Q: How does your wife feel about the photography you do, and being off for days at a time with nude models?
A: My wife is an artist herself, a sculptor. Many years ago, we met when she came to one of my gallery openings to see my work. She married me knowing that I would be off with nude models on a regular basis. She has been nothing but supportive of my work and activities over the years.
Q: If I model for you would my husband find out?
A: It sounds like you have an issue at home you need to address before you come work with me. I'm not into drama and have no interest in getting in the middle of whether your husband is going to find out.
Q: My husband says I can model for you but must sleep in a separate tent. Does that work for you?
A: For the most part, no. But let me rephrase that... If you want to pay for your own camp site, haul your own tent, sleeping bag, mattress, and pillow, and we are staying at a place where you have made your own reservation, then go right ahead. Chances of you being able to do that are slim to none, however. Places that regulate camp sites for the most part are very strict about having only one tent per site. And to top it off, if your husband is worried about you sleeping in a tent with me, you probably should not be going in the first place. But you could always sleep outside the tent. But bring something to sleep on as I use a full-size mattress for those of us inside, and it doesn't come apart to share a part with you.
Q: I've heard you have an erotic web site. Can I get a link to that?
A: No. My erotic work is created for erotic gallery shows, not for the internet public to view. It is a matter of protecting the models who work with me in that field. I do have a place where perspective erotic models can view some of my work, but I need to know they have a serious interest in said work before they are allowed to go there. The rest of you can view my erotic work at a gallery show in your area, when I get there. Next scheduled one will be in St. Louis in May, 2023.
Q: How do you photograph the images with you in them?
A: There are several ways. The two methods used the most are what is referred to as interval timer, where the camera is programed to fire off at set intervals for however many times you program it for. The other is remote firing with a button that I set off usually by a toe or some such that cannot be seen in the image. If you look at my CONTACT page with the erotic images, that image on the right was taken with a remote. It was used there because I wanted to capture the model's facial features at a specific time and look. Had I used interval timing we might have gone on for a hundred shots and still not gotten what I was after. A mirror hung by the camera allowed me to see what was happening with her face. When I managed to achieve the desired effect on the model's face I glanced down, and my big toe clicked the shutter at the right moment allowing it to be a one shot take. The image on the left was done with interval timer because it was not one where emotions had to be created. We knew what we wanted to do and so we played out a few scenarios while the camera kept plugging away. In all of my photography, I am the only photographer, whether I am behind the camera or in front of it.
Q: Do you ever donate your artwork?
A: I have done so many times over the years, mostly to fundraising auctions for art centers. Some of the recipients have been: Indiana University, University of Minnesota, Edge Center for the Arts, Plains Art Museum, and The Center For Fine Art Photography. I also have donated some work to small, struggling galleries so they could sell the pieces and keep 100% of the money to help them out, both in Minneapolis and Chicago. I root for the little galleries that struggle against the giant galleries to stay afloat. The big galleries get too commercial for my liking and cater to the wealthy only with big name artists. We are in need of more mom-and-pop art galleries in this country that show artwork of the not so well-known artists. But therein lies the problem. You can't sell that art for the big dollars you need to stay in business. So, I help when I can, where I can, and with what I can.
Q: Aren't you embarrassed about showing photos of your body parts?
A: No. I'm not a stuck-up snob that thinks the human body is obscene. My body is not beautiful by any means, but it is what I have, and if someone feels offended by seeing it, I don't give a shit. Art is not always beautiful, nor is it perfect. If you use the human body as your source of art, you should include all aspects of it, not just the pretty side. My 2 cents.
Q: Do you travel to my location, or must I come to you?
A: That all depends on where you live and what we are doing. If you live in an area I would like to work near, I will come to you if I can. If you live in a large city, I will have zero interest in going there. For a first shoot with an unknown model, I prefer that you come to me, then we will work nearby. If you happen to be an established model with a good portfolio that fits my style, I am more likely to suggest we travel to a location with good, known back drops. And if we have worked together several time, and I believe you are on the same page as I, I will suggest we road trip to locations together.
Q: Do you charge for your services?
