Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AUDITION - THE MANY SIDES of GREGG ACORD

When we think of models, we always picture the same types, which are supposed to be these incredible visions of male and female perfection. It is the same with actors, and we have all heard the phrase that someone has "movie star looks".  The reality, in both acting and modeling, is that the fields are multi-faceted and broader than we initially think about. There are quite a few high profile actors who do not fall into the category of conventional beauty, and though many of them are referred to as character actors, they do occasionally get to play the leading roles, even in romantic films. The same is true of modeling and it is filled with individuals who can offer more than just a beautiful face and physique. And in many cases, these are the models that are the most enjoyable to work with because of the way they can inhabit a role or bring an element of realness to an image that is not always possible with tradional models.

I have to start off by saying that I love Gregg Acord. I have been intrigued by him since the first time I saw an image of his in the portfolio of Dave Lewis. Prior to this, the work that I had seen of Dave's was comprised of muscular beauties in classic art poses and I incorrectly assumed that these were the only types of images he shot. And then there was Gregg, who was the complete opposite of what I had come to expect, but who has such a relatable quality in his pictures that you get the sense that you know him, or could know him or maybe had seen him out and about somewhere. This is a quality I look for in my own models and I knew that I eventually wanted to work with this guy.


When you first hear Gregg speak you are not sure if you are speaking to the right person. His voice is light, higher than you would expect and full of youthful warmth. He sounds as if he would be a very shy person but he is completely open regarding any question you care to ask him. More importantly, he is aware of his weaknessess and not just his strengths when it comes to his place within the world of modeling, and he talks freely of the things he would like to change about himself, as well as the industry itself. And he is speaking with the voice of experience, as he has been doing this for ten years now, his resume including everything from television commercials to print to nude modeling and erotica.

Gregg and I have been planning to work together for almost a year, and eventually we will get around to it, but until then, he agreed to be interviewed for BLISS where he discusses his career, his ambitions, his life and his work with former BLISS interview subjects, Dave Lewis and Scott Swan.
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BLISS: You have been modeling for about 10 years now, including runway and nude work. How did you get started?

Gregg Acord: I actually got started from my mom. She was the one who really pushed me to follow something I was very interested in. And then when my sister was cheerleading and my mom was a co-coach we met my agent and she introduced me everything there was to know about modeling.

B: You've also done television commercials. Which ones would we have seen you in?

GA: Well I was 9 at the time, but do you remember a department store called "Lamont's" yeah that was the one I was in. The only one I was ever in.

B: Your look is very pliable, and you're completely open to changing it to fit a shoot. How would you describe your personal style away from the camera?

GA: Honestly my personal style is a cute pair of fitted jeans, great colorful sweaters and Italian slip-on loafers. And my alternate style is fitted jeans again and a nice t-shirt and great scarf and beanie.



B: Photography is always evolving, so you have most likely been through those changes in the past 10 years. How do you compare your early modeling years to now? What are the differences?

GA: Well way back when I started the modeling world was so low key just because I was a tyke and had a cute baby face and that sweet innocent voice. I remember my mother pulling me out of school all the time for auditions. After I turned 12 my father forced me to leave the agency because it was affecting my studies. It wasn't till I was 18 that I started freelance modeling and have been doing it ever since then.

B: Do you remember what your first shoot was like?


GA: My first shoot. I was 10 and it was just a couple months after I got my appendix out. My mom and family were down in Queen Anne. We went to the photographer’s studio. He put make up on me and gloss. And I brought a wide variety of different clothes with me. We picked out 3 outfits. He told me to just have fun with it and I did. I was so young and so angelic back then..

B: What was the most difficult or challenging photo shoot you involved in and what made it so?

GA: The most difficult I think for me was when I was just 19 and my photographer, David Fleming had me shoot naked in front of the camera. It was so nerve racking for me. I really didn't know what to expect or what I was doing. But he guided me in the right direction and showed me some different things to try. In the end the shots turned out amazing for that at the time but since then our shots have just improved dramatically!

