Thursday, May 27, 2010

The BOOK of ZEDNERAM

DreamZ

I’ve watched you…
There against the wall
Hanging around
That pose you adopt
The language of your body
My fantasy
Kneeling…
Open…
Waiting…
For?

I imagine you much closer
The touch of your skin
And the scent

Your body turned away
On full display
The glance over your shoulder
Teasing me
The effect on my body
Evident
The desire created
A need for release

I move closer
Touch you
Trace the contours of your body
Before me, yet intangible
In, and yet outside of my world
Alive in the frame

The artist’s creation
You hang on my wall
Too far
I bring you closer to my bed
A trick of the light and you move
For me
Inside my fantasy
Eyes open – breathe in
Eyes closed – exhale
Slow breath, rapid heartbeat
And you’re here
As I dream
(Inspired by the art of Zedneram)


The BOOK of ZEDNERAM
A photographer tells stories with images and lets the viewer supply the words. The beauty of the tale being that it is open to interpretation by each viewer making the beginning, middle and end fit the scenario of an individual’s choosing. Some stories are more direct, while others more difficult to decipher, but the thoughts are created, the opinions formed and the avenue for discussion open.

Art, by my definition, could be anything that prompts these types of responses, and I don’t align myself with the idea that we have to like it or agree with it. Art can be pleasant or it can be uncomfortable, sublime or obvious, innocent or highly erotic. Your pornography could be my art, just as my violence could be your art. It is the blessing and the curse of subjectivity and art is most definitely subjective.

Zedneram is an artist. He is a creator. And as such, he has been open to both praise and criticism. But first and foremost, he is a person, Desi Arnaz, with vision and the conviction to capture that vision so that we may indulge.
__________________________________________________________________________

Pt. II - His Work



BLISS: Your work has been described with a variety of adjectives, with sensual being one of the tame descriptions. How would you define your style?

ZEDNERAM: I never try to define my style because I think it's always changing.

B: Where do you find most of your models?

Z: Models come from all over actually. Some come from Model Mayhem and other model sites.


B: People are probably more familiar with you images of men, but you also shoot women. Do you have a preference?

Z: No I don't have a preference, but I have more male featured models than female.




B: Do you approach a photo shoot in the same way regardless of gender?

Z: Yes and it also depends on the shoot.

B: Is there a process before a shoot, such as getting to know the model, or do you use the session to become familiar with each other?

Z: I try not to get personal with models; I like to keep it professional sort of in and out. Now obviously I have become very close friends to many of my featured models after we shoot. Normally in the beginning it’s usually just about ideas and concepts about the shoot.


B: One of the aspects that have always stood out in your work is the expressions and emotions you are able to capture from your models. How do you get them to open up in front of the camera?

Z: It's just acting pretty much. I tell them a scenario and we go for it. Most of the time I jump in a show them the pose or energy that I'm seeking.



B:  Have you ever worked with a model who found it difficult to project for the camera? If so, how do you overcome this obstacle?

Z:
Yes I have and usually I jump in and show them the pose or look that I'm looking for. It usually comes out pretty good. I found that some models need a reference point so it's important for me to be able to give them one.


B: You've photographed a variety of individuals, but there are some who are represented more often in your portfolios. Do you have a personal favorite or muse?

Z: There are a few that stand out more than others. But I love everyone that I've photographed in their own special way. Everyone is different and so is every shoot.

B: Do you a have a particular photo shoot that stands out as being one of the best experiences?

Z: Working with Noah Scott has to be one of my top favorite experiences. His energy and focus is just AMAZING. We shot for 2 days and each time he never lacked at any point. We shot for hours and hours on end, he keeps his energy up and was so focused.




B: What about on the opposite end? What was your most difficult photo shoot?

Z: Usually starting out I will end a shoot within 5 minutes if it's not working. I've had to do that a few times. I don't want to waste anyone's time nor mine.


B: I mentioned you in a feature on did on photographer Joseph Smileuske saying "Zedneram has mastered the art of in-your-face sensuality, displaying his models in intensely erotic poses that remarkably stay within the borders of good taste".  Have you done any shoots that you felt crossed the line?

Z: Yes I think I have actually...lol

B: What do you consider erotic in terms of photographic images?

