Sunday, 25 June 2017

Interview: Shannon Brooke (2017)

Model: Masuimi Max
Wardrobe by Lory Sun

 

Shannon Brooke is primarily a Northern Cali based photographer focusing on commercial portraiture. Shooting everything from fashion to portraiture to music and advertising, her diversity is endless. For over a decade, she has worked with some of the most talented models, celebrities, and designers in the alternative industry. Her images have been published internationally on the covers of over 100 publications, and she recently started an office out of Sacramento, California. Previously a lead photographer at West Coast Choppers and Hot Topic, Inc., she is now a full time freelancer working on her own publications.

Sinical Magazine: Can you talk about your collaboration with Working Class Publishing on the book “Girls”?

Shannon Brooke: My most cherished collaboration in my career so far has been with WCP. They have made my lifetime goal a reality, and “Girls” was just as important to them as it was to me. It was my first solo publication, and I was their first signed author. Together, we obsessed over the details and we learned so much about making a beautiful picture book. They treat me like an artist they truly care about, not just another artist to make money off of. (If that makes sense!) They are loyal, honest, and extremely patient. I tend to be very picky about details and final picture output quality, and WCP was willing to work with me through all my crazy choices. So much that we will be collaborating again on a book this year!

Sinical Magazine: What type of equipment are you currently working with? Have you experimented with any new technology?

Shannon Brooke: Actually, I have been taking away more and more technical, and adding more natural light. If I can light with anything but strobes at the moment, I am jumping on the opportunity. I just lit the new Pleaser Pinup Couture Shoe campaign with old hollywood style hot lights. (actually a single powerful hot light) The campaign should be released this month starring models Gia Genevieve and Vintage Vandal.

 

Model: Bo Vixxen
Makeup and hair by Jasmine Cardenas
Wardrobe by Dainty Rascal

 

Sinical Magazine: Have you come across any art or movies that have inspired you recently?

Shannon Brooke: Movies always inspire me! I love a good glamour image mixed with some gore or horror, so Neon Demon was a great new movie to get inspired from...visually. Also, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (Yes, I just watched that movie for the first time this year. What an amateur!) I also just did a shoot inspired by Beyonce’s music video “Why Don’t You Love Me?” Which was heavily inspired by Bettie Page.

Sinical Magazine: How much preparation goes into your shoots?

Shannon Brooke: It depends. Sometimes I storyboard an entire shoot: poses, wardrobe, makeup and hair, composition...it could take a week! Other times I show up and know exactly what I wanna shoot when I get there and see the setting and natural light. I work very well both ways. Prepared and on the fly.

 

Model: Ginny Rosewater
Make up by Maddie Groshek
Hair by Tiffany Raelene\

Sinical Magazine: How do you approach a black and white photo set as opposed to an indoor/color set?

Shannon Brooke: It depends on the tone separation in the actual setting. Sometimes shooting black and white is a better bet if I’m at a higher ISO or if the colors are not popping enough. I can always add black and white filters to add tonal range. I love infrared filters and red/green filters to add tonal range.

Sinical Magazine: What are the stories behind some of the photos in this layout?

Shannon Brooke: Bo Vixxen’s shoot was shot way late in the day, and I only had maybe 30 minutes to get the few shots you see here. Totally worth it, because the light was so pretty before sunset. All natural. The Pontiac in the photo was perfect, except for the fact that we couldn’t close the hood properly! haha, the joy of shooting old cars...

Twistin’ Bangs shot in the mid century modern home with the dramatic cry makeup was inspired by the Beyonce video “Why Don’t You Love Me?” Also, that home was perfectly styled, one of the most beautiful MCM homes I have ever seen and shot in. Huge thanks to Katie Monachos for letting us shoot in her stellar home.

 

Model: Jenna Sue
Makeup & Hair by Bonnie Holly

 

Sinical Magazine: Can you talk about your other favorite camera subject: hot rods?