B: What was the best photo shoot you were involved in?

GA: The best photo shoot I was ever involved in was with my friend/ model Scott Swan and Charles Archer was our photographer and my good friend/Make-up artist Scott B. Randall made us all dolled up and gorgeous. We shot everywhere in Seattle! Our prime location was Volunteer Park here in Seattle. We were out there for 7 hours in the sun just shooting. from aerial shots, to couples shots, to fashion, to underwear, to erotic, to romantic, to absolutely breathtaking ones!


B: How would you compare the television world with that of traditional modeling?

GA: I don't really know how to answer that one to say the least...

B: Have you ever been a victim of the notorious "casting couch"?

GA: Ha-ha the casting couch, why yes I have. I have auditioned for many commercials when I was younger but since I HAVE GROWN those many numerous call backs I got all the time have now diminished. I quit the agency when I was 13 and started doing free lance work when I was 18.

B: What are the most important lessons you've learned over the past 10 years, in regards to modeling?

GA: Always keep your cool. Your clients can recognize when you are in a foul mood or have negativity on your mind. Just be expressive without being overly aggressive. They like an outspoken person. Not quiet.

B: Making a decision to pose nude comes easily to some models, while others struggle with the decision, or just flat out refuse. When did you decide that you were willing to pose nude and what prompted that decision?

GA: I actually knew that when i turned 18 was the time to branch out of my childhood and into my adulthood. I was ready to make a change and change my entire image. My first photographer (whom i still work with occasionally) was David Fleming. A Seattle based photographer whom I found through a friend. He made it very clear what his work was, which also included nudes. I contemplated on it for a few moments and then agreed to it. We met at a local coffee shop and then shot that very next week. A great learning experience and one i will never forget.


B: You mention working with Charles Archer who took those beautiful and tender photos of you with model Scott Swan (featured in BLISS), and the two of you appear to be naked in a few of them, as well as in photos taken by Dave Lewis. Can you describe the dynamic of working with another person as opposed to solo photo shoots?

GA: Well when working alone, you are free to express yourself in many different ways, but when it comes to working with another model, you have to get a real feel for them and really dig deep into their personality to find out things they like and don't like. Scott was mysterious and quite shy when I first met him. His work really caught my eye which prompted me to immediately say hello to him through MM. A couple emails later and we were hitting it off. Then Charles found me through here and asked me to do a duo and then asked if I had someone in mind. Scott and I had been talking of working together and we were just looking for a photographer. It was all too perfect. Scott and if REALLY WARMED UP to each other over the 7 hours of shooting. It wasn't easy being affectionate towards each other but it is work and so we just did it really.

B: You also posed JJ Adams, but the photos were far more provocative. How do you prepare for such an erotic session?

GA: With JJ I knew it was erotic and that is what we both were aiming for. HE GOT ME QUITE HARD right off the bat. We started shooting and ended up having some fun while on the shoot. He was a joy to work with and I am looking forward to working with him again.


B: When you're involved with photographers who shoot erotic images, the atmosphere can be more sexually charged. Have you ever gotten aroused during one of these solo sessons? What about sessions with another model?

GA: There has been multiple times that that has happened. I always just imagine the possibilities of what could happen and I get really turned on. Sometimes it takes a while for things to work themselves out in that sense. Others it's instant. It depends on the person and photographer really. I always meet with either of them first and really get a feel for them then we plan and from then on you know the rest.


B: The photos in your portfolio are pretty diverse, and your nude work is simple and artistic, though you have done the aforementioned erotic sessions. How far would you be willing to go in terms of erotic work? For example, would you consider posing for porn?

GA: It's funny you should ask that because I have been contemplating on whether I should do porn or not ever since I was 18! But I think once I really perfect my body and really define every inch of myself, then yeah I would def pose and do a couple vids.


