How do you feel about nudity?
I feel that nudity is a natural thing, and often quite beautiful. Living here in the United States, I find that people have hang ups and insecurities regarding nudity. It confuses me because it’s not like we’re born wearing an Armani suit. I’ve been very fortunate to connect with models that are comfortable with nudity and in some instances, prefer it.
Are you a shy person?
People don’t believe it but I am extremely shy. When I first began as a photographer, I only shot nature, cityscapes and still life. I was too shy to ask people to model for me. Fortunately, there is now the internet to act as a safety. I can send an email or a message which allows me to connect with models from all over the world. I still get intimidated by models who have worked with some of my photographer heroes such as Thomas Synnamon or Rick Day. But I once read a saying that stated, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” That’s how I’m trying to live my life now. The shyness is still there, I just choose to work through it.
In your work, do you like to shoot nude?
I love shooting nudes, especially when a model is really comfortable with and really knows their body. Again, the problem is finding models here who are comfortable with shooting nudes. And even when you find a model who is comfortable with it, they sometimes are made to feel guilty about it from friends or family.
For you, what’s the difference between artistic nude and voyeurism?
Voyeurism brings in a sexual aspect. It’s the difference between appreciation of the beauty of a subject and lust for the subject. As a photographer, I have to separate the two because I always want my models to feel comfortable. I hear many stories of photographers trying to take advantage of situations. I don’t want that reputation. I want my models to want to come back to work with me and to also send their friends.
I don’t think voyeurism is a bad thing. It’s just inappropriate when working to build the artist/subject relationship.
In your personal life, do you like to be nude?
Read the Blake Naked Issue: http://www.lekiosk.com/magazine-1499653-Blake-Magazine.html