A: Well, first I really don't have a service. I'm not doing this for you. You will get the images from the shoot for helping me by posing for my work, but I'm doing this for me. If I am able to use the images we create freely, I do not charge. That would be silly. If you want images for yourself and not ones I can use, I will charge probably more than you are willing to pay, but more than likely I would not take it on in the first place. My time is valuable to me. Time I could be using to create my own work. If I have to give up that time to create something that I cannot use myself, I will want to be compensated for that time lost, and my time is very, very expensive.
The one exception to all of this is for my work involved with fundraising calendars. For that I do charge for my service. There you are getting something I do not use for myself, but I am willing to work on those projects because they involve raising money for a good cause. My rate for calendar projects varies with the amount of time I have to put in, but it is very reasonable compared to most photography work. It helps a lot if the people involved have their ducks in a row prior to my work beginning. i.e.: All the women who will be involved have a plan on what they want to be doing, and dates for the shootings coordinated with me. If I have to shoot on 12 different days, the cost goes up accordingly. If I can do all the shooting within two or three days, it saves considerable expense. Also, I do not charge for a set if the individual lady I am shooting allows me to shoot some images for my gallery work. That can save the fundraising program considerable amounts. But I leave that up to each lady I am working with.
Q: Do you work on calendars of men?
A: I have no objection to doing calendars of men, but to date have not had a request to do so.
Q: Do you do individual person calendars?
A: If you mean, do I do a calendar of the same person on each month in a different pose or setting, no. If you mean, do I sell a calendar to just one person, no. The only calendars I get involved with are for fundraisers, like lake associations where each month has a different lady on it, and the group selling the calendars get the money. Minimum orders are of 50 calendars. If you are wanting a calendar of just one person I suggest you take your own photos and have some company make a calendar up for you. Will end up costing you about $40. when all is said and done. I know this because I sometimes make a calendar for one of my models if she has worked hard for me during the year as a gift.
Q: Several of us would like to do a calendar for a fundraiser. What are we likely to run into in the way of problems?
A: First, you will no doubt run into the "Church Ladies" (both women and men) of the organization who will object because, for some weird reason they think the human body is pornographic and dirty. Once past them, and with the knowledge that there will be considerable money coming in from the sales, you should not run into any problems. There are no legal issues other than model releases being signed by each lady. You need 12 willing ladies to participate. Each should have an idea where and what they will be doing for their image. If you want to make the decision as to who is going to be on each month, that needs to be made ahead of time, otherwise I will randomly place the images on each month. Decide if you want faces showing, or not showing. I suggest the entire calendar be the same and not mixed, but that is up to you. I do not disclose the names of the ladies to anyone, but be it known now, it is almost impossible to keep the names secret when 12 families know who they are. That is too many people to keep their mouths shut. Each lady will be required to sign a model release because the calendars are to be sold. It is a legal thing. Those model releases are retained by me and not made available to the public, so there is not an issue of people being able to obtain information off of them. If a lady involved allows me to shoot some images of her for my gallery work, I do not charge for photography services on that set. The more sets that allow me to do so, the cheaper it become for you, and the more profit you make off the sales. I do not use an image that will be on a calendar for gallery work, only those I shot for my work. I will probably take up to 20 photos of each lady for the calendar. The image that will end up on the calendar will be chosen by me (it is a matter of me knowing rules of composition so the calendars look as best they can). Reference the photo sets: I do not allow others to be present during a photo session. Just me and the lady. Strick rule set up for several reasons that I will not get into here. That can be addressed as talks begin. Shooting is usually done the summer before the year's calendar. In other words, photo sessions done during the summer allows you to have them in hand to sell by September for the upcoming year. As much as some would like to do winter images, I strongly suggest that you avoid those ideas as much as possible. I have been through that enough to realize no matter how hard you try, and how much you want to do an ice fishing shot, or snowmobile shot, it will not turn out as well as you would have hoped. I'll do it, but I'm telling you what is going to happen.
On a side note: If 12 ladies of a lake want to do a calendar, and the lake association does not want to be involved, I am still willing to do the calendar. Profit from the sales can be divided amongst the 12 ladies or given to a charity of their choice. It doesn't have to be tied to a lake association or organization. That goes for 12 ladies from a garden club, riding club, rodeo gals, or any other organization. 12 ladies will get you calendars to sell. Just remember, a minimum of 51 calendars is the least I will do. But it is not hard to sell 50 calendars of nude ladies. Oh, and I get to keep the 51st calendar as a gift to myself. One of my perks for being a terrific fellow.
