Friday, March 26, 2010
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
Model Shooting Model Series:
Ned Shatzer modeling for Guy Robinson
1. How did your career in modeling begin?
I was working in a restaurant in Baltimore and my friends and family told me I should try modeling and talked about how I could make a lot of money. I went into an agency in downtown Baltimore. There was a very flamboyant guy named Michael. The first thing he asked me was, "You have a girlfriend?" I said, "Yes." He said with a snap and a twist, "You betta looooose that problem!" He looked me up and down, then said "You're goin' to Milan." The only other time I had been on an airplane was to Florida. I tried to hide the big smile on my face and replied, "When do I start?" I arrived in Milan two months later and was based in Europe for five years. I spent three years in Paris and moved to New York in 2005.
2. What is the highlight of your modeling career to date?
Every job leads to the next in some way. There are so many people involved in getting you to a "highlight" of your career that it's not fair to spit out names of clients or any one job. What I can give credit to is my mother agency Success in Paris.
3. What have you learned so far through modeling that you could share with all the young guys who are just starting in the business?
1. If you get past the first year and start making money, don't get caught up in a scene that you cannot afford. Save your cash. Buy an apartment somewhere.
2. Don't go out unless Karl is at the party. It's a bad look. An even worse look is showing up late or hungover.
3. Treat everyone at jobs, on castings, and at fashion events with respect. You never know who they are or if they will book you again.
4. If you have a hometown girlfriend, "Lose that problem." I've seen so many guys that couldn't make it past five months because they had a high school girlfriend nagging them to come home.
5. Pay your taxes, kids. Save your receipts for everything. Nothing like Uncle Sam asking you for 30k and you don't have it because you thought those clients were gonna pay by April 16th.
4. If you had to do it all again, how would you approach your career differently?
I wouldn't approach it differently. I've had the best experiences. Paris treated me very well, along with the German and Swiss clients. I think if I had gone to New York first, I wouldn't be a model now. It's a tough market. If you don't have a decent book, you will not make money. My new approach is being smarter with my money. I do wish I had kept my apartment in Paris.
5. What does “masculinity” mean to you? Is there an individual that you felt captures the essence of this word?
Hairy chest, bearded, Ned-like. Burt Reynolds, LOL.
6. Since this is a feature on model shooting model, could you describe your thoughts on the process? Did you enjoy the process or was it challenging?
I think models have a bad rep when it comes to doing anything beyond what we're labeled for. But when you really think about it, becoming a production coordinator, stylist, photographer, booker, or anything involving the fashion business, it's a very natural transition. Guy was very decisive on locations. The whole day was very Jedi. He knew what I was doing and where to be. He would move to a different angle, I would switch it up. Not a whole lot of talking, just doing what we do naturally. So it was a bit different working with him, in a good way. We work with all these talented people, it rubs off on you. Talented Guy!
7. What makes a “great” photographer?
A “great” photographer connects with you on a different level. He hangs out with you. He doesn't have an attitude. He works with great stylists. He pushes you to get that shot. He gives direction to people and communicates his vision. He knows the lights need to move because THAT looks like crap. He listens if you have input. He brings champagne to the afterparty. He says, "Let's be friends on Facebook," when you leave.
8. What photographers have you worked with that you really enjoyed collaborating with? What makes them stand out from others that you've worked with?
I did a shoot recently with GL for So Chic, Laurent Dombrowicz was the stylist (who gave me my first break shooting with Mondino for Citizen K). GL was talking about how he was gonna paint on the pictures and print them out on different colored paper, just a crazy modern-art massacre. That turns me on. He also put on some Bel Biv DeVoe when I requested it. Pooooison.
I like Steven a lot. He shoots film!! Really cool grainy black and whites. Sexy old-school style. Total LA American DUDE, fun to be around. Steven has a cool dog Rudy. My buddy. Rudy likes to model as well.
Liz is really sweet. She made me do a bunch of sit-ups and push-ups, but took the time to sit down and talk about traveling and work. You could tell Liz knew a thing or two about a thing or two, very tight operation.
Terry had the coolest music on set. Period. Everrrr. Nice guy. My mom said if he asked to see my peen to tell somebody. Of course he didn't ask. I guess my life as a model is incomplete.
Les Deux Garçons|www.lesdeuxgarcons.net
Very nice and talkative. He showed me this calendar he did, it was all lights in the city, super obscure beautiful colors. An awesome artist. I'm into people who take their creativity to the limits.
I spent six days with Chris in Turkey for Holt Renfrew. Amazing Location + Amazing Photographer = Amazing Pictures. Chris is a really cool guy. He got me into some new bands. His assistants Clive and Branco were pure entertainment. You know you're in good hands if you don't hate anyone after spending all day every day including meals with each other.