Shannon Brooke: Honestly, I don’t know anything about hot rods. But I can light and shoot them with a girl like nobodies business! There is just something sexy about the lines of a car matching the curvy lines of a woman’s body that just speaks to me. Also, I love vintage styling, and what could be a better prop than a vintage classic in the background?

Sinical Magazine: What projects are you working on for 2017?

Shannon Brooke: My next book will be released this April at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender #20. Hot Rod and Moto- inspired work! Also, I ended my 2016 with a huge bang! After years of being inspired by pinup and burlesque queen, Dita Von Teese, I got to shoot her in her lovely home December 30th, 2016. Definitely a milestone, and I can’t wait to share what this “glamour mission” entailed.

Check out my website www.shannonbrookeimagery.net or www.workingclasspublishing.com for details about my new book.|

 

Interview: Chas Ray Krider (2017)

Model: Carol

 

This issue was featured in the 6 Year Anniversary issue of Sinical Magazine. Copies can be purchased here.

Chas Ray Krider’s photographs are part of a tradition of erotic art that employs exaggeration, mystery and the guilty pleasures of voyeurism. His photographs are about the forms employed in narrative based erotic art. Chas Ray’s work is widely exhibited and published, including three solo books, Motel Fetish by TASCHEN in 2002, 2nd edition 2012, Do Not Disturb by La Musardine of Paris, 2007 and most recently Dirty Rendezvous by Goliath Books of Berlin, 2014.

 

Sinical Magazine: In 2016, Lorenzo Eroticolor designed a Motel Fetish themed posters. Can you talk about this collaboration?

Chas Ray Krider: Lorenzo Eroticolor is a French poster designer based in Paris and is widely known across Europe for his motorcycle themed poster imagery. We have a mutual friend who introduced us several years ago. Via the internet we came to appreciate each other’s work. In 2013 I organized a group fashion themed show in my studio under the banner of The Invisible Gallery. The show included Lorenzo, LA photographer Charley Gallay aka Photo Ray Gun Mambo, and myself. Lorenzo designed a marvelous poster for the show. This was our first collaboration. Recently I had to give up my long time studio due to raising rent. Being forced out brought closure to Motel Fetish. A local gallery hosted one last hurrah exhibition for the Motel work. Lorenzo designed a Motel Fetish commemorative poster based on one of photographs (the poster is available at chasraykrider.com.

Sinical Magazine: What is it about fetish clothing that you find more intriguing than shooting a fully nude women?

Chas Ray Krider: What did Helmut Newton say? Something like, I’m paraphrasing, “without some article of clothing the woman is naked. Wearing high heels she is nude, not naked. So there you have it. I’m not so interested in the unclothed body as pure form. I think the adorned body can heighten the sexual experience in a poetic way, that is to say… fetish. I like images that have a certain level of strangeness. Fetish helps achieve that end.

Sinical Magazine: You created an interesting photo of a girl holding a cucumber. Can you talk about the story behind this image and some of the other images in this layout?

Chas Ray Krider: Good question. The woman in the photo is Isola. She’s Columbus based and has been my go-to model of the last two years. One day she said she would like to do a cookbook of phallus foods. That sounded totally absurd to me, so naturally I went for it. We made a list of phallic shaped foods, then we proceeded to make an series of photographs over several months, hence the cucumber. Isola is also the model raking leaves in girdle and stocking. This image is another absurd idea with humorous intent. It was shot on the same day as Isola standing at the top of a stairway.

 

Design by Lorenzo Eroticolor

 

Sinical Magazine: What made you decide to move on from the “Motel Fetish” theme?

Chas Ray Krider: I was fortunate to have three books published on the Motel theme. In order not to repeat myself I went in the opposite direction, a more stripped-down minimal set. The two photos in this Sinical layout of the model Kristen, in an orange and yellow slip, are from my effort to move away from motel theme interior setup. Carpet, lamp light…. all gone.

Sinical Magazine: How did your “Last Motel Fetish” show go?

