GlamModelz Magazine: Let’s get started! Tell me about your background…how did you get started in Photography? James: I’ve enjoyed photography since I was a small child. The first photo I remember taking I was so young I had to get a chair to see out a window and I got my hands on my parents Kodak 110 camera and I took a whole roll of film out our kitchen window. I got serious about photography as a hobby in college where I learned to develop film and make my own prints. Yes, I’m that old. I’ve been a part time freelance photographer since 2003. In those days I mostly shot Senior Pictures and a little commercial photography.
GlamModelz Magazine: Why Glamour /Beauty/Fashion? What other genre’s and styles interest you? James: In 2005 I had built a local reputation for helping local college co-eds build modeling portfolios and late that year through encouragement from friends my work took a turn towards more Glamour & Beauty shoots. A very brave friend/model and a bag of skittles and the rest is history.
GlamModelz Magazine: What challenges do you face in this industry? What would you change about it, if you could? James: My largest challenge remains geography. I love 150 miles from the nearest city of any significant size. I’m constantly having to prove myself because I don’t have the day to day networking opportunities other photographers have. As for what I’d do to change it … I’d move.
GlamModelz Magazine: What equipment is essential for you as a photographer, to capture your “best shot”? James: We all know the difference between good and not good photography equipment, I’m not going to go off on a rant about how superior my Canon body and L Series lenses are. I think what is essential for me is a great location, a beautiful experienced model and a laid back atmosphere. If everyone involved isn’t having fun you’re not doing it right.
GlamModelz Magazine: What inspires and motivates you when selecting locations for a glamour shoot, over a fashion shoot? James: I’m a huge fan of artistic irony. I love nothing more than taking a lingerie model and putting her in the middle of an abandon factory. I know its far from an original idea but I’m a huge fan of the soft gentle lines of the female form posed in a harsh industrial environment. And other times I will shoot subjects on nothing but pure high key white. You never know what kind of mood I’ll be in.
GlamModelz Magazine: What are your goals for your photography? Other goals? James: At this time in my life photography is less about money and more about the pleasure of creating art. Recently my goal has become to get much more of my work published and to build more of a name for myself. When someone hears my name I want them to not only know who I am but be able to name their favorite image I’ve taken.
GlamModelz Magazine: What qualities should Models/MUA’s/Stylists, etc have to work with you? James: Be unique. If you have or produce a look that sticks in my mind you have an advantage over others. Motivation. There is no rule that says model & MUA’s can’t have ideas. Creativity isn’t the photographers responsibility alone. And personally I prefer models that are laid back like myself. I’ll say it again, if everyone involved isn’t having fun you’re not doing it right.
GlamModelz Magazine: What advice do you have for new/amateur photographers who want to model? James: Your personal reputation is VERY important. Treat your models with respect. You are not better than they are, they are not beneath you. I’ve heard so many horror stories from models about photographers and most of them come back to one basic element. Lack of respect.
GlamModelz Magazine: What advice do you have for new models who want to model? James: Be professional. Show up on time, be ready and stay off your cell phone during the shoot unless you’re on a break. Communicate. Very little annoys me as much as a model that says she wants to shoot but then can’t hold a conversation long enough to actually plan a shoot.
GlamModelz Magazine: In addition to photography, do you have other skills/interests/talents in which you excel? Do you have any special charities you donate work for and why? James: I’m a little more technologically savvy than many photographers and models. I’ve been known to help both photographers and models with their “techy needs” on more than one occasion. I haven’t had the privilege to donate any of my work to any charities that anyone has every heard of but do my best to donate my time and talent to local charity events when ever possible.
GlamModelz Magazine: What other interesting facts would you like GlamModelz readers to know about you? James: Well I think its important to point out that I’M AWESOME! Ok jokes aside, I’m a very laid back easy going normal guy. I care way more about what my models and clients think than I care than about myself.