Another film shooter!! Whimsical good vibes. Great food. Couscous! Yum. She's so cool.
Peter was one of the most energetic people I've ever worked with. He screamed, "There!..There!!" every frame. That meant DO NOT move. So 80's cliché. I felt like I was in a movie. He also blasted the same three Lady Gaga songs on repeat for a two-day shoot. Over and over and over. I hate Lady Gaga now. RaRa ooh la la...shut up!
Willem Jaspert |www.willemjaspert.com
I worked with Willem in Iceland, a wicked London boy. Great styling from Ms. Clare Richardson (a good friend of his). It was like I met up with some old friends and went to a resort for two days to hang out. We did the Blue Lagoon swim, saw some geysers, and jumped around on some hotel beds listening to music. I had a blast. We call this work?? I love my job.
AGENT: Jody Gordon|Fusion
MODEL: Ned Shatzer|Fusion
CASTING|CONCEPT: John Tan
COPY EDITOR: Jonathan Shia
Sunday, March 21, 2010
1. How did your love of illustrating began? Did you come from an artistic background?
I have always loved drawing, I think since the age of 3 or 4. My grandma always used to draw with me and kind of taught me as well, she has got a very good sense of beauty and dresses nicely. Also other people from my family are into painting and arts in general. A part of my family owns one of Wassily Kandinsky´s former favorite Café in the south of Germany.
2. Who are some of the artists you respect and inspire by?
I like and respect many artists. Picasso is my favorite, I also like Kandinsky and George Grozs, Eduardo Paolozzi and Andy Warhol.
3. If there is a period of time in art history you would like to be in, which period would it be and why?
Not sure but I think Dadaism. Shocking interesting artworks, extravagating artists, love it!
4. Can you describe your process: what prompt you to start sketching, are the subjects usually people/places you are familiar with?
Anything can start me sketching, a funny mood, interesting people, nice architecture, cool editorials in a magazine.
5. What are the medium you use to illustrate—pen, oil, charcoal pencil?
Pencils and Acrylic painting.
6. Do you have a titles for each illustration you create?
If so, could you tell us how you came up with the title for each illustration?
7. What is your most satisfying piece of artwork you have create on your own to date?
My favorite is consisting of a number of paintings and collages, inspired by London, Pop Art artists as well as Dadaism artists.
8. Was it a easy process or did you have to struggle for a long period of time before achieving the finish piece?
It took me quite a while to finish it. Probably about 4 weeks or longer as I kept changing it, repainted things, arranged them differently. I think that’s what it takes to be satisfied in the end. If I look at it now, I want to change it again but it's back at home in Germany, I'm in London.
9. Do you see yourself leading a potential career in the arts?
It's only a hobby but I think it may be helpful when I once have my own advertising agency. Creativity is always a plus, isn't it? I see myself as a creative business-man in the future after university.
10. Define the word "Beauty" from your perspective? What's beautiful to Andre?
Hard one! I think anything that catches me in a way. Not necessarily nice things. I find paintings from George Grosz beautiful in a way for example. Is that weird?
11. Modeling question: How did you get into the world of modeling? What were you pursuing prior to it?
I got scouted in London, 2 months after graduating from school in Germany. I want to work in Advertising.
12. Your most memorable shoot you have done to date? Could you tell us about it?
In Hamburg, in an old church without a roof, it was constantly cloudy and raining except some very short sunny moments, it was my first shoot even before I started modeling, I was very excited because it was kind of new to me and I expected it to be different. The photographer who shoot me is a good friend.
13. Your motto in life.
I feel like my motto in life is changing all the time! But always positive! I try to make the best out of everything, try to improve, learn new things, try to grow in every way.
Please include 3 of your favorite illustrations and a comment on each to let us know why you chose them as your faves.
I researched a lot for this work, which was very interesting for me. I've learned a lot about art from that and it also opened new perspectives to me. I drew it before I moved, one year ago, the places in the paintings are in London though.
A Spanish woman, remorseless, unafraid and timeless.
Drew it during London Fashion week, after the Todd Lynn Show, two models, the one on the right is a good friend. Reminds me of a good time that I had and still have. I enjoy my life at the moment.
AGENT: Christophe Sanchez-Vahle
IMAGES: Rokas Darulus-www.rokasdarulis.co.uk
CASTING: John Tan
MODEL: André Feulner/Premier (UK)
COPY EDITOR: Jonathan Shia
Special thanks to Christophe Sanchez-Vahle at Premier Model Mgmt. for his support.