Chas Ray Krider: Like all art shows, “they came, they saw, they left.” Just joking. It was nice turnout of models, collectors and long time friends who appreciate the work. In addition to the print exhibition, to further the evening’s entertainment, I staged what I call Motel Vivant. Motel Vivant is a take off on classic tableau vivant. Tableau vivant is usually a painting staged using live models to depict the painting in 3D. In Motel Vivant I build a motel set, with carpet, lamps and furniture in a public space. Two models were in the space in full motel regalia; girdles, panties, stockings, etc. The models are passively present in the set and do not interact with the audience. The effect is a still photograph come to life.

Sinical Magazine: Can you talk about your work with Goliath Books?

Chas Ray Krider: Miki Bunge of Goliath was great to work with. The image selection, sequencing and overall editing process went very smoothly. If I may digress, the books Motel Fetish and Do Not Disturb are both narratives. Image selection and sequence were crucial to get the narrative across. By the time I worked with Goliath my personal narrative had broken down. With the ending of narrative I was able to give up the need to control. Goliath and I agree on the image selection. I pretty much left the image sequencing up to Goliath. The initial layout was fine with good pairings. I must say the printing and reproductions in Dirty Rendezvous are excellent. I am totally satisfied with how the book turned out.

 

Model: Ludella Hahn

 

Sinical Magazine: You had to give up your studio space last year. Where you currently conducting photo shoots at?

Chas Ray Krider: At present I’m somewhere between hiatus and limbo. My former studio space, an old store front, I managed to hold onto for more than twenty years. Having space was very conducive to the motel work, everything I needed was at my fingertips… props, furniture, rolls of carpet, a basement full of lamps, everything needed to construct a variety of motel sets. Most important, the studio allowed privacy. Now without the space I’m forced to be more inventive, investigate a different approach. Now I use spaces where I can find them; friends’ studios, rented motel rooms, I have a mini space at home.

Sinical Magazine: Are you still working with the same photography equipment? Have you experimented with any new technology?

Chas Ray Krider: When it comes to equipment I’m fairly low tech and not heavily invested. I used a Canon 5D ll. Mainly I use modified hot lights. I like to keep it simple. I have a strobe lighting system which I seldom use. I’m only interested in the image and the idea behind it. With technical advances I guess I’m old school, soon to be very old school.

Sinical Magazine: Steve Diet Goedde has stated that he has slowed down the pace of his work and experimented with different camera formats. What inspires you to keep creating images, these days? What projects are you working on for 2017?

Chas Ray Krider: Like Steve I’ve slowed the pace of producing new photographs. I can appreciate his efforts in experimenting with different camera formats. I’ve found that changing up cameras can change the physical feeling towards composition and interaction with the subject. What keeps me creating images? I don’t feel compelled to make new images as I once did. The situation being I have more images than can be used, a lot of good work that may never be seen. Again, like Steve and other photographers that have been at it for quite awhile we have the luxury of picking and choosing when we make new images. What I’m most interested in at this time is integrating text and words with photographs. I’m inspired by my own past work to write. For example I’m currently writing short stories based on my photos. The stories are fictionalized of accounts of events that happen while making various photos, including dialogue I had with models. To give the stories other voices I have been asking models I have worked with to contribute their memories and feelings about out sessions which I can then integrate into the stories. I can envision an annotated Motel Fetish. While I’m making new photos at a slower pace, I’m working just as much as I push into different areas of creativity. If I have a goal for this years in would be to publish, most likely self publish, a book comprised of short stories, images and antidotes from behind the scenes.

 

Model: Isola

 

Sinical Magazine: You’ve stated in the past that you were a fan of Hitchcock, film noir, and surrealism. Have you seen any films or TV shows that you’ve found inspiring or interesting?

