours & how it changed you.

In 1985 I went to Ethiopia to shoot for the Associated Press. I spent two days among humanity at its worst. About five years later I got a roommate who worked in the emergency room of a children's hospital. I have little patience for people who talk about how bad things are for them and no patience for anyone who says they had a bad day at work (unless they're missing a finger or some other digit).

Q11: If given a choice between listening to Beatles music OR Elvis, which would you choose?

I'd go with the Beatles despite the fact Elvis and I were neighbors. Seriously. If I had a dollar for every time I passed by Graceland ... And to answer the obvious question, yes, I met him. When I was 12 or so I friend of mine and I caught one his peacocks that had escaped. We jumped the wall and rang the doorbell at Graceland. His uncle Lester answered the door and went and got Elvis! He gave us each $10 but unfortunately he didn't actually say, "Thank you, Thank you verah much."

Q12: Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share w/ models working w/ you?

If I'm going to respect you (and I will) you should respect me -- show up ON TIME, looking good and ready to work. And for heaven's sake do NOT go into a shoot expecting the photographer to "Photoshop this out."

Q13: Pretend personnel & budget were not an issue. Describe us your dream shoot or concept?

I would like to anything remotely as good as :iconaisii: .

Q14: What are the most common set of difficulties you've experienced as a photographer?

Finding paid shoots! All the 'nickle and dime' stuff -- things like salesman of quarter award ceremonies, retirement parties, sometimes even weddings (like the one I was SUPPOSED to shoot this weekend) -- are gone. Nowadays anyone with a digital camera and a business card thinks he's a photographer.

Q15: Along those lines (finding paid shoots), how are you handling that aspect now? Or has that professional dynamic shifted? If so, in what way?

In 1996 after eight years of doing nothing but photography I got hired by a little company called IBM after I finished a second degree in computer technology. I went to FedEx (headquartered in my hometown) for a while but now I'm back with Lenovo which bought the PC brands from IBM so I don't have to worry about finding freelance jobs. The dynamic has shifted in such a way that what I used to do (things like 'grip and grin' ceremonies) can now be done with phones or tablets. I still have some major stuff like Money Magazine, but how much do they need from Memphis? Hardly anything. I don't think my problem was every my photographic skills but my business skills in finding work.

Q16: With all that, where do you hope or see your work taking you?

At this stage my photography has taken me to the other side of the world. I've been published in the Big 3 -- Time, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic, and I can honestly say my work has appeared in Playboy. It was a stock photo used by DeWar's scotch so it's not quite a sexy as it sounds, but that check sure was sexy!

This may sound like bragging but if you're bragging about what you did in the 1980s it's not bragging, it's pathetic.

These days my photography is used simply as a creative outlet. But it is a blessed life. Not an hour ago a woman introduced me to her 18-year-old son and his beautiful friend. He wants to me to use her as a model to teach him nude photography. Who the hell else has stuff like this happen to them?!

Q17: What is the proudest moment you've experienced as a photographer?

This question dovetails nicely into the finding paid shoots question. I got an e-mail from a woman whose son had died at a very young age. She told me the pictures I took of them were the only nice ones she had and that they mean so much to her. I decided to have 'free family portrait' day and give a nice set of prints to anyone who really can't afford it. My contact at a company I shoot for (International Paper) called me a told me they had a function the day I planned to shoot the families. I told them what I was doing that day so I had to decline. They paid me anyway so I ended up breaking even!

Q18: Tell us the story behind your user name?

Nikon is my camera of choice; Griffin is my middle name.

Q19: Aside from a person's look meeting a particular project, what else goes into your decision making process whether to work w/ a particular model or not?

I'll shoot anyone once. After that it comes down to several things: is the relationship beneficial to both of us, the model's attitude, and most all does she work in a professional manner and that, above all, means being punctual. Punctuality is the litmus test of a human being. It doesn't mean your watch works; it means you are mature, have good time management skills, and most of all it means you have respect for the person or entity with which you have made the appointment.