B: If I asked you to pick a favorite image of yourself, and explain why that particular photo was your #1, which would it be and what would you say?

GA: I actually don't have a favorite image of myself so far. I always practice my faces and poses in the mirror or wherever. But after a while you realize that not all photos can be perfect. And that's okay. Though God forbid you have a natural looking shot from one. I found that while down there the photographers like everything so clean and too air brushed. And that’s not what modeling is about. It is about expressing yourself in free art form and really showing your true colors. It’s not about being fake, or who has the hottest body or the best ass. I’m happy with my ass and working out 4x a week now is really paying off.


B: Can you tell me the names of 5 photographers that you would like to work with one day, and why you chose them?

GA: Adam Bouska- brilliant work
Jenn Hoffman- flawless beauty
You- your work is inspirational and really speaks to my true art form
TR Pics- his work is so sexually charged and so erotic. It’d be a thrill to work with him!
Simon Le- his work is absolutely beautiful and a true joy to admire. Someday I will get to Sydney and work with him!

B: What about other models...is there anyone you'd like to pose with?

GA: Models? There are so many but definitely:

Turk Mason- his beauty is a canvas work and is sexy as hell!
Chris Crocker- he is one of my favorite androgynous models and would be a true joy to work with!
Tony Gibble- He is buff, sexy, great arms, gorgeous body, spunky and sexy. I think he and I would have great chemistry.
Tila Tequila- she’s TOUGH, gorgeous, and is one stunning visual. Her spirits are always up and out there- she is a true work of art!
And last would have to be Hilary Duff- she acts, sings and models. She is my idol and has been for many years now. She has overcome Hollywood’s pressures and managed to stay out of the tabloids. Now that she is a real woman. She is really branching out and it would be a true honor to work with her!

B: What would be your dream image, meaning the shot you've always wanted to take?

GA: I always wanted a really good shot of me coming outta the ocean in a Speedo with the sun glistening all over my body and the waves just rushing all over me and the water dripping off my abs and into the sea. Yeah, definitely my dream image.

B: What's next for you in modeling or television?

GA: Modeling wise I am just working out to perfect my body as I said, but I definitely am branching out and plan on doing some work next year on the east coast and in Europe. It’s my dream to fly to London or Australia! Hell I’ll go to Iceland and pose in a Speedo just to get that one perfect shot!


 
B: Can you tell me 5 fun facts that people would be surprised to know about you?

GA: Fact 1. I'm actually a natural dirty blonde
Fact 2. I hate the color red
Fact 3. I have been with a woman before. I know that I’m definitely supposed to be with a man!
Fact 4. I actually have a guilty pleasure of opera, jazz, and classical music.
Fact 5. My eyes change color with my moods. Grey is my natural color, and is that color when I’m calm. They are blue when I’m happy, aqua when I’m horny and ice blue in the winter, which is the color they are right now.


B: Any last words?

GA: Well it has been a long and interesting journey but I wouldn't change it for anything. This road I have taken has been leading me to higher ground and I hope someday it will take me all the way around the world. My mother was the one who really pushed me to follow my dream and I thank her for that. Also my friends are my backbone. Without them I really wouldn't be where I am today. And my fans for actually believing in me and truly supporting me through the rough times and the good ones.

©2010 Sean Dibble

Photo Credits:

Les Sterling
www.modelmayhem.com/sideeffectsstudio
T-W-D Photos
www.modelmayhem.com/twdphotos
David Fleming
www.modelmayhem.com/shuttersnipe
Martin PHCHOU
www.modelmayhem.com/phchou
Charles Archer
www.modelmayhem.com/charlesarcher
Eric Gregory
www.modelmayhem.com/ericgregory
Nicky Reyes
www.modelmayhem.com/nicky
Scott Sanh
www.modelmayhem.com/ScottSanhPhotography
Dave Lewis
www.2kmodels.com/LewisArtandPhoto
Javii JWalk Photography
www.modelmayhem.com/776478
Russ Morgan Photography
http://www.russmorganphotography.com/

