Here’s an interview I did for an art magazine recently.
Tell us about your brand.
I photograph Strength in Vulnerability. I believe in truly shameless body-positive photography — that the human body was made by our Creator to be seen and appreciated. I began shooting artistic nudes in 2006. I love to bring out the soul and strength of my models. I call my company Genesis to point us back toward the original innocence and strength of our naturally nude first mother, Eve and a return to our natural humanity.
When did you know that this was the right path for you?
I remember even from childhood how something seemed “off” in a society that seemed to treat women as trophies or possessions, rather than fully articulated humans. I knew one day I wanted to do something to show that women could stand on their own two naked feet and point their chins high without fear of shame or reprisal.
What do you like most about what you do?
Many times I work with first timers who have never modeled nude before. There are so many potential insecurities and societal/family baggage issues that can be a challenge. I find it amazing that I’ve gotten to see so many transformations! I have seen those insecurities and shy feelings melt away and a truly powerful fully-alive woman appear before my lens in the course of one of our shoots. It’s hard to put into words — it’s like a tremendous feeling in the air. I’ve seen former models go on to accomplish bold objectives in lots of areas of life. Some continue on in modeling or acting, others cherish their photos more privately and make a positive, quiet difference in their communities. Every heart that is changed makes a difference.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
As a photographer who only shoots nudes, I have had so many people who have wanted to shoot with me but are afraid of what others will think if they follow through. As a male photographer shooting mostly female models, I deal with lots of inappropriate comments, slurs and sexual innuendos. People have been so conditioned to associate nudity with sex, it’s like some Pavlovian bell that when someone is naked, they must immediately have sex! It gets to be pretty ridiculous in my Instagram DMs. I’ve had unsolicited penis pics sent to me from around the world from guys who think that a random penis is a proper way to say hello. And yes, I’ve had women send me sexual nudes, too. Is this what people do now?
The way I overcome this is by trying to educate people that the body is good and that sex is something we choose to do with our bodies, but it is not the only thing we do when naked. It’s actually been very interesting to me to have this type of conversation with people from all over the world and to see them consider an alternative to what they were previously taught.
If your phone could ring right now with your dream opportunity, what would that be?
My dream opportunity would be to do 25 photoshoots on each continent — to bring Strength in Vulnerability all over the globe!
What do you want people to remember most about you and your career?
I want people to remember me as someone who helped change their perspective a little and who brought a little extra beauty into the world.