Q20: If you were omnipotent, what you would change about either photography, modeling, or the industry itself?

I would ask everyone who calls himself a photographer what three things affect depth of field. If they don't know it's aperture, distance from lens and lens focal length they would spontaneously combust. If they don't know what depth of field is (and some of them truly don't) I would send them to the part of hell that's reserved for people who do things like talk in theaters.

Anyone who calls herself a model and never changes expressions or even moves after a picture is taken can join them. You know that rule about 'don't whip it out'? I swear the next time at shoot a "model" who has 'dead face' I'm gonna whip it out just to see if I she'll change expressions.

As far as the industry, just pay me when and what you say you will.

Q21: Who are some visual artists you admire, whether they be here on dA or elsewhere? The answer need not be limited to the photographic medium

The photographers I follow. I love the 'unlimited budget' photographer but I really love the 'slice of life' photographers, those who just shoot people in every day setting with natural light. You would think with my photojournalism background I'd be better at that than I am.

Q22: Favorite cartoon character?

Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons.

Q23: Who would win in a 3-way fight: pirates, ninjas, or robots? Most importantly, HOW do they win?

Robots. Technology always wins.

Q24: Favorite movie?

National Lampoon's Animal House, although Mad Max Fury Road might usurp it. Only time will tell. Animal House only has one cool car -- the 1962 Corvette.

Q25: What's your favorite book & tell us about it?

I wish I could be cool and say something obscure but it's 1984 by George Orwell. I first read it in 1976 so the proximity had a odd feel to it. Some 20 years after 1984 I went to London where cameras seem ubiquitous, measuring your speed between them on interstates and recording your car if it stops in a no parking zone for 30 seconds at 3 am.

Q26: Anything else that you'd like to add or ask us here at the Nude-Form group?

Exposure is nice but the reason I join groups is to be inspired. I need to spend more time exploring the groups I'm in.

We appreciate you taking the time & allowing us to pick your brain. So that about concludes today's interview.

Readers, I'd love to hear what you think by posting your comments below. Same goes if there are any other questions I might have neglected to ask.

In the meantime, I encourage everyone to check out our past interview sessions with artists by folowing the links below.


Enjoy. Have a great day everyone.
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What We're About

Welcome to the Nude-Form group.

We're just kinda getting started so please bear with us while we work out the kinks.

A fuller explanations of the guidelines and our point of view, these blogs may illuminate… & why we believe in maintaining high standards… . However if you want the short version:

1:bulletgreen:- Nudity must be present.
2:bulletgreen:- Group is quality driven, not quantity.
3:bulletgreen:- Suggesting :+fav:'s are for other people's work, not your own.
4:bulletgreen:- Photography only.
5:bulletgreen:- The group is to have a positive atmosphere. No drama tolerated.
6:bulletgreen:- Have questions, suggestions, or constructive criticism, please note us privately.

Group Info

We are a photography based group dedicated to the TASTEFUL artistic depictions of the nude form. Male, female, we do not discriminate.
Founded 7 Years ago
Aug 20, 2010


Group Focus
Art Collection

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2,649 Members
3,467 Watchers
156,394 Pageviews
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Gallery Folders


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Add a Comment:
pallibjoss Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Photographer
Thanks for adding my work to the group!
Lux-C-westwind Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks a lot for the request!
ebenbrooks Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer

Please "Like" this post.…...

We need about 200+ votes to bring this important issue to the first page.

Because issues are unfortunately not sorted by date but only by "Likes", if you do not adjust manually.…
sumikoki Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for accepting! Good to be here :)
semi234 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2016
universalman66 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for accepting me in the group.  I would like to meet members in the Houston, TX area to collaborate with.
Black457 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2016  Professional Photographer
Thank you very much for accepting in the group. :)
adrian272727 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2016
perfectsplits Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2015
well i am working up the courage to make a photo of my self nude ,in the splits position.
 i am a male contortionist.
 but do u guys think.yes or no?
semi234 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2015
You really should have privately messaged the group about this.
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