November 15, 2012

Carla Allen "Calliope" interviewed by Iris Dassault

" I believe that photography is poetry in itself and what better name to express that than Calliope ?"

by Andrew J Baran

You started your photography career as a model. What were the things you liked the best about modeling ? What did you dislike the most ?

 What I enjoyed the very most about modeling was having the chance to meet so many different types of people with different views on art. I had the opportunity to be a part of many wonderful artists' work and that alone was worth the challenge.

What I disliked the most about modeling was the sore muscles ! I never thought it would be so difficult to hold poses for such long periods of time, but again, it was well worth it.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a model ?

 I believe my greatest accomplishment as a model is simply to be able to say that I did it. That I was able to travel to places I may have never had a chance to see, people I would have never met otherwise and to create images that down the line I can look back at and have great memories of creating.

 Derek Caballero
"Carla Ballet"

Do you have an image that you believe best defines "Carla, the model" ?

 I don't think I could put my finger on just one image that would have defined myself as a model.

Each time I would go to a shoot there would be a new face to show and a new story to tell.

A new artist to collaborate with to help them tell the story they wanted portrayed in their work. I did my very best each time so I think that every image from the beginning to the end defined me as a model.

When did you decide to switch sides, and become a photographer yourself ? Was it a gradual transition ?

 Deciding to become a photographer and quitting modeling only seemed natural.

When I was modeling I never felt like the image I was helping to create was entirely mine. I kept wanting to have a more hands on approach to the final outcome of the work and picking up a camera, creating the set and directing the models seemed to fulfill the creative urge better than modeling did.

"Drifting Away From You"
Art Model June

"Watchful of Grace"
Art Model Io


Do you think the modeling background influences your photography, and if so, in what way ?

 I believe it has influenced it quite a bit. While modeling, I was exposed to so many different forms of photography, I have been able to learn through experience what style of lighting I prefer, what poses I want my models to be in, what style of clothing and how to get the look I wish to achieve from the models for my photography.

In your mind, what is the easiest part about your photography, what is the most challenging part ?

The very easiest part of my photography is coming up with the concepts or the the themes.

Of course the execution of those concepts are a whole other story. Ideas are always easier when you imagine them in your head but getting the whole picture to come together easily and actually creating it how you see it, well it can almost drive you to drinking !

"In June"
Model June

What is your process for creating your images ? Are they planned out up-front, or more spontaneous ?

None of my images are spontaneous. Which is one of the things that makes me different from a lot of other photographers. I've tried many times to just 'wing it' and the images more times than not would lack excitement and an air of mystery to them.

I prefer to think of an idea/concept, find the model, discuss the items of clothing she may already have, get her thoughts and then add on to that by finding the background and other needed props.

"Crystal Shimmer Poptart"
Model Io

What are your goals/objectives with regards to your photography ? Is this something you hope to make a living from some day, or is it mostly a creative outlet for you ?

 To be honest, I hope I never make photography a living. I really think that if I did I would lose my creative edge. Although I talk over my ideas with the models or subjects before we shoot and get their input as to what they are looking for as well as what I am trying to accomplish in the images, I never want to photograph just because I am being paid to do it.
On the flip side of that, I said "I hope I never make photography a living" because you just never know what the future holds.

I hope to own my own business one day and what other business would be better for me but a photography studio ?

"The Souls of Chateau Bastille" -
Art Models Celestial Sinn (front) and ScarLit

Do you have any photographers you see as an inspiration ? And why ?

I find great inspiration in photographers who are able to create images that resemble paintings and are filled with emotion.

I've studied closely the amazing landscapes of Marcin Stawiarz for his ability to create movement in still photography and the work by Holly Bynoe for her ability to create such amazing colors and emotions. These are only two of several photographers that I find inspiration in. They're such amazing artists.

What is the meaning behind "Calliope's Room" as your photographer's name ?

Well the name itself is actually very personal to me and has a much deeper meaning than it sounds. I'd prefer to keep part of it a mystery as it is very personal, but I chose the name "Calliope" because that was the Muse of epic and heroic poetry in Greek Mythology. I believe that photography is poetry in itself and what better name to express that than Calliope ?

"The Story Within"
Art Model Alysa

Do you have an image that you believe best defines "Calliope's Room" the photographer ?

Well, I don't believe you can isolate a single photo out of a photographers collection and call it a true definition of their work. I think that their entire gallery of work represents who they are and who they have become.

In each new image I produce my style changes and morphs into something closer and closer to what I am trying to actually accomplish.

"To Oz"

1 comment:

unbearable lightness said...

Brava, Iris. What a fascinating interview. And what a fascinating interviewee. Carla Allen is beautiful on both sides of the camera. I wonder how many models do think of changing sides some day? I have yearned to do that, too. An engaging interview and beautiful, mysterious photographs.