Q: If I model for your landscape work, will I be pressured into modeling for erotic work?
A: No, absolutely not. Everyone has a different comfort level. Of the models I use on a regular basis, some only model in landscape work, some only in erotic work, and some do both. I never ask someone to go from one style to another. That decision is made solely by the model herself. Whatever venue you apply for is the only area I will ask you to work in. If you decide to venture into another area, you must ask me to be a part of that style of work. That rule is for the protection of the models and me.
There are some so-called photographers out there that have tarnished the artists' reputation, and there always will be more down the line. I am willing to fight until my last breath to maintain on honest spot for true artists in this field. We may be a dying breed, but we are not all dead yet.
Q: In one of your books I read, you referred to a style of photography as, GIRL PHOTOGRAPHY. What do you mean by that?
A: I only wrote one book, and apparently you didn't really read the book or you would know. More than likely, you skimmed the book, having picked it up in some obscure discount bin, and then put it back. First, the term is not derogatory in any way. It refers to a style that female photographers prefer to shoot a subject with the sun behind the subject, coming toward the camera. It is a term that I use. I have not heard of anyone else using it. It came about when I was teaching a class and asked the students to go outside and photograph another student. All of the boys shot with the sun behind them, coming toward the front of the subject. More than 3/4 of the girls shot the subject with the sun behind the subject coming toward the camera. As long as you are aware of lens flare and use it appropriately, and sparingly there is nothing wrong with this. It can be used successfully to create some wonderful effects and give a totally different feel to an image. I just glommed onto the term, Girl Photography to describe it. Boys don't seem to think as artsy as girls. It makes for some wonderful hair lighting as well, but you have to be aware of subject exposure and usually requires a bit of fill light to balance things out to do it properly.
Q: We have a photo session coming up. What do I need to bring, or do?
A: Items to bring: Good fitting shoes for hiking. I wear a good tennis type shoe. Hairbrush, toothbrush & paste. If you forget yours, I have new ones I keep just for that reason. Also, something loose fitting that you can put on and take off easily. Sarong or loose house dress works well. Your camera gear if you are going to photograph. Tampons if need be. I carry some for emergency purposes. And don't fret about swapping out in front of me. Been through that hundreds of times, and having you dash off just wastes time. All I ask is that you give me the used ones to carry in my camera bag so they don't get left out in the landscape. Trust me, I have no fetish for used tampons, I just don't like garbage left lying about. I spend too much of my time cleaning up after others as it is. And I normally have a baggie in there to put them in. (My stained camera bag is rolling its eyes...) Your pillow, shampoo, etc. if you don't want to use the ones I have (stuff I have glommed onto at motels). I have plenty of towels and soaps as well, so you don't need to bring those. One good set of clothes if we go out for dinner some place nice. You will not need makeup or jewelry. I don't want any in my images. Loose fitting sweatshirt and warm pants / skirt for cool mornings and evenings. It can be damn cold sometimes.
What to do: Take off bra, panties, also socks if they are tight fitting before leaving home. I do not want to sit around for an hour waiting for ligature marks to go away. You won't be wearing a bra or panties during our entire adventure unless we go out for dinner one night, and I don't care if you do then, but that is up to you. Let me know what beverage you like to drink around a campfire in the evenings, so I have it on hand. Also, what your eating habits are. I can accommodate whatever, I just don't want to be cooking a Porterhouse steak only to find out you are vegan. I can do vegan just as easily if that is the case.
Q: I was warned by another person that you pose naked with models. Is that true?
