Nude-Form Question 1: Let's start by telling us something about yourself?
phydeau answer: Let's see. I'm a 39-year-old photographer living in North Carolina. I'm not really from anywhere, as I was an Air Force brat, but I consider my home to be Washington State. I'd like to get back there. I work in theatre and make very little money, so naturally I picked a very expensive hobby.
Q2: What attracted you to the photographic medium?
Answer: My parents were (and still are) amateur photographers. So was my grandfather. When I was 11, I won a toy camera in a contest. I couldn't stop taking pictures. That Christmas, my folks bought me a 35mm SLR (with a 50mm prime), an 80-200mm zoom lens, a camera bag, a tripod, and some books on photography. They could tell I was going to use it.
Q3: What do you like to during your free time?
Answer: Unfortunately, I don't have the opportunity to do much because of the money situation. I would go out and take more pictures than I currently do if I could. So in lieu of that, I spend a lot of time on dA looking at other people's artwork. Mostly photography. When I'm not doing that, I'll chill with a few beers and listen to music. I used to draw all the time, but I haven't been inspired to draw anything, lately.
Q4: Do you partake in any other creative endeavors?
Answer: Well, like I said, I used to draw - colored pencils being my perffered medium. I also work in theatre, which allows me to be creative quite a bit.
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: I'm still waiting for something truly hysterical to happen.
Probably the funniest thing that's happened so far is when some joggers started approaching at a high rate of speed. My model was prepared for walkers. I don't think she was expecting joggers. She managed to get her clothes on without even a second to spare. I don't think they noticed that she was still barefoot.
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: Relax and have fun. If you're nervous, the model is going to pick up on that. Beginning photographers usually hear the advice, "Just act like you would as if she was wearing clothes." But here's what they don't tell you. Once you actually get to work, it's not an act. You might even forget that she's nude (don't laugh - that actually happened to me during my last shoot).
Other good bits of advice are the standard things: if you're indoors, make sure it's a little warmer than normal to keep the model comfortable. For American photographers, make sure you know about 2257, and don't forget to document that.
Another bit of advice I once heard is something I always do: Don't stare at the model when she's changing. It sounds odd, because she's going to be nude in front of you in 20 seconds, anyway, but think about it. If you're not taking pictures, you're just gawking at her during the transformation. Find something else to do for a few seconds. I usually just double-check my settings.
I could give a list of things, but to be honest, my first time I forgot half the list. It'll become second-nature as you go along.
Q7: What do you are feel your strengths?
Answer: Hmmmmmm. Though I've only been shooting nudes for about 2 years, I've been a photographer for 28. I've got a good grasp on how to handle a camera. I have a long history in art, so I've also got a good grasp on the elements of art and priciples of design.
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.
Answer: I decided to start shooting nudes just about instantaneously after a moment like that. It started with my deviation "32".
After the success it was having, I decided that I wanted to re-do the whole project, only this time with more control of the source images. And I figured if I could get that control, I could also extend it to full-torso. I asked for volunteers to send me the images I needed.
Originally, the response I got from people was either, "I don't have a good camera/access to a good photographer" or, "Eh. Sounds like you just want girls to send you naked pictures of themselves." After a few days of that, I said to myself, "Crap. I guess I'm going to have to take them myself." At that moment, a ton of bricks fell on my head and I suddenly had the epipany, "Why the hell am I NOT a nude photographer?!!!" It was something that I desperately needed to do, even though the thought had never occured to me before.
Q9: If given a choice between listening to Beatles music OR Elvis, which would you choose?
Answer: Beatles. There's only a few Elvis songs I can really tolerate, but I could listen to anything by the Beatles.
Q10: Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share w/ models working w/ you?
Answer: The models I've worked with have all been experienced and knew what they were doing. The only general advice I can give here to beginning models is to do your homework. Listen to more experienced models. There are pitfalls and dangers and tons of novice mistakes. Don't let that scare you off, but do know what to look for.
Q11: Pretend personnel & budget were not an issue. Describe us your dream shoot or concept?
Answer: Specifically regarding nudes? I'd love to do a zero-G shoot. I suppose that would be even more awesome if I got celebrities involved in that one. I'd also like to do something with manatees (long story).
Photography in general? I'd get the wonders of the world if I could travel.
Q12: What are the most common set of difficulties you've experienced as a photographer?
Answer: It always comes down to money. I need more megapixels, better lenses, more light, better locations, time off work, etc...
Q13: What is the proudest moment you've experienced as a photographer?
Answer: I'm going to go with my first nude shoot. My photograph, "The Moment"-
-is probably still my proudest moment, even though looking back I realize it's not technically perfect and I'd do a ton differently.
I had Cassandra sitting on the side of that tub for almost 20 minutes, not being able to articulate what it was I wanted. I was beginning to doubt myself. I was thinking that I was wasting her time, and that she probably thought I was just another dumb GWC, sleazy "guy with camera", - thinking to myself that maybe she was right. Finally, she hit that pose. It changed everything. I got it. I accomplished what I set out to do. It was like, "Yay! I can actually do this!!"
Q14: Tell us the story behind your user name?
Answer: I've had it forever. I started using it online around 1994. It's the punchline to a very stupid joke about dogs with fancy names. It's pronounced "fido". Because I was on the internet so early on, I've managed to have this name on new accounts as soon as they came along (hotmail, gmail, etc.).
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?
Answer: In general, The most important thing is how the model conducts herself online. If there's something that doesn't seem professional, I'll look elsewhere.
As for how I decide on what model to use for a project, it'll depend on the project. For example, with my first underwater shoot, all I wanted was a female model with hair long enough to flow around. It could have been almost anybody. I have other projects (that I haven't done yet), where I have very specific models in mind. A lot of times, I'll start with the model, and come up with a concept afterwards with that model in mind.
Q16: If you were omnipotent, what you would change about either photography, modeling, or the industry itself?
Answer: I wish there were more people that were in this for the love of art, itself. There's too many people where the primary goal is making money. I wish that people would realize that very few people make outrageous amounts of money doing art.
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: As far as traditional artists go, I'm a fan of m.c. escher, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali. Photographers: Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon.
On , there are so many. But here's a VERY short list:
Q18: Favorite cartoon character?
Answer: Homer Simpson. But I also have a spot in my heart for Donald Duck.
Q19: Who would win in a 3-way fight: pirates, ninjas, or robots? Most importantly, how do they win?
Answer: Honestly, I don't think the pirates will fare well. So between robots and ninjas, I'd like to think that humans would be wiley enough to beat the machines. Assuming they aren't instanly vaporized in the invasion, I'll give it to the ninjas.
Q20: Favorite movie? Any reason why?
Answer: Every time I try to answer that, I tend to gravitate to things I've seen recently. I'll just pick one of the few movies I own. American Beauty. I get something new out of it every time I watch it.
Q21: What's your favorite book & please tell us about it?
Answer: I don't read much. This might sound like a boring answer, but I really liked reading Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" www.amazon.com/Grapes-Wrath-Jo… when I was in high school. There were just a lot of great descriptive scenes.
Q22: Anything else that you'd like to add or ask us here at Nude-Form group?
Answer: Not really. I'm itching to do some more photograhy soon. Unless you have any follow-up questions? OH! I know! For the people that made it this far, if you want to work with me, let me know!
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 LOVE feedback. Below is a list of our past interviewees, we hope you find our series 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.