Model Shooting Model Series:
Guy Robinson photographing Ned Shatzer
1. How did your interest in photography begin?
My interest arose from working as a model and seeing how the photographers all had different styles and ways of doing things on their shoots. I was curious to understand why something looked the way it did with the smallest alterations in lighting, perspective, pose, etc. Pretty soon I realized this was a whole art form which I wanted to experiment with, but I was and still am pretty daunted by just how much control you have over a photograph. You can do anything you want to it and I love that.
2. What was the first camera you used and what was the first shoot that got you started in your pursuit of photography?
The first camera I got was a little Holga 35mm camera which is probably not the best one to learn on but maybe the most fun. I was obsessed with taking double/triple exposures and loved the way colors come out all saturated in development. I then got a Nikon digital SLR which I still use at the moment because it's so easy to operate. Then I started to get different photographic lenses, which is the most expensive part of my hobby.
3. Who are some of the photographers you are inspired by?
I really like Ryan McGinley's work because of the way he portrays the human body. He's really inspirational in the way he captures the beautiful (www.ryanmcginley.com) in everyday life. His portraits suck you in entirely which I think is what a good photographer should do. He really makes you want to know more about his subjects and why they're doing what they're doing.
4. How would you define your photography style?
The best way to answer this is to say that my style is still emerging, but the more photos I take the more I realize certain trends throughout which seem to just come naturally. I love black-and-white and the simplicity it can offer and when using color I tend to go for washed-out, faded images. I would like to think that I go for a more documentary/photojournalism-type style as that is what I'm most passionate about.
5. Since this is an assignment on model shooting model and you are an established model in your own right, how did you enjoy being behind the camera for a change?
Obviously being a working model has given me an invaluable insight into what works and what doesn't, so the process of being on the other side of the camera was definitely an interesting one for me. It was great to be able to direct the model the way I wanted, as I think having a positive dialog is so important. I felt I could explain easily the pose I wanted or the feel of the shot as if I were in it myself, so that helped out a lot—obviously Ned is an awesome model so that was useful.
6. What have you learned from the process? Were you able to bring some of your knowledge from modeling into shooting this story?
I learned that I should always give myself a few options to go back to after the shoot is finished. I can get a bit carried away and sometimes the awesome image I have in my head doesn't always align with the final image I see on the screen. So rather than trying to push something that will never be there it's probably best to try a new angle or new idea—shift things up a bit.
7. What was the most challenging part and what part did you enjoy the most?
The most challenging part of this shoot for me was definitely trying to establish a sense of coherence in the images. It's all very well taking a wicked photo that stands alone nicely but if it doesn't work in the overall feel of the story then it kind of loses its implicit value. So for me the most enjoyable aspect of the shoot was having the license to try and create a story and a feel that was universal to all the photos. Whether I accomplished that or not I'm not sure, but it definitely opened my eyes up to what I need to do in the future.
8. What denotes a "perfect” shoot/image, from your own personal perspective?
A perfect image is one that draws the observer in. How many times do we just flick through editorials in magazines? The really great photos make you stop on those pages and really absorb what's going on.
9. Your dream story—where would you shoot, what style of lighting, studio, or location would you use and what is your dream subject?
My dream story would be a documentary-type portrait of someone I consider beautiful, captured in a really basic way. I love to just follow people around for a day and photograph their lives. The everyday is so much more beautiful than any studio or lighting techniques can ever create. What we perceive as "ugly" can be stunningly evocative in its own right.
10. Define a "great" model.
A great model for me really looks at you differently in the lens. He really lets you into his world and says,
"Hey, this is me and this is who I really am."
AGENT: Greg Chan|Wilhelmina
MODEL: Guy Robinson|Wilhelmina
CASTING|CONCEPT: John Tan
COPY EDITOR: Jonathan Shia