Additional Retouch and Editing of some images:
MR LUNA
www.modelmayhem.com/shuttersnipe
www.modelmayhem.com/mrluna
Anthony Swinsinski
http://www.anthonyswinsinski.com/
www.facebook.com/swinsinski

Monday, February 8, 2010

ALONZO GAULT - ONE TO WATCH

Alonzo Gault of Jaymz Sapphire Photo is a raw talent who works without bugets, sets, props, make-up artists and mulitple assistants. What he does use is his creativity, and an ability to connect with his models on a personal level, that is evident in the relaxed and confident demeanors of his models. It is a necessity that he is well aware of, having been in front of the lens many times himself, and he does not take for granted the importance of mutual trust between the photographer and his subject.

Alonzo was recently featured on DNA's online site with a photo shoot he did with model Viktor Jordon, whom he has also published a calandar of. And now he comes to BLISS, where he took time to answer questions for Sean Dibble of rSEANd PHOTOGRAPHY.

We will be hearing and seeing more from this emerging artist in 2010.
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BLISS: One of the aspects of your images that is so appealing to me is that you manage to capture personality in your subjects. The models don't looked posed or overstyled. Is this something that you strive for or just what comes out during a photo shoot?

ALONZO GAULT: Well it is something I believe is important to me with my photography. My mission is to capture a photo of my model that shows them what and/or how others around them see them which is what they can't see for themself. I also find it very important not to have the model trying to pose to much if they haven't been taught by a posing coach just because it can show in the actual photos. So, having the model be natural and themself and more free during the shoot is what works and proves best for me when I'm shooting.

B: You work with both genders, individually and as couples, but do you have a preference?

AG: I do work with both genders but would probley prefer to work with male models if I were given and had to make a choice.


B: How do you prepare for a photo shoot? Do you meet with the models beforehand?

AG: Some might think its wrong or a little to much in the way I go about getting ready for a shoot, but I do it because it works best for myself and for the model as well as its been shown. I tend to talk with the model on a regular basis up until the day(s) of the shoot. It allows me to get to know them, find out things that they are into and interested in (ie. hobbies, talents, etc) as well as serving as an ice breaker as well prior to shooting. We will talk via email, phone, text, IM or plan an actual in person meet to talk ideas and everything about the shoot before hand. Talking with them and getting to know more about them as a person and individual allows me to take all that into consideration for planning and creating the shoot around them so that when we are shooting the focal point is on the model in an environment or setting that they are into or have an interest in. Therefore im able to capture the real self image of them.

B: Are there any specific physical requirements that you ask for, when shooting for personal use?

AG: It all depends on if I am shooting a particular look and/or project as to if there's any type of physical requirement from the model that I would require. I like to always say I like models that have an open mind to ideas and trying new things as to whats being shot, then we can tweak it to fit any personal requirements that the model might have any concernss or requests toward. I just want the model to be himself/herself and have a great time during the shoot.

B: You have covered a broad range of styles, from classic to erotic. Which of these do you prefer?

AG: I would have to say that I enjoy doing the more artistic nude shoots. The reason being is that the human body itself is like no other art form to me. It has so many possibilities and traits to it that can be covered and molded to create and capture it in its natural raw form is the best state one could ask for. It gives one so many choices to choose from between lines, angles, curves, diagonals, shadows, etc. that can be worked with to gives ones possibilities endless.

B: Some people fall into photography by accident, while others have told detailed and specific stories of what lead them to the art. How did it come about for you?

AG: For me I actually started with doing video projects. I would do various video shoots when I went on trips or anything, and I would always have my point and shoot camera with me. I just never really would use it. From as far back as I can remember I've always had an interest in artistic b/w photography, and one trip I told myself why not give photography a shot and see what happens. So, once I reviewed the photos to see how they turned out I was quite impressed at how they looked. I then took it upon myself to wanna learn more, teach myself more and practice, which I can say in the past 2.5 years has gottin me to where I am now.

