Saturday, November 28, 2009

TURK MASON...The Model...

. . . . . . . .TURK - THE MODEL. . . . . . . .
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B: You did your first nude photo shoot at 18, but have since been shot by some of the most incredible artists working today. Many of them are favorites of mine, and I'm going to ask you about them later. How did the more mainstream sessions come about?


TM: Just by word of mouth I think, there are quite a few networks of photographers out there that get together and share models, and after my first couple of shoots I was getting booked pretty regularly with other photographers both mainstream and adult.

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B: Do you actively seek to work with new photographers or do they come to you?
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TM: It’s a little of both, if I see a style I like I am not afraid to approach them.

B: Many of the photographer's you've worked with would not be classified as porn artists. Have any of them branched out and explored hardcore images with you?

TM: Many of them have. I tend to be more comfortable nude than with my clothes on and photographers usually realize that pretty early on in the shoot. I am also very willing to do just about anything to get the shot. My favorite line is “I have never done this before” … I hear it all the time. Most of the time the nude images I get with these more mainstream photographers I am asked to credit with a different name, an alias the photographer comes up with, but I don’t mind.
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B: I would image that there are quite a few people who are not aware of the fact that adult stars are often the models of choice for mainstream photographers. Do you enjoy doing the G and PG images as much as the more explicit ones?
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TM: I love doing fashion shots, but I am like I said much more comfortable nude, more in my element.
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B: You have been featured in a few photo books. I want to first mention one that is solely images of you by a photographer that I have a deep admiration for - Mark Grantham. The images are from two sessions and were shot on location. Can you talk a little about that project?
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TM: Yes, I have shot with Mark several times now, solo and with J Phoenix (a fellow model and friend) and I always love working with him, the end product is always fantastic. Mark chose a select group of models to create about 5 books celebrating these models individual work with him, and I am proud to have been one of those models. Mark’s style is very fine art erotic which is a style I have always loved.
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B: I consider Mark to be a true and passionate artist, and my communications with him have led me to the conclusion that he is also a sweet soul. What was it like to work for him?
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TM: Great, he truly is a master of his craft and very sweet. After my last shot with him he cooked me dinner and offered me a place to stay for the night if I didn’t want to make the long drive back home that night. And every summer he invites me and all his other models to a swim party at his house in Santa Cruz. He is a great guy and so easy to work with I sometimes forget its work.
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B: You are also featured in a rather famous collection of images by the one and only Justin Monroe. I would have to say that there are very few people; no matter what level of the industry they fall, that don't know who this visionary artist is. The book was his first, entitled "Down the Rabbit Hole". How did this come about, and what was it like to work with him?
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TM: I have worked with Justin two times and each time was, for lack of a better word, magical! He is a visionary; his works are always so inspired, intricate, fun, and erotic. It’s everything you could want in a photograph. The first time I worked with him we shot in the back of a semi-truck parked out on a street corner in the middle of downtown LA. I played the role of a dirty sex-charged trucker, and I posed with nothing but a trucker hate both in and out of the truck for several of the shots.
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The second time I shot with Justin I played a puppet alongside J Phoenix and puppet master model Johnny Raymond Jr. This was an erotic Pinocchio inspired set that took an entire day to shot. We were completely covered in airbrushed body makeup, none of the clothing we had on was real, it was all paint, pretty cool.
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B: Justin's shots can be incredibly complex since he creates these mini worlds. His photos tell stories, even if it is just a single image. What is the process when working with him?
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TM: He always has a concept in mind and will do whatever it takes to get that image perfect, even if that means stealing an American flag to go it, ha-ha, he knows what I’m talking about. The setup always takes the longest, but he shoots very rapidly once all is perfect. He too is very fun and easy to work with.
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B: Is there always a clear concept in mind when you shoot or do the photographers allow for spontaneity?
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TM: It tends to depend on the photographer as far as a concept goes, however spontaneity has always been welcomed on every shoot I have done.
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B: Zedneram is another photographer that has created a niche. His photos are often infused with sexuality and erotic elements, but he somehow manages to stay within some invisible line. What was it like to work with him?
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TM: Again, another great photographer, easy going and fun to work with, Zedneram has a very distinctive style that sets him apart from other photographers. Look at one of his images and you will automatically know it is one of his.
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B: I've talked to many models and there is a definite feeling that working with Justin Monroe is inspirational and the cornerstone to challenging oneself to step outside of a personal comfort zone. The other photographer that models refer to as achieving an ultimate goal if they work with him is Dylan Rosser. You have the distinction of working with both. How do their styles differ?
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TM: Quite a lot actually, I think it is obvious from their works that each has a look they go for. One is very over the top, raw, erotic, and often humorous or supernatural. The other is very clean, simple, and always beautiful. They both capture the sexual beauty of a man but in very different ways. I am so happy to have worked with both on more than one occasion. I consider them both more than just photographers, but inspirations, and more importantly friends.
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B: Dylan photographed you with one of my personal favorites - J Phoenix - (as did Mark Grantham) and the images of the two of you are always incredible. You guys exude undeniable chemistry. Can you talk about your collaborations with J?
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TM: I have collaborated with J many times now with several well known photographers, and I am sure we will work together again very soon. The funny thing is we did not plan to work together on any of these shoots, each time the photographers handpicked the two of us to work together. We do have a great chemistry, one that has proven to sometimes get us in trouble with each other. We have actually only known each other for a year and in that time we have become incredibly close. We have so much in common, and get along so well it’s a wonder why we are not dating, ha-ha!
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B: When you worked with as many respected photographers as you have, it can be both difficult and uncomfortable to single certain ones out. I know I can't do it, but I can choose a few whose work I'm the most familiar with and ask you to describe their style and the experience in a few short sentences.
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TM:
a) Kurt R Brown creates stunningly beautiful lines in his photographs and is a very funny guy in person.
b) Jeff Slater is a good friend and favorite of mine; he creates very classic pieces, pieces that will surely stand the test of time, and he is always willing to try something new.
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c) Adam Bouska is the absolute best at making a photo pop.