A: Warned? Sounds like I am some type of eminent threat. Yes, I do run around in nature naked (as you say) when working, if the weather permits. Why should you be the only one that gets to do that? And I do pose with my models on occasion. I model as well, and just because I am male instead of female seems to be some issue with a few people. If that bothers you, then by all means find some other photographer to work with. So, I guess... be warned. I'm not about to change the things I do because some person somewhere doesn't like the fact that I may take my clothes off and enjoy the freedom as they do. That is pretty selfish and sexist on their part if you ask me. I have yet to have a model that has worked with me complain, and I have worked with hundreds. But do with their "warning" as you wish. Be it known, if you model for me, and the weather is nice, you will find me joining you in nature. This is my show, and I am going to do with it as I choose. For those who don't like it... Go stick your head up your ass and find someone else to model for. I have posed with many of the world's best-known figure models over the years and will continue to do so.
Q: I have been to one of your erotic shows. There were several images with you in them. Are those women married, and if so, do their husbands know that they posed with you?
A: (You should meet up with the person above.) I do pose with models in erotic work. On my contact page are a couple of examples. There are several reasons I pose during erotic work. First is I know what I am after and having to explain to one model exactly what I want is hard enough without having to get two models on the same page. I rarely find that to work out well. Second is, the models are more apt to react the way I want with someone they are not overly familiar with. To answer your questions, yes, of the ladies I have posed with that were married, their husbands/wives were aware that we worked together on them. Some may have been single women as well.
I do wish people would get over this connection of infidelity to, creation of art. There is no correlation. If a wife's / girlfriend's breast, or other parts get touched, kissed, licked, etc. it won't get broken. She will be returned in the exact same condition she was in when she arrived. And I'm not going to steal someone's wife / girlfriend. I've got a wife already, and certainly don't want a second. Not that trading up hasn't crossed my mind, but at 70 years of age I think I will ride it out with what I've got. Rest easy significant others, your girl is not going to fall in love with a crotchety old man just because she helped create some art with him. By the way, both of those women in the images on my CONTACT page are happily married. And in terms of Abs (image on the left taken in the studio), I consider her husband a very good friend and one of the few people that can stay in my home when I am not there or use my boat to go fishing. She and I have created some of my more famous erotic work for The Kinsey Institute. See, "The Chess Player" in STUDIO, and "Renaissance Picnic" in OUTDOORS. We have worked together for about 20 years now and she can be seen in every facet of my work.
Q: If I model for you, you will give me all the images from the session on a flash drive. What am I allowed to do with them?
A: With nudes in landscapes, on the flash drive you get from me will be two folders. One, with most of the images, will be labeled as, Printable and be full resolution images. One will be labeled as, Do Not Print and will be high quality for viewing on a screen or posting on the web, and may have one to five images in it. After a session I will decide what I am going to use for gallery shows. These few images I do not allow you to make prints of because they will be sold to collectors as the only image produced, and the collectors pay for that knowledge. All of the images you get you can view, post on the internet, or share with others. You can print any of the ones in the "Printable" folder. If you find one in the "Do Not Print" folder that you just can't live without a print of, you email me and I may take it off my list for gallery work and send you a full resolution file so you can print it, or I may not. An exception to all of this is with erotic work. All of the images from an erotic shoot will be given to you in full resolution and you may do whatever you wish with them. My erotic work is shown at gallery shows as erotica, and the prints are not sold as editions of one. Models can make prints of any of the files or put them on the web or social media if they choose to do so. On a side note, I suggest using mpix for printing of images. They do a wonderful job and are reasonably priced, and quick. Stay away from places like Walmart if you want a good print. Plus, places like Walmart get a little fussy about printing nudes for some reason. I don't get it, but then I don't get a lot of things these days.
Q: I have seen a couple of your images that you refer to as light paintings. What is that?
A: Light paintings are a form of lighting that is done in the dark, or near dark conditions. Normally your camera is set on a tripod and the shutter is opened so it stays open. Then, with a flashlight or similar light source, you, for the lack of a better term, paint the light over the area you want to expose to the camera. This can be just the subject, or a vast area. I have done light painting that covered several acres in size, and ones that just covered less than a square foot. There is a light painting in the OUTDOOR portfolio here titled, Sleepy Hollow #2, for those interested in seeing what the results look like. That was done in almost total darkness one night when neither of us were sleeping well and we decided to do something to pass the time. And it was painted with light from a 2-cell flashlight that I keep in the tent near the bed in case someone has to get up to pee at night. I have used that tree several time over the years because it is pretty much in the campground I stay at quite often, and it is a friendly tree. You can see what the tree looks like during the day in another image titled, Sleepy Hollow with Hanna in it somewhere else in that portfolio. Light painting creates a dramatic effect that changes everything. You must be careful not to have yourself between the light source and the camera however as it will silhouette your body in the image. Takes some getting use to, but it is a fun thing to experiment with.