B: Are there any photographers that influenced you?

AG: When I first started exploring photography, I didn't really know all too much about it I just knew a great photo and could see the artistic eye/vision behind it when I saw it. It wasn't until I started learning, networking, and researching about it all that I begun getting inspiration from others work that I had seen.

B: There are so many photographers out there. Model Mayhem hosts a variety of incredible talents, many of whom I have deep admiration for. Can you name 5 photographers that you admire from the site, and describe their style in one sentence?

AG: Wow, I have made friends and networked with so many great and amazing photographers, its kinda hard to narrow it down to just 5 but I'll give it a shot. Let's start with Ethan James. His work to me is your traditional old fashioned overall look with poses and settings with an added modern flare. Add wardrobe and styling to create a one of a kind personalized shot with his models. Next, I will have to say MiamiPhotoGuy. With his work he seems to be more personable and playful while still being able to capture at the same time sexiness and/or passion between models. Next on my list would have to be Murray. His style to me is bold, and artistic with an amazing creative use of lighting to create an image that makes your mind wonder in suspense. Next is Mr. Ian F. Burgess. He's very unique, and uses the naturals of what's around us, while creating his very own mixture of artistic, sex appeal, physique and individuality with each model to create one big picture in the end. Last but not least, is rSEANd. With his style he doesn't worry about over styling or posing but focuses and brings out the natural self in his models, therefore showing the natural and raw in a person and their true personality. My picks reflect on a being that with looking at each photographer, I try to take pieces of their vision to create the looks that I want when shooting for myself while mixing it with the personality of the model. And with all that it allows me to create a shoot around and mold specifically to the model and have them stand out as the focal point in the shoot.

B: There are some photographers who are very critical of photoshop in terms of it's creation capabilities. They do not take issue with being able to fix minor errors, such as blemishes and lighting, but they feel that some photographers are highly skilled with the program, but lack any photographic talent. What is your take on photoshop and how it's changed the industry?

AG: Well, I think it has a lot to do with photography these days. I have to agree that there are some that don't believe in using it while others have this amazing talent working with it. I see no problem with it being used, but sometimes depending on the vision that the photographer has or a theme/purpose of the photo, using photoshop to doctor or edit the shot is required to obtain the look that is specifically wanted or needed. Other times maybe the all natural look is whats needed or requested by the photographer and there isn't any need to photoshop. My thing is it's all just a set preference per what the photographer particularly wants to do. One can't be made to use the program. Do I think it can help to improve a photo, yes, most defiantly but I also know that is can also distroy a photo as well if its over done.


B: Have you ever had to work with an exceptionally difficult model? If so, how do get through the session and still manage to produce good images?

AG: I haven't had many shoots where I've had a model that was difficult but have had a couple that proved to be a little difficult to work with to the point of almost just cutting the shoot short. The shoot was already pre planned out and it was if the model would be disagreeing with almost everything and wanting to change and make there own ideas of what should be shot. Don't get me wrong I encourage models to share there input towards the shoot itself but in this case everything had been discussed, arranged and worked out previously between the model and myself, so there shouldn't have been really much to do the day of other than to shoot. So, in the long run I ended up compromising with the model to try what it was they where mentioning and suggesting just so that we could actually get through the shoot itself without any other distractions or set backs from all the stopping. While I was trying to eliminate this from happening with preplanning everything out before hand the shoot ended up being replanned on the spot to what seemed to be half of what we had originally planned to all of a sudden changes the model had right then.


B: I'm often asked how I am able to get so many of my models to undress for the camera, as if I have some secret ritual of persuasion. I shoot nudes, and sometimes erotica, because I think the human form is beautiful and that sensuality is a natural part of life. How do you feel about nudity?