Chas Ray Krider: Yes, Hitchcock, film noir, and surrealism have long shaped my work. While film noir and surrealism are past styles of art they are states of mind which are still present. I feel they are vital today, at least for me. I have jokingly said “I’m a modern man trapped in a post-modern world.” I guess now it would be in a post post-modern world. TV shows? Not so much inspiring but I do have my favorites. I did Breaking Bad then segued into Better Call Saul. I followed The Preacher. Off and on I watch The Walking Dead although I have no use for zombies. I watch TCM -- keeping up with the past is a full time job. I have resisted streaming knowing I will spend more time passively watching. I await the return of Twin Peaks.

www.chasraykrider.com 
www.raydelmar.tumblr.com 
www.motelfetish.com 

 

Sinical March/April 2017 is now available!

Model: Alexandra Snow
Photo by Laura Dark

 

Sinical March/April 2017 Issue. Featuring: Alexandra Snow, Sister Sinister, Irene Boss, Sarah Russi, and Mistress Dawn.

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Model: Sister Sinister
Photo by Terminal F
Outfit by Kaori’s Latex Dreams and Lost in Wonderland
Corset: Westward Bound

 

Model: Irene Boss
MIB ProMedia LLC

 

Model: Sarah Russi
Photo by Ben Ray

 

Model: Mistress Dawn
Photo by Jaquah Images

 

Interview: Steve Diet Goedde

Mosh, Los Angeles, CA 2014

 

www.stevedietgoedde.com

www.stevedietgoedde.tumblr.com

www.instagram.com/stevedietgoedde

This interview was featured in the 6 Year Anniversary issue of Sinical Magazine. Print copies can be purchased here

Steve Diet Goedde was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and learned the basics of darkroom work and photography from his father, who was an amateur photographer. By the age of 13, Steve was obsessed with taking photographs and started educating himself about photographers that inspired him, most notably Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, and Diane Arbus.

He moved to Chicago in 1985 to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied filmmaking and painting. He refused to study photography stating that he had already acquired his aesthetic and visual style.

In 1998, photography publisher Edition Stemmle published a collection of Steve’s Chicago work entitled “The Beauty of Fetish” detailing his fascination with such fetishistic fashion elements as latex, leather, and PVC. Later that same year, he moved to Los Angeles where he started a series of photographs which would later become “The Beauty of Fetish: Volume II” (2001), also from Edition Stemmle.

Slish Pix in 2005 released a career retrospective of his work on DVD entitled “Living Through Steve Diet Goedde”. In addition to the numerous animated photo galleries, the DVD featured interviews, commentary, and behind the scenes footage.

In 2009, Steve has collaborated with French composer Robert Waechter on a CD entitled “GoeddeConcerto” (ReadyMade Music) in which the ConcertMaster of the Philharmonic of Nice, France interprets 21 of Steve’s photographs into 21 mini-concertos.

Steve celebrates his 25 years of photography with his new 3-volume book retrospective “ARRANGEMENTS” published by Century Guild. “Volume III” is available now, and the two remaining volumes will be released in reverse order within the next few years. Signed copies are available to purchase at: www.stevedietgoedde.bigcartel.com

Sinical Magazine: “ARRANGEMENTS: Volume III” was funded with Kickstarter. How did this idea come about and what was the process like?

Steve Diet Goedde: I had been approached by the gallery and publisher Century Guild many years ago. They mainly specialized in Art Nouveau and arts of antiquity. Its owner, Thomas Negovan, was a huge fan of my work, and he always wanted to get involved with my art in some capacity. The problem was that my art didn’t really fit his company’s aesthetic but eventually he started featuring more contemporary artists like Clive Barker and David Mack, so that helped pave the way for more contemporary art and also photography. To promote these new artists, Century Guild crowdfunded a series of high-quality artist monograms, and the campaigns were highly successful. Also, the end products were gorgeously produced and appreciated by the fans who funded them. It was around that time that I realized that this might be the ideal project to finally work with Century Guild on. Coincidently it was the year of my 50th birthday and also the 25th year of me doing photography. So in February of 2015, we launched the campaign to start this 3-volume 25-year retrospective of my work, and it ended up being super successful. Once funded, the book took a little longer to produce than what I had hoped, but the delay was certainly worth it. I’m a stickler for quality and didn’t want the book to be released unless it fully represented my vision.