Q: If I model for you do I get to decide which images you can use?
A: No. If I take an image, I own that image and hold the copyright to it. You have no say in what I can or cannot use or keep. If it makes you feel any better, I don't recall ever having a model complain about an image I took and used here, or at a gallery show. You also have no rights to ask me to take down images in the future, should you decide then that you do not want them up on the internet. You can ask, and I may be a really nice fellow and remove them, but I don't have to. You have to remember that a shoot is not about just you. I have a lot of time, money and effort invested in those images, which I am attempting to make my living off of. When you ask me to take down images of you, you are also asking me to give away all that time, money and effort I put in, and any income I may have made from those. There is more than you involved with this.
Q: Can I pose for erotic work with my boyfriend (husband; girlfriend; wife)?
A: (I get this question all ways.) No. Several reason for that. One is that I have an idea in my head, and it is hard enough to get it across to one person, let alone two people. Second is that, just like my other work you will constantly be looking to your partner to see if they think things are okay. That never works out well. Third is, you are too comfortable around your partner, and when I need an emotion, I don't want to sit there waiting for it to build, I want it now. With someone you are not familiar with it usually can happen much quicker. If I was into taking photos of couples snuggling, then things would be different, but I'm not into that. And remember, I'm taking images of what I want, not what you and your boyfriend / husband want.
Q: Posing nude is on my bucket list. But I'm not sure I can do it. What do you think?
A: I think you should go find someone else to work with. If you work with me, you will be nude most of the day and I will have seen every last detail of your body right down to that tiny mole between your butt hole and your whoo-hoo, and I really don't give it a second thought. I have seen more nude bodies than Hugh Heffner over the years. Naked just doesn't excite me. I have to be in physical contact with another body for it to be even remotely stimulating. If you show up and tell me you are not able to work with me, I will be more than pissed that you wasted my time. If posing nude for images is on your bucket list, I am more than willing to work with you, but make sure you are really willing to give it a go.
Q: I'm an amateur photographer and would like to work with some of your models. Can you give me their information so I can contact them?
Q: I really like the way that one girl expresses herself. I would like to chat with her. Can you give me her email?
A: To both, and all similar questions. NO. I do not give out any of my model's information to anyone. And, if you work with me, you will be given the same data protection. You can also go by any name you want, should I include a name with an image. Although some models use their real first names, you never see a real last name associated with an image. Only makes sense.
Q: Can my boyfriend come along if he promises to stay out of the way.
A: No. Same goes for friend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or any other person. If they are not in the images, they are not welcome. Period. If you show up with someone I will pack up and leave you there by yourselves. I will not tolerate breaking this rule, and we will never work together in the future. It is such a simple rule, and yet... I have left a few out in the middle of nowhere.
Q: What kind of camera do you use?
A: Before I answer that let me tell you a little story. I was once shooting skeet at a gun club. I noticed a well-known skeet shooter there and we got to talking. He had won many competitions over the years and was sort of a legend in the skeet community. I asked him what kind of gun he was currently using, and he told me it was an old Winchester pump he had just picked up for 50 dollars at a garage sale. He proceeded to shoot a straight 25 target round with that old gun that he had never fired before. Some of us where shooting $3,500. custom made guns. I learned then that it is not the equipment, but the operator.
