Bill Richards of Okie Studios is our first winning Photographer of the GlamGurls Competition (Photographers Category). Bill’s work is original, unique and full of life and we we’re so intrigued here at GlamModelz Magazine, we just . We look forward to a long association with Bill and Okie Studios.
GlamModelz Magazine: Let’s get started Bill! So tell me about your background…how did you get started in Photography? Bill: It all started back in Michigan when I was around fiveish, my father dabbled in fine art photography and took home an award at the Delton, Michigan free fair. In my mind this was huge, take it in mind Delton had a population on 3,000 and I was 5.
The beginning of my photography started in 8th grade, I was blessed with a high school that actually had a photography program and got to experiment at a young age. After a long break in the military I got back to school at the University of Oklahoma and took photography there, and picked up a job at the local paper as graphic artist/ photo editor/ photographer.
After a few years of work, I realized that taking pictures of rich people handing huge checks to different charities was not my cup of tea. Shooting sports was fun but that was about it.
In late 2006 I decided to try my hand at glamour photography and I have loved it ever sense.
GlamModelz Magazine: Why Glamour /Beauty? What other genre’s and styles interest you? Bill: I was a fine art major at OU and glamour/beauty and a splash of creativity and color and I finally found what I liked to do. Everyone I know explored some dark and evil mind set, and me coming from a background of being in the Military and seeing that first hand I decided I would rather live on the bright colorful side of life and push that as my craft.
GlamModelz Magazine: What or who inspires you as a photographer? Bill: You have to give it up to Julia Margaret Cameron she is credited for expanding photography and taking fine art portraits back in the mid 1800’s, her style is style mimicked today. Ansel Adams always comes up because he is a master of the landscapes. I love life and capturing it, makes me a keeper of moments in time.
GlamModelz Magazine: What challenges do you face in this industry? What would you change about it, if you could? Bill: Living in Oklahoma is great, but as the industry goes, unless you want to be a wedding photographer or take senior pictures, there is not a lot of business out here.
I would take the epicenters of glamour and fine art photography out of the big cities and expand it to the smaller towns, we live in a digital world why not.
GlamModelz Magazine: What equipment is essential for you as a glamour photographer, to capture your “best shot”? Bill: Light, being that’s what photography truly is “the capture of light” and the manipulation of set light. A keen eye, knowing what angel looks good and what doesn’t even the most beautiful women in the world have bad angels. A friendly environment, I have a lot of repeat business because I make it fun, safe and enjoyable.
GlamModelz Magazine: Paid vs. TF* shoots – What are your views and preferences? Bill: By all means who doesn’t like to get paid, but the good thing about tf’s is that you get to be more creative and do your own ideals.
GlamModelz Magazine: How would you best describe your personal style? Bill: I love vibrant colors, I love when eyes pop out of the picture. I love when you look at the picture and it makes you think, wow. I like the happier side of life and capturing that. There are enough doom lovers out their, and I like there art, but I’m on the other side of the spectrum.
GlamModelz Magazine: What are your goals for your photography? Other goals? Bill: I would like to be published more. I have had a few covers on magazines, I’m currently getting published in a tattoo book soon to be out and I have been in the newspaper tons of times. I would love to have a worldwide monthly magazine pick me up as staff photographer and let me have a page just for my random shoots and themes.
My life is good, I work at my favorite bar “The Deli” live music 7 days a week as a bartender. So with music and art all around me I’m pretty happy. I would like to move into a bigger studio that is separate from where I live.
GlamModelz Magazine: What qualities should Models/MUA’s/Stylists, etc have to work with you? Bill: The main thing is listening and comprehension. When I tell them my ideals and thoughts about the shoot and what I’m going for, that there on the same page. And with 2 or more creative minds together come up with something extraordinary.
GlamModelz Magazine: Tell us about your biggest accomplishment to date or what makes you most proud. Bill: As photography goes, I guess the book I’m getting ready to be published in. I think they’re using at least 5 shots of mine. The cover of a British tattoo magazine was very nice too.
GlamModelz Magazine:What advice do you have for new/amateur photographers who want to shoot glamour? Bill: Set your ego to the side; don’t think because you did this one thing, that you are now the most wanted commodity. Do it because you love it, money will come.
GlamModelz Magazine: Any advice for models? Bill: When you’re looking on building your portfolio, relies sometimes it’s worth getting a pro to shoot with. One good photo could get you notice and get your whole career going.
Come with a can do attitude, especially when it’s a tf deal, and it’s all about the details so do your nails, hair and makeup.
Before you shoot, know what you’re getting out of the deal. I hear horror stories about tf shoots, that the model doesn’t even see a photo. Talk to other models who have worked with them and check there references to make sure there safe or not.
GlamModelz Magazine: In addition to photography, do you have other skills/interests/talents in which you excel? Bill: As a bartender I sling drinks with the best of them, I’m a avid web designer. And the biggest thing, I am a Coed C-League Softball god.. lol but true.
GlamModelz Magazine: What other interesting facts would you like GlamModelz readers to know about you? Bill: I’m very laid back, after serving in the military and doing what I did I realized that nothing is life threatening so why not just enjoy the ride, I take that attitude with me everywhere especially photography the worst thing that is ever going to happen at a photo shoot is that no photos are going to come out. No one is going to keel over or die, so relax and have a good time.
I’m on “The List” on Model Mayhem. This means I help out newbies models get on their way.