AG: My personal thoughts on nudity are that I enjoy it myself. When it comes to my photography I would say it doesn't bother me to shoot it, as it was that form of photography that always caught my attention in artistic nudes and got me started. I wouldn't say its per se anything special that I do to get any of my models to shoot nude that I have worked with, I just have always made sure that I have my details and ideas ready for the shoot and/or project that I'm working on doing already together that way I can give any information to the model about the shoot. I like shooting more of artistic nude work, but in general like shooting nudity work because I find that the human body itself is a very unique piece of artwork and has many different aspects of it that can prove to be very useful in all art forms not just photography. Being able to capture the body's lines, natural shadows, curves and all the other minor and major details it offers that gives each person there very own individuality about themself. I always admire and look for those models that are ok with shooting nude work but would never push or force a model into it if they didn't want to. Its not something that's for everybody and when doing it I like to get to know the mode a little bit just to make things a little more comfortable and relaxed for them so that they might not be as nervous or anything for and/or during the shoot.


B: You and I both have profiles on 2K models, which caters more to the erotic side of photography. What is erotic to you?

AG: When I think of erotic, I would tend to break it down into different types, kinda like how nude is split up between implied, semi and full nudity. To give a general explanation of erotic in my thoughts I would have to say that erotic is something that would showcase or guide one to interrupt the vision or concept towards a sexual act, but also keeping in mind the main tone presented in and/or by the whole photo. I also think that with shooting a male nude and a female nude, for some reason there is a huge difference in what's considered erotic between the two.

B: When does erotic cross over into pornography, or do you believe that there is not really a difference?

AG: For me I believe that the difference in erotic photography and pornographic photography is dependent on the nature and production of the shot. You could take two similar and/or exact same photos and present them with different visions and both have a totally different concept vision to them. On another front I also think how a photo comes off one way or the other is dependent on the person viewing it and their views and thoughts.


B: Where do you draw the line in terms of creating erotic art?

AG: I'm not exactly sure. I haven't exactly had the chance to really explore or even shoot in the whole erotic art area of photography, just viewed others that have. I'm not sure where I would draw the line exactly. Being that I am one that likes to be creative with my shoots and projects with creating them, I like to push the envelope and do things that some photogs and/or models might be a little shy, iffy or scared to journey off into while keeping it artistic, unique, original with a flare of either erotic or risque'.

B: There are many artists throughout history who have used themselves as subjects, even for erotic projects. There is a famous picture of Mapplethorpe with a whip in his rectum, and a nude photo of Keith Harring with his own art painted on his body. Have you, or would you ever include yourself in your photos? If so, do you have a different set of boundaries for youself as oppossed to what you would expect from one of your models?

AG: I can't say that I have ever used myself in one of my own photos, but I surely wouldn't be opposed to it at all. I think at some point it should be something all photographers should do and could even be something that if a photographer wanted to and some have been known to do and used as there trademark or as we call it like a watermark of their work. If I were to include myself in my work I wouldn't have any different bounderies from what I would do from anything that I would be asking of any of my models to do. I wouldn't ask the model to do anything that I wouldn't exactly do myself. I have some basic things that I expect from my models but anything else or extra if I wouldn't do it myself then I wouldn't be asking them to do it either.


B: If you could work with any photographer, alive or dead, who would that be?

AG: This might sound like a bad thing but its the truth. I'm not all to familiar with many if any famous or old time photographers. So, picking from those that I have seen I would have to go with Ian F. Burgess. The reason I picked him is because his work to me is a true inspiration and something along the lines of where I think or go when doing a shoot or planning a project. The thought of putting our thoughts and creative/unique minds together who knows what masterpiece would come from it. His photos include a mixture of being one of a kind, unique, artistic, class, a hint of erotic all while telling a story. The first time that I saw his work I was captivated and since have kept an update with his portfolio and work.

B: What about models? If you had the opportunity to shoot anyone, alive or dead, who would that be?