I am still using a Nikon D300 that was discontinued in 2009. A 12 mp sensor. It is comfortable in my hands, and I have actually added weight to it so it balances the way I want. I don't have to look at the dials to see what they do because I know where they are and what they do without looking. Yes, the 45 mp sensors have been out a while now, along with mirrorless cameras. I don't need one. I really didn't need this 12 mp camera, but I had to get a new one when my Nikon D100 (6 mp) camera took a dive in the lake. With the current D300 I have had made a 6 foot by 8 foot print that hung in The Art Institute of Chicago. Oh, if someone wants to give me one of the latest cameras, I certainly would not turn it down, but I am not going to go out and buy one when I really don't need it. The camera is just a tool. A light tight box with a shutter. The 12 mp sensor is more than adequate for anything I do. In terms of lenses, I normally have on a 24-70mm 2.8. That takes care of 99%+ of the photography I do. I have a dozen or more lenses from 18mm to 500mm but rarely use any of those. And if I am feeling nostalgic, I break out a 4X5 sheet film camera. But with three lenses and 25 film holders, along with the tripod it gets a bit heavy for me to lug about these days. I'm not as young as I use to be, so it gets left home most of the time now.
Q: What mode do you set on your camera?
A: Manual. Period. Modes were invented for people who don't want to learn how to photograph, just take pictures. Why would you want some software engineer at Nikon (Canon, Minolta, Sony, etc.) deciding what your photo should look like? Plus, unless things have drastically changed, I am not fond of the exposures the mode setting give you. Too often the highlights are blown out, or the shadows are too dark. Terrible invention as far as I am concerned. For those who don't know what we are talking about, Modes are: Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority where you set one and the camera automatically sets the other based on what it thinks it should be. Then there is Auto mode where the camera picks both shutter speed and aperture, and on some cameras the iso (sensitivity) that we use to call film speed. I want to be in full control of all and not let some software make decisions as to what it was programed to make images look like. Rarely would we be on the same page.
Q: Are those the real names of your models on your site?
A: Some are, some aren't. I leave it up to the model what name they want associated with their images. Some use their real first name, some use a made-up name. Nobody uses their real last name, for obvious reasons. I post what they want. I would guess around 80% are real names. Seems like the ladies I have been working with for years use their names, whereas the one- or two-time models use made up names. There are some exceptions though. Three come to mind. Blue River Dream, e-string, and Artistic Physique, who have been modeling for a long time under those names. Oh, and then there is Sarah 219. Since there are several Sarahs, this one decided to call herself Sarah 219. She is the Sarah who adorns my home page. Some of the models don't want any name associated with their work. I work with several schoolteachers who are totally anonymous here, and for good reason. The "Church Ladies" would be screaming to the school boards if they found out their child's teacher took off her clothes. I have actually been involved with a few school boards that did find out, reviewed the images and decided they were art and paid no more attention to the issue. But those were school districts in major cities and not some small-town school board that has not progressed past the 1800s. Unfortunately, I live in one of those areas where the 1800s mentality permeates all activities, even to the point where schools still let kids get out of classes to go to church meetings. If that doesn't say, "We refuse to evolve", I don't know what does.
Q: Do you allow other photographers to go out with you on your shoots? And do you host workshops?
A: No, and no. I do not do workshops anymore. I have been known to go out with a couple of good friends on shoots together, but I rarely come back from those outings feeling like I accomplished anything. I need to be alone with a model to get any serious work done. I do work with models who also like to photograph, and some of them are very good photographers. But that is a give and take where I have to model for them as well. But dragging another photographer along so they can do their thing... no. I have been burnt too many times by other photographers stealing a shot of my set ups with a model. Plus, it is not fair to the model to ask her to adapt from one photographer's style to another. I need my model to be in tune with what I want the entire day, or days we are working together. I see no good coming from a shoot with multiple photographers. That is why workshops are for beginners. Serious photographers won't be found at one. They are a good gig for a traveling models however.
Q: Do you have a pay web site where you have your work?
A: No. My work is shown in galleries, and on this site. This is the only place I post my work on the internet now. I'm not on model / photographer sites, and I do not blog. I use to be, but not for a long time now. There may be some old work floating around out there. My images can also be found elsewhere on the internet by people who have stolen them. I run across them occasionally where morons have made collections of other people's hard work. You can't seem to stop those low life people no matter what you do. That is one of the reasons the images you see here are fairly small and can't be clicked on to make them bigger. The thieves don't like stealing small images as much.
Q: Isn't it hard to be around such beautiful women all the time?