d) Issac Photography has great concepts and is a pleasure to work with. No two sets he does are ever alike.


e) Lope Navo has a very old Hollywood glamour feel to his photographs, while at the same time making them so incredibly sexy your eyes cannot look away.
f) Sandro Bross has an incredible eye for what is sexy without being overly erotic.


g) Ryan Wibawa is excellent at close-up beauty shots as well as large cast fantasy shots.
h) Scott Marrs is the most creative, inventive, and skilled photographer and photo editor I think I have ever had the honor of working with.



B: Of all the shoots you've done, are there any that truly stand out for some specific reason?

TM: The ones that tend to stand out are the ones were I get to be more than just myself. The shoots where I take on a character, such as the puppet with Justin Monroe, and a Satyr, Tar Monster, and Super Villain with Scott Marrs. All of these shoots took a lot of preparation time but each was very worth it for the incredible end products.


B: What was the most difficult experience you've had regarding a shoot?


TM: I did one shoot where I was in a pool posing while trying to float on about 6 different animal shaped floating toys. Between trying to stay afloat, look good, keep my hair dry, and keep all the floaters facing the camera – it was quite a challenge.

B: Has your adult film career opened more doors in terms of working with photographers?

TM: I think it has, having a ‘name’ always helps.

B: Have you ever been turned down by a photographer because of your adult career?

TM: Not so far.

B: I've heard some horror stories lately, and you don't have to name names, but has a photographer ever crossed the professional line during a shoot? If so, do you think this is because of your adult profession?

TM: Yes, several have, and yes I do believe it has to do with my being an adult entertainer, but for the record it is not appreciated. We models talk too, and if a photographer gets out of line with one of us, they will basically become blacklisted from the rest. It’s never in a photographer’s best interest to assume a model will be open to doing anything sexual with them.
B: You know one of my favorite images of you, but do you have a favorite of all the photos you've done?

TM: It’s so hard to choose just one. There is a solo shot of me by Mark Grantham that I absolutely love, it is a nude shot of me up against a graffiti covered wall – it is just so relaxed yet erotic, it’s beautiful.

Another is a duo shot by Ryan Wibawa of myself and model Ryan Diesel – it’s a sort of Angel vs. Demon shot, it is so hot.
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B: There are so many talented photographers out there now, and you've already worked with so many, but is there a particular one that you've yet to work with but would like to?
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TM: Yes, I would love, love, love to work with Rick Day in New York. We have spoken before and plan to work together the next time I make it to the east coast, I can’t wait! His works are among the sexiest male shots out there today.
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B: I have to agree with you there. I think Rick Day is phenomenal, but for some reason his name is not as well known outside the industry as it should be. He’s a legend in the eyes of quite a few male models and his name crops up often when I interview and ask which photographer the model dreams of working with. He is one of my fantasy interviews, along with Luis Rafael and Justin Monroe.
There is much diversity in your portfolio, ranging from the boy next door, to the porn sex symbol, as well as your circus style shots with Justin Monroe. Is there an image, idea or concept that you've wanted to create but have yet to do?
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TM: I am always looking to do anything new, now I am primarily looking to do more edgy, riskier pieces over the more traditional fashion and nude works I already have. I recently completed an entire bondage series that I thoroughly enjoyed and there are a few other similar types in the works.
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B: Without meaning to put you on the spot...can you name 5 models that you've either worked with or would like to work with that truly stand out in your opinion?
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TM: Of course! The following 5 I have worked with one or more times and would recommend to any photographer…
1) Drake Diaz (www.modelmayhem.com/242930)
2) Ryan Diesel Orme (www.modelmayhem.com/628773)
3) DoCe (www.modelmayhem.com/21439)
4) Cortland A (www.modelmayhem.com/594831)
5) J Phoenix (www.modelmayhem.com/762623)
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B: Your model mayhem profile is fantastic, but sadly limited. You have such a vast catalogue of images. Have you considered having a mainstream Turk website to showcase your modeling work?
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TM: I showcase my modeling work as well as my adult work on my site http://www.turkxxxonline.com/.
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B: What is the most important thing you've learned in regards to modeling?

TM: Know your strengths and always be prepared to push the envelope, if you are confident in your talents you will go far.
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B: What advice would you give a new person just starting out?
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TM: Choose your photographers wisely, and NEVER get into any sort of photo situation where you are required to pay for your set. If you have what it takes and a photographer knows that, you should never have to pay a cent out of pocket.
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B: What do you consider you best feature?
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TM: Probably my face, I have a look that can be very childlike and porcelain or very harsh and exotic. Like with all other things, you just have to know how to work it.
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B: Why do you think so many photographers have sought to work with you? What is the appeal, in your opinion?
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TM: Probably my intensity, when a photographer asks me to evoke an emotion I get completely into it and feel that emotion. I believe the eyes are the window to the soul and if you can think of something to make yourself feel sad, happy, sexy, or mad, that will come through your eyes and thus your photos.

B: So what's next for Turk, the model? What upcoming projects will we see you in?
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TM: Well, coming soon is Dylan Rosser’s new book ‘RED’, were you can see some photos of myself and J Phoenix in a very intimate scene.
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I also have a very exciting pop-art style shoot coming up in the next month with photographer Topher Adam (www.modelmayhem.com/1043932). So keep on the lookout for me!
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©2009 Sean Dibble

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