We at had the pleasure of interviewing the intrepid . 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.
Nude-Form Question #1: Let's start off by telling something that you'd like us to know about yourself?
gravenimagez answer: I'm an artist, trained traditionally, working in the Animation Industry and I turned to photography to keep myself sane... there are only so many fuzzy bunny shows a man can take. I needed an adult outlet for my creativity, photography was as far from my day job as I could get.
Q2: What attracted you to the photographic medium?
Answer: As a visual artist I've been vainly trying to capture the female form most of my adult life and falling short, so I turned to photography as a way of finally resolving the disparities between my vision, the subject and the end product. And it keeps me sane. (see question 1)
Q3: What do you like to do in the rare moments you have free time?
Answer: I read... a lot. I'm a science junkie.
Q4: Any particular branch of the sciences you enjoy the most?
Answer: Hmmm, physics & astronomy, evolutionary biology, paleontology... heck, it's pretty much anything on the cutting edge of our understanding of ourselves and the universe.
Q5: Do you partake in any other creative endeavors?
Answer: I'm a full time artist working in the Animation Industry at the moment that means learning a lot of new technology to do the job. I'm working on several books and I enjoy making sculpture and music as well... in other words, I'm pretty scattered and ADD about everything.
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 us one of yours that happened during a shoot?
Answer: Definitely in hindsight: I had a studio shoot set up for a Sunday afternoon with a new model, I arrived early so I could get set up, but the studio was locked and the phones weren't being picked up, so I assumed the owner had made a quick store run and would be back soon... hopefully before the model arrived and our clock started running.
Time moved on, the model arrived, the studio owner was nowhere to be found... I had to get creative. This studio was on the 3rd floor of the complex, I had access to the roof and noticed that the fire escape door to the studio was open... so long story short, I hoofed it up onto the roof, climbed out onto the fire escape, did a Spider-Man down the wall got into the studio, found the owner passed out drunk, closed his bedroom door, let the model in and started our shoot only 1/2 an hour late. The owner staggers out later as we are finishing up, I made him coffee and paid for my time found a new place to shoot.
Q7: 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: I'll admit life is fairly surreal when I'm having a polite conversation with a stunningly beautiful naked woman... but I've been dealing with artist's models since High School, the goal is not to objectify, we're all adults here and everyone is working toward a common goal - producing art. One of us just happens to be naked, fortunately, it's the good looking one. Be professional, make the model comfortable enough to do her job well and enjoy the results.
Q8: What do you feel are your strengths?
Answer: Creativity. I like experimenting - Photoshop was made for me, I like it when the pixels scream.
Q9: What's the story behind your screen name?
Answer: It's what I produce, "graven images" as in the bible quote. It's also word play on a sculptural series I did eons ago... the name just stuck.
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 yours & how it changed you.
Answer: The day I met my wife. She saved me. Without her I would be lost. Period. She is my rock, my heart, my center. Its sappy I suppose but its true.
Q11: If given a choice between listening to Beatles music OR Elvis, which would you choose?
Answer: Beatles hands down. You should see my Ipod... I'm such a purest I even got the "mono" set for myself for Christmas.
Q12: Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share w/ models working w/ you?
Answer: I LOVE a collaborative model, for me the give and take is what makes the shoot exciting. Having to stage direct every limb and fold is exhausting and ultimately not worth my time. Beauty is the first step, talent is the more important trait.
Q13: What are your thought process(es) when you're in between that stage on when whether you choose to work w/ a certain model or not?
Answer: It either goes one of two ways for me, I decide on the spot, based on a gut reaction to the model - we are soooo going to make this an amazing session or I spend a lot of time researching the model, if she has a website, book or portfolio, who she has worked with previously, I may contact the other photographers she worked with to get their feedback on how things went, pros/cons impressions, that sort of thing.
Q14: 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've learned not to micro manage every shoot, I don't plan every single moment any more, I now go in with a rough set of shots I'd like to accomplish and then see what "the moment" brings, I've found that to be a freeing move on my part, rather than being frustrated with not getting to a certain set-up, I am now more ready to toss it all out the window and find the beauty in the moment.
I've had the occasional technology issue, so I now carry three cameras on every shoot, extra batteries, extra CF cards, etc.
Q15: What is the proudest moment you've experienced as a photographer?
Answer: Odd question... When everything just clicks and me, the model, the energy is JUST perfect. The model is making the tweaks to the poses I want, before I've even vocalized it. And later when reviewing the shoot, a shot is even better than I had expected. It's those moments of "magic", I don't really have another word for it. And when the model is happy with what we are getting is pretty cool too.
Q16: 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: Yup, passed on doing stills during a porno flick... A) the money was insulting. B) I won't shoot hard-core, ick.
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.
Answer: Andrew Goldsworthy www.rwc.uc.edu/artcomm/web/w20… ... the man has an eye for harmonious design that makes me weep with joy.
Q18: Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Answer: Hobbes as in "Calvin & Hobbes"
Q19: Pretend you see a prospective subject out in & about in town that you want to work w/. Any suggestions on approaching them to show you're serious & at the same time that you're not using the "I'm a photographer" as a cheesie pickup line?
Answer: I really haven't had that situation come up, I only ever use professional models.
Q20: Who would win in a 3-way fight: pirates, ninjas, or robots? Most importantly, how do they win?
Answer: Robots. Tactical nukes and hardened electronics... either that or they drop Mars into the sun and use the flare to exterminate all the guys and enslave all the babes.
Q21: What's your favorite movie? Any reason why its your favorite?
Answer: Moulin Rouge www.amazon.com/Moulin-Rouge-Wi… . The mash-ups are brilliant and Nicole Kidman as a red head in a corset... was anyone else in that movie? I forget.
Q22: What's your favorite book & tell us about it?
Answer: Anything by William Gibson www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=s… . He uses the language soooo well, it's a pleasure to read and savor. Specifically: Neuromancer. Awesome, groundbreaking work, I re-read it every couple of years.
Q23: Anything else that you'd like to add or ask us here at Nude-Form ?
Answer: Nope... I'm tapped out and kinda fried. Thanks for having me!
Thanks you for taking the time to answer our many questions. Keep up the great work & best of luck to you in the future.
For those that are interested (or are new & have not had an oppurtunity to read them), here is a list of our past interviews. We hope you find them illuminating.
Beyond that if anyone in land wishes to have something asked on a regular basis (it could be photo/art related or not), you are encouraged to note us. 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.
Have a great day everyone & don't be shy in providing feedback.