A: On the contrary. It is so easy to be around them. That is why I can be found hanging out with them even when we are not working. Way more relaxed than hanging out with men, whom I dislike. If you are really asking me if hanging out with nude women gets me aroused, the answer is no. Not in the least. I have become numb to the naked body and view it only as a prop for my work. It does happen during couple's erotic work most of the time because we are physically involved with one another (I'm not dead yet), but during my normal nude in landscape activities I hardly notice the human form except in positioning. I have been known, on many shoots, to finish up several days' worth of shooting and be unaware if the model I had been working with had been clean shaven or was naturally full hair in the pubic area.
Q: I gather you are not religious by your comments on "Church Ladies".
A: This is kind of off track, but I guess I have brought it up. First, the term "Church Ladies" does not necessarily mean women from the church. It refers to people, whether men or women who find images of the nude offensive and vulgar. They look at work like mine and call it porn, as though they have some understanding of porn. I do find that most of these people are also very religious, which is why they think like they do. But you are correct. I think religions are akin to believing the world is flat. In time people will realize just how silly it is. The bible, and other religious books with their stories were fitting back when written, but like the witch trials, things prove to be other than what we thought. There are so many religions, and each one thinks theirs is the only true one. They are all just cults. When humans get over being afraid to die and never being again, they will stop this foolishness of needing an afterlife, which is what religions are all about. We are given the ability to understand death, but not the emotional ability to deal with it. And the religions pray upon that. Plus, they breed thoughts like, being without clothes is dirty morally.
Nuf on the "Church Ladies". I tend to rant too much. But I will leave it as, I think they are people who are pretty much just weak minded, afraid, and brainwashed by cult leaders (pastors, priests, etc.) with phobias, and misguided morals and beliefs. But I will not make any attempt to change someone's mind on this issue. Each to their own beliefs.
Q: Why are some of your images titled, and some not?
A: If an image was shown in a gallery show it is usually titled for that show and appears here. The ones without titles generally have not been in gallery shows. There are exceptions for reasons I will not go into here.
Q: What do you do when you are not working on photography?
A: Mostly attempting to get my work into galleries. Of what I do that takes up about 75% of the time involved. Besides that, I do arborist work when the weather is nice, and I have no photography sessions. I teach aerial rescue. I have a dog who likes to go out in the woods and on the boat, so she keeps me busy as well. Then there is the honey dew list. Having a home keeps me repairing all sorts of things that break at the most inopportune times. Then I teach photography for community ed. classes. In there, somewhere, I get to go out with the ladies and take photos.
Q: Do you ever photograph men?
A: I have. But... I live in the north woods of Minnesota. The men around here are loggers who mostly hang out at the taverns when they are not working. I don't think I need to explain the reason I have a lack of males willing to pose nude for me. But I am always hopeful one will have a shred of art in their genes and want to give it a go some day. Most of them are reasonably built fellows, and I would enjoy working with them, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Some of the women however aren't as redneck about creating art with their bodies as the boys. But I am also swamped with "Church Ladies" in this wilderness, who think I am evil for photographing the human body, which is shameful in its being. They're just strange people. I'm guessing they just don't want their spouse to see a nude person that looks better than they do. But I got off track once again. Men are welcome to model for me as much as women.
Q: When did you take your first nude photo?
A: That is a story unto itself. I was young. Pre-teen. Maybe 11 or 12. I had been given a sheet film camera that had belonged to my grandfather. It was an odd size for the U.S. market, and I had to cut down 4X5 film to fit the holders. I had a darkroom in our basement and spent a lot of time shooting, developing, and printing. I thought I was pretty good. I really wanted to photograph a nude woman. I had already seen the neighbor girl of the same age naked, and it did nothing for me. I wanted to photograph an adult woman with a curvy body. So, I did what any boy that age would do, I asked my mother to pose for me. She was a painter and was not one to flat out tell me no. But she did ask me to draw what I had in mind. I quickly grabbed a pencil and paper and sketched out what I thought might look like a nude woman on a couch. I'm sure it was very bad. My mom looked at it and said, "If you can't draw the human figure, you have no business photographing it." But the story didn't stop there. She gave me some of her drawing books to study, and I did. I practiced drawing and drawing, and drawing. About a month later I asked her to pose for me. And once again she asked me to draw what I had in mind. With my pencil and paper, I drew a nude woman on a rock, all shaded in with various amounts of shadow and detail. She looked at my drawing and smiled. She posed for me that afternoon, although not on a rock. My father was not pleased, and I suspect was responsible for me not being able to find my negative when I went to make a print of that image. Moral of that story holds true with me even today as I look at other people's nude work and I find myself muttering to myself, "If you can't draw the human figure, you have no business photographing it."