Z: That's hard to say because there are so many displays of erotic imagery.  There are many images that display certain expressions or eroticism without body parts exposed.

B: Is there a difference between erotic and pornographic or is it merely a matter of personal perspective?

Z: I personally think it's the lighting...LOL

B:  A great deal of your work displays the raw sensuality of the models. I discovered that many photographers (including myself) have taken it to the next level and shot graphic sexuality, which can be found in the portfolios on 2K Models. Have you ever taken more graphic images?

Z: Yes I have.

B: In the majority of ports that feature male nudity, there is a definite emphasis placed on the penis. Your work tends to favor the buttocks, and even your full frontal images have the models posed so that the rear is figured prominently. Are you an ass man?

Z: I think most people would say so judging from my many different ports, but I think it's an area that doesn't get a lot of exposure from other male imagery. I would rather shoot from behind than frontal because most male models are comfortable with displaying their back side than front. Plus I think I have a knack for making everyone look like they have an AMAZING backside. LOL And usually everyone does.


B: You have a number of photos that I consider the male version of the spread beaver shot. How do you make the models comfortable with the idea of "opening up" in that area, so to speak?

Z: HAHA (Laughing LOUD) Seriously, most male models that do skin and body shots are familiar with my work and they know if we shoot that way, it's going to look good. I think a lot of the images look all sexy but as we know it's a lot of different body positions that hurt to get these shots. It's not an easy position but usually all are pleased with the outcome.




B: One of the things I love about your work is that you shoot a great deal outside of the studio. You even manage to make a hallway look interesting. Do you prefer in studio or location work?

Z: I can shoot anywhere, so it really doesn't matter to me. I love it all.

B: Where do the concepts for images come from? Is it a collaborative effort?

Z: Most of the concepts come from me, but a lot come from models as well. And I love that because I learn a lot as well. Some models are very creative and a lot of fun.


B:  Have you ever had an idea that was too risqué for the model?

Z: Not really, I usually have an idea of how far they want to go, but again we discuss all ideas and concepts in the beginning before the shoot.


B: Physically speaking, what is your favorite aspect of a model - face or physique?

Z: It doesn't really matter to me, because I shoot models with different face and physical features. I have gotten "What do you see in this model" so many times. But I love unique looking people. I just love shooting models that other photographers won't. Usually they are the most fun to work with… more creative and open to many concepts and ideas.


B: Does having an amazing physique cancel out an unattractive face?

Z: No not at all.

B: I have so many favorites in your portfolio, but I'll mention two for now: the nude of Peter Le hanging out of the doorway of what looks like a tool shed, and the series of shots you did of LatnMdel in front of the huge IKEA mirror. Do you have any favorites in your vast catalogue?



Z: Yes, there are tons...lol
B: I created BLISS as a means of celebrating some of the artists that truly inspire me, so many of my influences are evident. Naturally you are one of them, and I'm sure there are many other photographers who would echo that sentiment. But what about you? Can you name at least 5 photographers whose work you admire and describe what it is about their work that you admire?

Z: Justin Monroe - Just love the bold, creative and in your face concepts...breaking all the rules.
Scott Marrs - Amazing concepts, styling and model selections.
Rick Day - Beautiful lighting, concepts and models.
Kurt Brown - Beautiful men of color, locations. Kurt's work just makes you feel good.
Mark Grantham - Interesting location, love the use of beautiful body lines and models.

There are many, many others such as Walter Parada, Gregory Prescott, Skyyler Imagery, AJR Imaging, Luis Rafael and more but you said 5...lol

B: Now clearly, you have no problem with nudity in photos, but there are some who object to it. What do you have to say to them?

Z: Nothing.


B: I was communicating with another photographer who has shot some beautiful artistic nudes, but branched off to try more erotic images. He ran into some reluctance when approaching models he wanted to work with who viewed his port and shied away. Do the models who see your work assume that they will have to pose nude?

Z: Yes some do which is not the case. I work with tons of models who don't pose nude.
"POSING NUDE IS NOT A REQUIREMENT WHEN WORKING WITH ME" lol I have to say that.

