We at Nude-Form had the pleasure of interviewing CCM-Photography. Our aim with this interview series is to provide insight in how other people approach their work but also allowing us in getting to know our fellow group members. Below is interview.
Question 1: Let's start by telling us something about yourself?
Answer: I was born in 1960 to a large Chicago, Irish-Catholic family. I attended private schools through grade 12 and went to college at an Ohio state university. I remained in Ohio where I have been working in broadcast television for 30 years.
Q2: What attracted you to the photographic medium?
I spent a number of years tinkering around and learning Adobe’s Photoshop program(s). After years of using other artist’s images, I realized I needed to be using my own copyrighted material. I was rather disheartened by my early works until I bought a speed light. Once I saw how much control over the light and shade it provided, I became hooked and my work with natural light improved greatly.
Q3: What do you like to do during your free time?
I have always been a big reader. In my teens, I read an unhealthy amount of science fiction. Lately, I find myself enjoying non-fiction best sellers. But photography is my hobby of choice and I try to schedule some type of project every week.
Q4: Do you partake in any other creative endeavors?
I have dabbled with 3-d computer graphics for a few decades now – also a hobby and pastime. My 3-d work is really quite poor but I continue to study various programs with a focus on lights and shadows.
Q5: 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?
The first nude model I worked with went by a model name of Amber. I stupidly assumed she worked as a dancer at a gentleman’s club (aka –stripper). So, for a little chit-chat, I asked her what her real name was. She replied, “Amber.”
Q6: 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?
I would take it one step future… I say treat he model like a goddess. I always think about the story of Ulysses and how Aphrodite took pity and aided him on his journey home several times in disguise. You just never know when she might show up.
Q6 followup: As a classical studies geek, it was Athena not Aphrodite who was Ulysses' (aka Odysseus) main patron.
What would you say to the critics who would say that placing your model(s) on a pedestal does them a disservice by treating them as a trophy & not a creative equal?
This is probably a fair criticism. It is likely good advice to a client who happens to be at a commercial shoot. The entire crew hates the model. Watch them roll their eyes.
But I do not work on commercial shoots and choose to treat the model as the key element of the day.
Q7: What do you feel are your strengths?
I am often complimented on my lighting but I think perhaps my most import skill is making models feel comfortable by engaging in conversation or just trying to make them feel at home.
Q8: 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 yours & how it changed you.
Becoming a parent has changed me in so many ways. Maybe the most interesting thing for me has been the perception of time and how it passes. Before their birth, time seemed to pass so slowly I would go out of my mind with boredom. Since then, there never seems to be enough time.
Q8 followup: What kinds of strategies are you using to maximize the lack of free time you speak of?
I would stress that it is merely my perception of time that has changed.
Q9: If given a choice between listening to Beatles music OR Elvis, which would you choose?
Q10: Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share w/ models working w/ you?
I believe every pose should appear as a ritual.
Q10 followup: "I believe every pose should appear as a ritual." Would you mind expanding on what you mean by this?
I look for a reverence in body language and in movement. There should be a portrayal of intent and a respect of process when telling a story (or lie). This can be true of brushing one’s teeth, turning lead into gold or any number of narratives.
Q11: Pretend personnel & budget were not an issue. Describe us your dream shoot or concept?
Funny you should mention ‘dream’ in this question. I have a number of re-occurring nightmares I would like to tell about in a single capture. One such dream involves completing a very import job but every tool of the trade has been removed from the room.
Q12: What are the most common set of difficulties you've experienced as a photographer?
I hate to bring it up because I hear about it so often from other photographers… there is nothing worse than a last minute cancellation.
Q13: What is the proudest moment you've experienced as a photographer?
For me, this is the easiest question to answer. It is the moment when someone is looking at a photo I have taken and uses the magical word, “Wow!”
Q14: Tell us the story behind your user name?
They are my initials. But you can call me Christopher.
Q15: Aside from a person's look meeting a particular project, what else goes into your decision making whether to work w/ a particular model or not?
I am a very big fan of high self esteem and an attitude of success. These are qualities you can find in beginners or, conversely, not find in veteran models.
Q16: If you were omnipotent, what you would change about either photography, modeling, or the industry itself?
I would create a commercial demand for tasteful figure studies and have in-your-face-porno become taboo.
Q17: Who are some visual artists you admire, whether they be here on or elsewhere? The answer need not be limited to the photographic medium either.
I have always thought of Stanley Kubrick as a visual artist. Pink Floyd performances have always been an excellent example of a group effort in the visual arts. That brings to mind the works of Storm Thorgerson. Helmut Newton gets my vote, as well. So, I guess just about any dead artist is cool.
Q18: Favorite cartoon character?
Butters from South Park
Q19: Who would win in a 3-way fight: pirates, ninjas, or robots? Most importantly, HOW do they win?
Robots. They win by surviving for millenniums.
Q20: Favorite movie?
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Q20 followup: "Dr Strangelove" is one OF my favorite movies as well. Mind if I ask what keeps drawing you to that movie?
Although a period piece, it certainly is timeless. I have always been drawn to Black Humor. Kubrick and cast do a wonderful job of depicting the idiosyncrasies of extremists.
Q21: What's your favorite book & tell us about it?
James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. It’s the story of June 16, 1904 in the city of Dublin.
Q22: Anything else that you'd like to add or ask us here at theNude-Form group?
Keep up the fine work.
We appreciate you allowing us to pick your brain. Keep up the great work & best of luck to you in the future.
For those who are interested (or are new & have not had an opportunity to read them all), here is a list of our past interviews. Feel free to comment away if you so desire because we here at the Nude-Form group LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE feedback. We hope they're illuminating.
Beyond that if anyone wishes to have something asked on a regular basis (it can be photo/art related or just irreverant), you are encouraged to privately message the group. The same applies if you wish to be interviewed (it saves me the energy in thinking who I should pitch the offer to & whatnot). It doesn't matter if you're mainly a model or a photographer, we're interested in a variety of perspectives for this series.