AG: This one is a tough one because there are so many models out there. But off the top of my head the model that comes to mind that I would love to have the honor to work with would be Simon Rex. The reason being is because he is such a personable guy. From keeping up with his blog, to viewing his work, his personality, spirit and hard work shine so freely and open in his work. when it comes to his modeling his flexibility and versatility are amazing as to what he can, will and has done. Just how he gets so much into character for a role or look, the professionalism and fun he shows is something I think all photographers as well as myself want when working with a model.

B: I often look at the portfolios of other photographers and end up saying, "I've got to try this or that...". Is there something that you have always wanted to try?

AG: I always look at ports that have these amazing photos with great setups, props, wardrobe, and make-up artistis and I sometimes think if I were a real photographer and had any of those things or even access to the resources I might or could do more things with my work. But one main thing I have seen and would love to do is work with one of these really talented body painters on a project. The talent and creativeness that goes into it... that it takes. With the fun that it seems like it would be to do I would love the experience of working with it and having it under my belt and a part of my portfolio.

B: On the flip side of that, I have seen images I dislike immensely for one reason or another. Have you had similiar experiences?

AG: I have seen some shots that I personally don't like or care for when I see them, but then I also keep in mind that as a photographer that maybe the person is new and just getting started and still learning. I've also seen some that just make me think what was this person thinking or where is the artistic value or vision behind this photo. Being I don't come across or see very many like that at all really, I have only seen just a few here and there.

B: I believe that photography can be more than just a self-expressive art form. In my case, it has been a bridge to some incredible friendships, as well as a tool to help build the self esteem of people that I care for. How has your art filtered ino your personal life?

AG: I would have to agree with you saying that I think photography is so so much more than a way for one to express themselves. For me its been so many things. It's been a way for me to connect with so many other amazing people like myself. It has allowed me the chance to work with others in building themselves up and their self confidence. I have made some great friendships as well as helping me to build and work on my own self confidence, because there have been so many that I have met or worked with that have been such an inspiration to me not only for my photography but also personally.


B: I have found myself in some uncomfortable situations with models, where the session created an intimate atmosphere. Have you ever found yourself in this type of situation?

AG: I can't say that I've been in an uncomfortable situation where a shoot has turned intimate, but I have had others tell or mention about a situation similar happening during one of their shoots. I try to keep things pretty open and upfront with my models I work with in letting them know about myself and how I usually conduct during a shoot. That way there are no surprises or anything and I work to keep the shoot as fun and lively as possible no matter if its a nude shoot or not, just so that the mood or vibe in the process doesn't turn into something that can lead towards that intimate path.

B: I was reading a photo forum last week and one of the topics addressed the morality issue of allowing a hot photo session to turn into a hot sex session. What is your take on the appropriateness of getting sexually involved with a model, either during or after a shoot?

AG: My thoughts on this would be I don't see it as being in anyway appropriate at any point to become or be sexual with a model during the process of a shoot taking place. It doesn't show professionalism or respect for yourself, the model or the art. Now, what I will also say is that what a photographer and a model were to do outside of working and/or a shoot is their personal business being that they are both adults and can make their own choices and do as they see fit. But as far as doing anything or letting anything in the intimate or sexual sense take place during a shoot or while working no matter during or right when the shoot is over, it shouldn't be allowed to happen.

B: Do you feel that the male image industry is in a good place right now, or is something missing?

AG: I don't think the male image is at the place it should be or needs to be. It definatley isn't at an equal place with the female or any other photo image. I think the vision that's given to the male image by the world is very bias in comparison to any other photography, especially when it comes to nudity images. the view that's given towards the nude male compared to the view of a nude female are totally opposites. Why its ok, for example, for a female to be fully nude from head to toe and the photo be called and/or considered art but if its a male that's fully nude its considered or seen as porn. I think if more started to see the male body/image the same as equally as anything else especially its counter part the female body then it would be able to rise and achieve the spot and credit that it deserves.

B: What changes would you like to see happen, or which direction would you like to see the industry move towards?