Q: I'm not comfortable by myself. Can I model when other models are going to be there?
A: I would not count on that. Although in my Behind The Scenes section here you see several models on set, it is actually rare that I use more than one model at a time. Once or twice a year. Mostly those are weeklong, or better traveling shoots where it is good to have several models on hand in case one gets sick or worn out. When you spend several thousands of dollars on an outing, it is good to have backup. And you are not going to get invited on one of those trips as a newbie. Outings like that are for proven models. Most sets are done with only one model. Makes my life a lot less complicated, and there is more room in the tent. Also, I really dislike having multiple models at once. One director / one model gets the best work done.
Q: You wear kilts and dresses. Do you wear anything under them?
A: First, why would you ask such a question? Second, I don't wear dresses, I wear skirts. Transvestites and women wear dresses. I find kilts and skirts way more comfortable than pants, and at my age I don't give a shit about what people think of it. I'm in this for comfort, not fashion. Think about it for a second. With our extra body parts already crowded between our legs, why would you want to shove a couple more wads of fabric up there. Skirts were worn by men long before some idiot invented pants and thought that was a good idea. Besides, women rarely wear them anymore, they took over pants. And no, I don't wear anything under them. I like to ventilate. I still wear pant for arborist work and aerial rescue work, where the harnesses do not fit well around a skirt. By the way, a long skirt is much warmer in the winter than pants. The heat from your legs just floats around under there, where with pants it radiates right through the fabric. Except for dangling in a harness from a tree while running a chainsaw, or removing a incapacitated person from a precarious place, I see no benefit to wearing pants, but plenty of disadvantages. If I could figure out how to put on a harness with a skirt, I would throw away what pants I have. Oh, and weed whacking. Nice to have my legs covered when I do that, although I find myself not bothering to change most of the time, much to the dislike of my shin bones.
Q: Can I come along and carry your gear?
A: No. If I ever need someone to come along and carry my gear, you would now be number 3,887 on the list of people who have asked the same question.
Q: I am interested in buying one of your prints. Where can I do that?
A: If you buy one of my prints, you will own the only one of those prints. I only make one. The collectors that regularly buy my work count on them owning the only one in existence. That said, there are two ways to buy my work. You can go through one of the galleries that represent me, or you can deal with me directly. Through me you will get a better deal as the galleries mark the price up to cover their costs, and it is a healthy mark up. Usually, some 40 to 60%. Use the email address on my contact page if you want to deal with me.
If the image has already been made into a print for a gallery show, that print is what you will be buying. I will not make one of a different size. If it has not been printed yet, then I can make it in whatever size you are wanting, within limits of what I think it should be. I will not make an 8x10 or some such piece of crap. 11x17 would be on the small end of the spectrum. And the cost of the print would not vary with the size. I charge for my time involved in creating the work and a bit for my profit margin. The difference between a 17-inch print and a 48-inch print is negligible. Also, I do not sell an image that is color as a monochrome, or vice versa. It is what it is.
And last but not least the most asked question, for some odd reason I have yet to understand:
Q: Do you sleep with your models?
A: Yes, all of them. Occasionally I have trouble shutting down my brain, but normally I am out like a light as soon as my head hits the pillow. After a hard day of hiking and shooting sleep comes pretty easily. Although Beth snores real loud and sometimes I do have trouble dozing off with her. And Abs. She likes to roll the cover off me, and I wake up freezing. Oh, and Nadine, who likes to snuggle, so I don't want to fall asleep, but sleep overtakes the desire to stay awake. Also, Denise because I stay awake hoping she will snuggle, but never does. So, I guess I would have to say, about 95% of them I sleep very well with. The other 5% I manage to get at least some sleep with.
Oh, a Catholic school teacher, of all things.
Cradle of Life #4