Sinical Magazine: You mention in the book that you’ve been shooting a lot less. Can you elaborate on this for people who haven’t seen the book?

Steve Diet Goedde: I’m getting older. It’s harder for me to get motivated now. I don’t have the energy of my twenties and early thirties where I was seemingly shooting all the time. I’ve come to a point in an artist’s career where I’ve refined my styles and methods to the point where I have very specific ways of producing my art now. I generally like to only work with models who are friends or who I have past working relationships with - it just makes for a more comfortable, fun, and friendly working environment. My shoots usually happen very organically. I don’t like to do a lot of planning and coordination because then it seems like work. In the old days, it was just me and a bunch of friends who happened to be models, and we would just spontaneously do photo shoots, and it was always great. As an example, I’ll run into a model friend at a gallery opening, start chatting, and then decide to do a shoot the next morning - just for fun. That’s how I like to work and get the best material - real situations with real friends.

 

Yee, Paris, France, 2011

 

Sinical Magazine: What goes on in your mind now when composing a picture?

Steve Diet Goedde: My rules of composition have pretty much remained the same throughout all these years. I like to experiment from time-to-time, but I still have my signature ways of lining up shots. Photography is just basically looking through a window and arranging shapes. You put the subject in an environment that contains lines and shapes, arrange them, and then take a photographic record of this collage, if you will. This kind of control is why I don’t take seemingly infinite amounts of shots when I’m shooting. Sometimes my shoots will only consist of 12 photos, but each one of those is carefully taken, because when I’m looking through a camera, I feel like I’m actually looking at an existing photograph. So I just make sure that all the elements are right: the model is in the right place, she’s got the right expression, the background is working, the light is good - but all these elements have to come together, and sometimes I have to make a decision to shoot something within a second or so, but I feel like that’s just second nature to me. I’m rarely thinking about these things when I’m doing them. It just comes naturally and that’s pretty much my process. It’s all very controlled. However, I do leave a little room for improvisation and experimentation, which I think is important. A lot of my best shots have been the result of accidental exposures.

Sinical Magazine: In the book, you also talk about your use of 9 different cameras. Can you talk about your interest in this?

Steve Diet Goedde: When I first started out I was pretty much limited to my one medium format camera with one lens. This limitation helped to cement my visual style early on. I eventually started using other cameras just for the sake of shaking things up a bit. I didn’t want to be a photographer with one signature look - it was important to me to grow as an artist. So I dusted off my old Canon A1 which I had since 7th grade and started using that again for more spontaneous shots. And then in the mid-’90s, my friend Marne Lucas introduced me to the Yashica T4 - my first point-and-shoot. It was a great ‘idiot’ camera because it self-focused and had a wonderful Zeiss lens which produced great tonal qualities (one of my requirements). Once the digital revolution happened in the early aughts, I reluctantly started shoot *some* digital, but not much. All my black and white images would continue being shot with film cameras. I’ve never been as picky with color as I am with black and white, so digital cameras were fine for my color work. But with this advance in digital photography, some of my photographs started looking too life-like - not enough of the organic textural quality that you get with film. At this point, I started going backwards and wanted to go the opposite way of digital photography. That’s when I started using more low-fi cameras as Holgas, Polaroid cameras, and early generation cell phones. I especially fell in love with the early iPhones - they produced images that weren’t as crisp and sharp as the current ones and created a more textural and painterly look. And last year I started doing Polaroid transfers which were a lot of fun, and it resulted in a solo gallery show at the Garbousian Gallery in Beverly Hills. I still do shoot with my Mamiya 645 - that’s my baby. That’s the one that has kept my style grounded throughout the years.