B: I strongly feel that we live in a hypocritical society that tries to focus on old fashioned and completely outdated codes of morality and decency. There is so much talk about how horrible pornography is, for example, and yet the industry out grosses both the music and theatrical film industries combined. It can't be just us freaks buying all that stuff, right? But I also feel there is a double standard placed on female versus male nudity, as well as girl/girl pairings compared to guy/guy pairings. What is your viewpoint on the subject?

Z: I feel the same as you on this.

B: If Model Mayhem is any indication, almost everyone in the world entertains the idea of being a model. Only handfuls really possess the physical requirements to be a runway or commercial model, but there are still ample opportunities to make money. What do you say to the aspiring male model, who is only 5'8" or 5'9", with an amazing physique who posts on his port that he will not shoot nudes, implied or otherwise? Is this a wise career decision?

Z: That's a decision he has to make. I see that some models do post things like that could also come off as difficult to work with. If something is not right for you, don't do it. But posting "will not shoot nudes, implied or otherwise" also means you are not open to shoot with AMAZING designers, stylist and other artist. Not that the model has to pose nude, but be open to concepts and ideas of very creative people. He can have a very limited modeling career, but that's his option.


B: Ethan James and I were talking one night about models we have worked with who steadfastly refuse to do nudes of any kind, but then they have the opportunity to work with someone like Justin Monroe and suddenly they are not only nude, but displayed with full erections in some outlandish and highly sexual scenario. Do you think the talent and high profile of certain luminaries like Justin is the motivating force behind this change of heart? If so, what is your opinion on that?

Z: I think it's great. If a model decides to not work with me and shoot nudes but goes and works with Justin, it's totally fine. Justin does some pretty AMAZING work. The model might feel that my work isn't at that level of Justin's and that's the model’s opinion and option to do so. I really don't have a problem with that. There are models that will shoot nudes with me but not with other photographers and that's OK. I think we have so many models that we work with and it's totally fine if someone isn't comfortable shooting certain things with me.


B: Speaking of Justin...here is an artist with an unequaled imagination, along with the Photoshop skills to bring those incredible visions to life. But what about all the “wanna-be” Justin's who are only marginally talented with a camera but a genius on the computer? Do you think a horrible photo that has been manipulated to look good should still qualify as a great image? Should this count as photography or as graphic art?  

Z: I think they work hand and hand. Some are AMAZING with Photoshop and some don't edit that much. Both work for me. There are a lot of Graphic Artists out there who say they are photographers. Who am I to judge? As long as the work is beautiful, I don't mind either way.


B: In terms of the photographic process, many models don't seem to understand that once the shoot is over, the photographer is left with countless hours of the editing process. How much time do you spend editing your photos?

Z: OMG!!!! THE EDITS! I really hate editing...lol but we all have to do it. I spend a lot of time editing. I really love shooting and creating different styles and concepts more than editing...ah!


B: On my blog, I have a model wish list that is continually updated featuring guys whose ports I've run across on Model Mayhem or one of the other sites. Last month’s cover boy, GIO and his brother ARMANI are two examples. Is there a model or models that you would love to have the opportunity to work with?

Z: I think over the years I've gotten to work with a lot of models that I wanted to work with. There are a few more I would love to shoot with.


B: I find that ideas for shoots will pop into my head when I'm busy with my daily life, and then I have to find a model that fits into that idea. Often times these ideas get lost in the shuffle. Is there any idea or concept that you've always wanted to incorporate into your portfolio but have yet to make happen?

Z: There are always ideas floating around in my head for shoots, once I get the right model for an idea I usually shoot it.

B: If you had the opportunity to shoot one person who is no longer alive, who would it be and why?

Z: Jim Morrison of The Doors, love his look, energy and dark side. I really loved his philosophy on life. One of my idols!


B: When can we expect the Zedneram coffee table book? What would the title of such a book be?

Z: There will be two at the same time; One titled "Zedneram's Skin" and the other 'Zedneram's Punks"

B: What exciting projects do you have lined up for 2010?

The books and limited shooting.


B: Any last words for your fans as well as someone who wants to work with you?

Z: Thanks for all the mad love and support. It really means a lot. If someone wants to work with me, just be yourself and "BE BOLD, BE BEAUTIFUL & BE FREE"

©2010 - Sean Dibble

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