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We here at :iconnude-form: recently conducted an interview w/ photographer & fellow member :icontheharlequinsmask:. We are doing these interviews in the hopes they will be a benefit to our members as well as provide insight into how other people approach their work..

Nude-Form Question 1: Let's start off by telling something that you'd like us to know about yourself?

TheHarlequinsMask Answer: I'm pretty laid back about a lot of things, but I have an annoying habit of muttering to myself during a shoot. Most of the time I'm just thinking out loud - exposure, contrast, composition - but to people who haven't worked with me before, it sometimes seems a bit weird.

Q2: What attracted you to the photographic medium?

Answer: I was given a camera when I was quite young, about 10 years of age. It was a Hanimex 110, and I was constantly nagging my parents with requests to either buy more film or to have films developed. It was something that I loved, but I remember my first real "appreciation" of photography, what drew me into it (never to return...) came when I took a photograph of an abandoned building at Silverton, a small town near Broken Hill. My parents had the shot enlaged, and my brother, then an avid painter, painted a copy of it, which he subsequently sold. Sadly, neither that photograph or the painting exist. But it hooked me - I had to have a camera and film on me almost all the time. As I grew and my photography began to evolve, so did my equipment, from viewfinders to SLR's to Digital SLR's and even medium format

Q3: What do you like to do in the rare moments you have free time?

Answer: I'm a keen bushwalker, and enjoy getting out and about in the great outdoors, no matter what the weather. I also enjoy mountian biking, and when I'm indoors, I enjoy reading historical works, particularly about the great voyages of exploration from years ago.

Q4: Do you partake in any other creative endeavors?

Answer: When I was a kid, I used to make model ships, tanks, planes, that sort of thing, but nowadays photography is my only real creative outlet.

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 us one of yours that happened during a shoot?

Answer: I was shooting one particular nude model outdoors and some workman came by to trim the trees around the powerlines nearby. The model was wearing a light robe, and said wouldn't it be a great idea to get some shots with the workers equipment (hard hats, etc.) I went and asked the workers and they agreed, at which point the model slipped off the robe and walked out naked where she could be seen to put on some of their gear. Their expressions were priceless!

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?

Answer: Be clear and open about what you want the model to do BEFORE the shoot begins, and stick to it. Changing the rules halfway through a shoot makes the model uncomfortable. And just because they're modelling for you doesn't mean you own them. Make sure you give them breaks and some time to rest during the shoot. Modelling can be hard work.

Q7: What do you feel are your strengths?

Answer: I'm not locked into any one "must have" shot for a shoot, and I'll readily accept input from models or assistants who come up with their own notions during a shoot. While I like to have control of the shoot, I realise that there may be some things that I just don't think of, and have no problems with people telling me that there may be something wrong at some point.

Q8: Anyone willing to take a critical look at themselves will admit they have areas where they can improve? Please tell us a couple of yours?

Answer: Two things spring to mind. Firstly, I have a habit of working around similiar conditions, in a "comfort zone" and every now and then I have to step outside of that - reluctantly - to stay creative. Secondly, I feel sometimes my work isn't consistent, that I need to concentrate more on the shot rather than just the concept to create better work.

Q9: 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.

Answer: I travelled to Scotland and visited the birthplace of my father, meeting with relatives I'd never met before. It made me realise that no matter who we are or what we do, we're all part of something bigger. It made me change my outlook on things like conservation, the environment, and rethink where I was going in life.

Q10: If given a choice between listening to Beatles music OR Elvis, which would you choose?

Answer: I'd have to say the Beatles (nothing against Elvis though).

Q11: Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share w/ models working w/ you?

Answer: Be yourself, and relax. Enjoy the shoot, and don't hesitate to say when you need a break, or to speak up if you have an idea.

Q12: What are the most common set of difficulties you've experienced as a photographer? How are you working to overcome them or how DID you overcome those trials?

Answer: I found it difficult to contact models in the early days, and found that it was far better to work the first couple of times with a very experienced model that with someone who was new to the photographic side of things. If you're starting out shooting models, approach one who has a lot of experience, and don't pretend to know more than you do.

Q13: What is the proudest moment you've experienced as a photographer?

Answer: Being asked by a major art nude website to submit my work to them - four times! I was also asked by :devchriststjames: to become a contributing editor at the Univers d'Artistes website, and was quite pround of that too!

Q14: Leaving out specifically who or any other identifying characteristics, ever have any shoot ideas pitched where you were like "uhm, no chance in hell is that going to happen"?

Answer: I did a glamour nude shoot - bubble bath theme - with a model, and had a bottle of champagne and a glass as part of the props. What I didn't realise was that the model was drinking the champagne! She started making suggestions for shots - and adopting poses - that were well beyond the pale, so I stopped the shoot early, thanked her very much, and made sure she got home safe.  

Q15: Who are some visual artists you admire, whether they be here on :devart: or elsewhere? The answer need not be limited to the photographic medium either.

Answer: Photographically, I've always admired the works of Lord Patrick Lichfield. Many of his works are of the British Royal Family who have become a bit private of them since his passing. This article may help… .

Australian nude photographer Peter Adams also comes to mind . The landscape works of Aussie photographers Steve Parish and Ken Duncan rank up there as well. But visually - for whatever reason - I'm a sucker for Ballet. Yes, that may sound unusual, but I love the way that in ballet everything seems to flow so easily and so gracefully.

Q16: Who is your favorite cartoon character?

Answer: Foghorn Leghorn. What a legend!

Q17: Who would win in a 3-way fight: pirates, ninjas, or robots? Most importantly, how do they win?

Answer: Robots. How the hell do you beat something that doesn't bleed!

Q18: What's your favorite movie? Any reason why its your favorite?

Answer: The Hunt for Red October… . Love the drama and the technical aspects of it.

Q19: What's your favorite book & tell us about it?

Answer: "Glory Road" by Robert Heinlein… . It's a fantasy about a soldier from Earth - in a nutshell - who ends up in a paralell universe fighting monsters with a sword and learning how to be a real Hero. It made me realise that we have to get out and LIVE life while we're here.

Q20: Anything else that you'd like to add or ask us here at Nude-Form?

Answer: I've been very lucky. In all the years I've been doing this, I could count on one hand the times I've had any sort of problem with a model, and most of those have been minor. My models come from all walks of life - professional models to housewives to university students and more - and they always seem to give me 100% of their effort. Many are the times when models have posed for me in freezing water, clouds of mosquitos, rain, hazardous locations and the harsh Australian sun without a word of complaint. Regardless of our medium of expression – be it chalks, pastels, acrylics, filmbase, charcoal, the 1’s and 0’s of digital, clay, or any of the many other mediums through which artists express themselves, it is the model who helps our creative vision take form. For that, they have my undying gratitude.

We're going to close up by thanking you for your time & allowing us to pick your brain. Keep up the great work.

This has been posted in the dA news section here… . If everyone can go to the link & :+fav: it, it'll help it remain atop the news rankings.

If anyone in Nude-Form land wishes to be considered for a future interview, you are encourage to private message the group directly & we'll certainly consider you. & for the record, it doesn't matter if you're mainly a model or a photographer. We consider everyone.
Add a Comment:
darrenphillips Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010
Great Interview
SilEnigmaArts Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great interview :thumbup:
TheHarlequinsMask Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010  Professional Photographer
I'm deeply honoured, thank you!
Solus-Photography Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010  Professional Photographer
Nice one, well done.
Unbearable-Lightness Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010
I love the story about the workmen and the model. You shouldn't be giving me ideas like that!

Thanks for the great interview.
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Submitted on
September 27, 2010