Obviously, I have to ask that. Why do you like to shoot nude?
I have always loved how nudes & erotic work can bring about feelings in the subject, photographer and viewer. There is something elemental, primal and honest about nude/erotic photography. The freedom and beauty inspires me so much. I’d like to say my nude work is a celebration of sexuality, sensuality, strength and intimacy, perhaps with a touch of nostalgia.
How easy or difficult is to find models willing to pose nude? Do you think it’s still a taboo?
It’s not difficult finding a model to pose nude. Models usually come to me or I find models by word of mouth from other photographers. A lot of my good friends are professional models so I never have a problem. I also use agencies from time to time. Being naked is the most natural thing in the world but I do know in certain countries and religions it is still considered a taboo. Honestly, I shoot what I feel but I do respect people’s beliefs even if they are not the same as mine. If they don’t like what they see, they can turn the other way.
Why are you shooting on film? I know you are very passionate about film. Why is it so special to you?
I love the look, process and feel of film. It’s organic, nostalgic and it also slows me down. It trains my eye every time I do a shoot and the happy mistakes I get sometimes are just a bonus. I am a purist, I don’t digitally manipulate my images and do very minimal editing to my work once I get the film back. I fell in love with film when I was 17 years old, the first day I walked into the darkroom.
When you shoot someone’s portrait, what matters most to you?
Personality and honesty matters most to me. I like someone to be in their natural state, relaxed and just keep it real simple. I like to spend some time getting to know my subject before taking their portrait.
What was the best thing someone said to you regarding your work? And what was the most annoying thing someone said?
I think one of the best compliments I have had about my work is that people connect to it, especially women. I’ve had women who have had body issues contact me and tell me they love the freedom and expression in my work. I have had many women ask me to photograph them just so they could experience the liberation of being nude, loving their body, feeling beautiful and proud of their bodies.
I think the most annoying thing anyone has ever said to me about my work was that I was a “Pornographer”. It only mildly bothered me but then I thought of how many times Helmut Newton was called a Pornographer….. so then I turned it around and looked at it as a compliment.
You are a model and a photographer. How does that help with shooting?
My experience as a model has taught me basic composition, angles, to understand lighting and how to treat & respect models when shooting them. I only photograph my subjects how I wish to be photographed. To me, modeling and acting go hand in hand. At many times during my shoots I help models with their expressions and their ability to emote. Modeling has also really helped develop my own taste & style in photography.
Interview by Amanda M. Jansson