 

Rose, Ventura, CA 2007

Sinical Magazine: Can you talk about lighting. You work with available light?

Steve Diet Goedde: Available light is pretty much all I shoot in. I like to see what I’m shooting in real life, and that doesn’t mean just any natural light. It has to be *good* natural light or available light. I can’t do my style just anywhere. So when I show up somewhere for a shoot, I’ll survey the area, figure out what areas are the best, and most importantly, where the light really works. Sometimes that’s a struggle. Sometimes it’s hard to get exactly what I want, but I eventually find it. I’ve never liked using strobes. I have a very minimal understanding of how they work and the few times I’ve played with them, I quickly realized it’s just not my style. I like to see what I’m shooting. I like to see the light as I’m seeing with my own eyes, and that’s always been my method.

Sinical Magazine: Which social media platforms do you like to use when promoting your images?

Steve Diet Goedde: Tumblr has always been very good for me. Flickr is still the place that I have most of my work on display - I’ve been there the longest. I know a lot of people don’t use Flickr that much anymore, especially newer audiences, but there’s a huge audience there, and it’s a really good way of showing my work. I’m also on DeviantArt.com and 500pixels.com.

Sinical Magazine: What is your plan for the other two volumes of “ARRANGEMENTS” and why are you going backwards?

Steve Diet Goedde: For those who don’t know, it’s a 3-volume 25-year retrospective. “Volume III” (2007-2015) just came out, which is the first volume to be released, and “Volume II” will consist of my middle years from 2000-2006, and “Volume I” will be the beginning from 1990-1999. The reason why we’re going backwards is because all the work that’s going to be in the first volume of Arrangements has already been released in book form in my first two books: “The Beauty of Fetish” and the “The Beauty of Fetish: Volume II”. People have been asking for a new book for decades now, so I didn’t want to do just a rehash of all the old classics. That’s why I decided to do the later years first with all the new work, and it’ll just be far more interesting for more people. With the two remaining volumes, there’s going to be a lot of unreleased material, alternate versions of iconic images, and photos I still have not uncovered from the archives yet. There’s stuff that I just didn’t notice the first time I did a photo shoot. For the last two months, I’ve started going through the process of going through material. My editor, Eric Kroll, and I have already started the editing process for the next volume.

 

 

Sinical Magazine: I love Hard Case Crime books and they recently published a collaboration between you, Dita Von Teese, and artist Robert McGinnis. Can you talk about this?

Steve Diet Goedde: Yeah, that something that just totally came out of the blue. I was contacted by Hard Case Crime about this project where veteran artist Robert McGinnis was going to do a new illustration for one of their new books, and they wanted a cover model that was more recognizable, so they decided on Dita. It all came together pretty quickly. I’ve been a big McGinnis fan forever. To me this really feels like one of the ultimate achievements of my career - having Roger McGinnis paint a photograph that I’ve taken. For those of you who don’t know, he did all the original James Bond movie posters with Sean Connery and Roger Moore. He also did the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” movie poster, but he also did those really exquisite pulp paperback covers from the ‘50s and ‘60s. So the fact that he painted one of my photographs at the age of 90 was an extreme honor. Dita and I shot the cover at her home here in Los Angeles. This was a situation where I had to shoot differently than I normally do because the light had to be more direct to match his painting style. So I ended up using floodlights because natural light doesn’t really go with his style. So I lit like it would be a painting of his. Maybe five months later, McGinnis provided the cover, and we were all blown away. Now it exists and you can order it online or at your local independent bookseller.

Sinical Magazine: Do you have any upcoming projects or events you would like to mention?

Steve Diet Goedde: Besides just working on the two remaining volumes of “ARRANGEMENTS”, I’m doing a collaborative gallery show with artist Alex Couwenberg. We’ve been mutual fans for a long time, and I actually have a few of his paintings hanging in my home. We’re just now starting this collaboration, and the results will be unveiled sometime in 2017. |

 

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