AG: As for seeing any changes or anything I would have to say it would tie into with the last question. it would be nice to have all types of photos being seen as an equal and not be made to be as divided as they appear to be. This all is supposed to be one art form and its being viewed so differently, but then its also all upon the views of the beholder. I would also like to see us all working together in this fild to help one another. I have heard so many and see personally so many of us that are too stuck on them self, stubborn and selfish to take a sec and give feedback or help some with a question or just starting. Its as if some of us get big or make it where they want to and forget where they came from and how they were when they first started with having to learn and they turn from giving insight to assist those coming up or just starting for themselves.


B: Outside of photography, what motivates and/or inspires you?

AG: Outside photography, everything around me motivates and inspires me. I am a very observant person and I look at and observe everything going on around me. There are so many things around in the world and in life itself for one to not be inspired or motivated by something no matter how small or big it is. I love traveling, meeting new people, exploring new places, experimenting with new things just for a few and all those things along can be broken down into so many different avenues of inspirations and motivations.

B: Were you artistic as a child? If so, was this a talent that was nurtured by your family?

AG: As a child I was always around things of the art, rather it was watching my sister/cousin having dance rehersals, or her marching in band in high school. I was the one that was always trying to find something creative to do around the house or at school. I had my grandmother that was always making quilts, and aunts sewing clothes, to my silly father that was a welder of trailers. So all around me I had different things and types of art around me to be nurtured and an influence in my life.

B: Where were you born and raised?

AG: Well, being that I currently live in St. Louis, MO in the city where most think I am from is some big city boy because of my apperence and everything about me, but deep down inside Im a good ole Southern Boy from Conway, Arkansas. Not many know about it but if you know our current American Idol, he's from Conway, Ar. Its not a huge city in Arkansas but it surely is growing quickly. Its about 30 miles North from Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas. It is the home of the 3 colleges UCA, CBC, and Hendrix. Its was an awesome city to grow up in but for somebody like myself I knew I had to get out of there and move on if I were gonna do anything that I wanted to do with my life growing up after graduating high school.

B: Can you tell me 5 fun things about yourself that people would be surprised to know?

AG: Hmmm, well lets see, Im sure there are more than 5 but lets see if I can give you a few to go off of so far. One thing I guess I could say is that I used to be an exotic dancer...lol would that be considered something fun but a surprise? Another thing would be that I'm a semi professional dancer, primarly hip hop as well as a teacher/choreographer. That I love to ski and am pretty damn good at it. Most of my friends joke with me about it because they always say black people don't skii, then I have to remind em that well I'm only black on the outside...lol as my best friends say I'm just a white boy in a black mans body. Another thing that usually throws some/most off is when I tell them I'm a big computer nerd/geek. That's all I've done and took during grade school are computer classes as well as what I went to college for.. Last, but not least is that I have an amazing 9 yo son. being that I am 26 and as outgoing as I am it sometimes throws people off when I say that but yeah its true and I love him more than anything.


B: We keep up with each other weekly, so I'm sure I'll hear about anything new you're doing, but do you have anything else you'd like to add?

AG: I appreciate the chance and opportunity of being able to share all this with you. I would like to let everybody know that I've published an awesome calendar of one of my models Viktor which was also featured in DNA's Online Blog but check it out and get yours now at http://www.cafepress.com/jsp83.421990170
Also, I will be working on lots of fun and creative projects for 2010 so keep an eye out for casting calls on my ModelMayhem profile at www.modelmayhem.com/jaymzsapphirephotography. Will be looking for new and great models to network and work with this year so give my work a look and please leave comments and if interested in working together do send me a message, I'll look forward to hearing from you.

©2010 Sean Dibble
 
Nude photo of Alonzo Gault : Elements Photography
http://www.elements-studio.com/
www.modelmayhem.com/44440

Contact:
Jaymz Sapphire Photography
www.modelmayhem.com/jaymzsapphirephotography
www.2Kmodels.com/jaymzsapphirephotog

David Costa

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