Nude-Form Question 1: Let's start by telling us something about yourself?
JeremyHowitt answer: Sure - I'm Jeremy from beautiful Brighton in the UK and I would describe myself as an enthusiastic amateur photographer. It's my way of escaping and relaxing away from a busy and high tech day job and I find it really rewarding taking time out and (hopefully) creating images of style and elegance. I also like do much of the styling myself. I like to work almost exclusively on location, partly for the fresh air and also because the context that landscape and architecture provide are a big part of what I'm trying to achieve with my pictures.
Q2: What attracted you to the photographic medium?
Answer: I've always been interested in making pictures. I usually have an image in my mind of how I'd like the final picture to look, but my earliest attempts to realise that with film were always somewhat frustrating. I only really got into photography seriously with the advent of digital where the ability to review the picture immediately and then work on it further in post-processing allows me to get closer to the image in my minds eye. Don't get me wrong, pre-planning and proper photographic technique are important, but I now have a full set of tools at my disposal.
Q3: What do you like to do during your free time?
Answer: Free time is limited and very valuable and so it's something I like to spend with those nearest and dearest to me. If that involves an element of travel, sunshine, red wine and good food then so much the better! Throw in a good book, museum or cricket match and I'm happy as Larry. Spring in Italy, summer in England, autumn in California and winter in the Caribbean would be my idyll.
Q4: Do you partake in any other creative endeavors besides photography?
Answer: There's a strong element of creativity needed in my day job (I work in research and development) and I also teach part-time on a design course at a University. I find that really rewarding.
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?
Answer: Yes! We were just finishing up this shoot:
I was telling Cheryl, the model, to mind her footing on the way back to the beach as the rocks were really slippery. I'd hardly got the words out of my mouth before I went head over heels. I felt a right fool! Luckily the only thing that was damaged was my self-esteem!
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: You're right, respecting the model goes without saying, but for me it goes beyond that and recognising the value of teamwork - every one of my shoots is a partnership of equals. The choice of model to work with is critical. I've been lucky enough to shoot with some very talented art nude models - Katy_T, Ella Rose, Erosanne, Cheryl Elizabeth and Ivory Flame - all of whom have brought substantial skill and art to the project. An experienced model is worth their weight in gold.
I worked with Katy quite early on and my photography advanced in leaps and bounds because of her input. It also helps enormously to work with the same model more than once as you develop a rapport and the ease and spontaneity of the relationship can translate into some great pictures. I love working with Ella Rose, we seem to spark ideas off each other and have created different themes for each of our five shoots with hopefully more to come.
Q7: What do you are feel your strengths?
I'm a self taught photographer and so I'm not particularly well versed in the technicalities. I prefer to keep things simple, work with just one with one light source (the sun!) and concentrate on image composition. I would say that my eye for a picture is my greatest strength and being too derivative is my greatest weakness, but that's one that afflicts all but the very best artists.
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.
I'm not sure that I can pick a single defining, life-changing moment, but the relationships in my life (both good and bad) have had a major impact on shaping who I am and what I believe in. Never be afraid to tell someone that you love them.
Q9: If given a choice between listening to Beatles music OR Elvis, which would you choose?
I love the rawness of the early Elvis Sun Studio sessions, but if I had to choose only one then it would have to be The Beatles. My mum used to play them a lot when I was growing up and John Lennon is one of my all time heroes. Again, the energy of their early work is so powerful - their cover of Twist and Shout is a personal favourite - and the way they were able to re-invent themselves and maintain such a stratospheric level of creativity for so long was truly amazing.
Q10: Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share w/ models working w/ you?
Easy really - be yourself, have fun, your personality is as important as your looks and don't be afraid to tell me if you've got a good idea for doing things better.
Q11: Pretend personnel & budget were not an issue. Describe us your dream shoot or concept?
So many ideas! For me the major budget expense would always be location, location, location. I love the fashion travelogues that Norman Parkinson used to shoot back in the 50s/60s/70s. A bit of a diversion, but there's an exhibition of his work "Pink is the Navy Blue of India" that is currently touring through various Indian cities that I would really like to see ([link]). Based on this, having the Taj Mahal completely to myself for a shoot would be one obvious choice! The Temple of Petra, Arizona slot canyons, safari in Africa, Paris and Venice all feature on my location wish list. As far as models are concerned, I'd be more than happy with any of the lovely young ladies that I've already had the pleasure of working with, but dream bookings would include Salma Hayek and Scarlett Johansson.
Q12: What are the most common set of difficulties you've experienced as a photographer?
The hardest thing to contend with on location is the unpredictability of the weather and the almost continuous variation in lighting. All you can do is give yourself a chance by shooting at the best times of day and having the patience to wait out for that one moment of stillness and golden shaft of light. Several of my favourite pictures have actually been taken in less than perfect conditions. The other thing with shooting nudes on location is the potential for being disturbed by unsuspecting members of the public. Again, planning helps, but sometimes you can't legislate for the unexpected. I was shooting with Erosanne up in the Peak District and we arrived at a reasonably remote ridge as sunset approached only to encounter what seemed like hundreds of cross-country runners from the local athletics club! We had to wait over 30 minutes for them all to troop past before we could take this picture:
Q13: What is the proudest moment you've experienced as a photographer?
Answer: Recognition from peers is always nice. I'm obviously very proud of my two Daily Deviations with Katy_T and Erosanne (respectively):
Q14: What's the story behind your screen-name?
There isn't one - it's me!
Q15: Aside from a person's look meeting a particular project of yours, what else goes into your decision whether to work w/ a particular model or not?
Answer: Definitely personality. I will often contact a model because I know from their blog and their postings on online forums that we share similar values and that we're likely to get on and have a productive shoot.
Q16: If you were dictator-king, what you would change about either photography, modeling, or the industry itself?
Answer: Ooh, I'm not a fan of dictatorship, I very much think that creativity should be left to run its course. The good will always rise to the top and the not-so-good will always fall by the wayside.
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: My deviantArt favourites are listed on my profile page and I'm adding to the list all the time. One of the great things about dA is discovering talented new artists almost every day.
Other well known influences are many, but include Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Kitagawa Utamaro, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Rennie Mackintosh/Margaret MacDonald, Gustav Klimt, Man Ray, Lee Miller, Horst P. Horst, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Norman Parkinson, Andre De Dienes, Frances McLoughlin-Gill, Clifford Coffin, Henry Clarke, John French, John Rawlings, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Roger Prigent, Richard Rutledge, Roy Lichtenstein, David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Brian Duffy, David Hockney, Jeanloup Sieff, Helmut Newton, Partrick Demarchelier, Herb Ritts ... I could go on!
Q18: Favorite cartoon character?
Q19: Who would win in a 3-way fight: pirates, ninjas, or robots? Most importantly, HOW do they win?
Answer: Pirates. Because no-one can withstand a broadside from a 48-gun Man O' War. Arrrr!
Q20: Favorite movie?
Answer: Pulp Fiction. The perfect blend of action, intrigue, comedy and storytelling. And it was just sooo cool. The soundtrack was amazing too.
Q21: What's your favorite book & tell us about it?
Answer: The next one I read. Fiction because you can never imagine enough and non-fiction because you can never know enough.
Q22: Anything else that you'd like to add or ask us here at Nude-Form group?
Answer: I think I'm pretty much exhausted now!
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.