" I am mostly confident that we have achieved some good shots, by checking the view screen during the shoot, but I can be usually surprised when I have that first look at the images full size." Mark Saintz
Art Model Mia
" This is a detail of a pre dawn shot of Mia taken on the shore of a local dam. I wanted to post the whole image but this detail of her elegant hand kept grabbing my eye. No matter how I cropped or manipulated I couldn't get away from this image. I even left out the be-ringed breast but eventually came back to that as well."
Dear Mark, how did your passion for photography begin ?
At the age of 16, I began my working life as a window dresser here in Newcastle 160km North of Sydney on the east coast of Australia. Some of my older colleagues were interested in photography. Being that we all worked in the retail visual arts so to speak, which required good use of colour, balance and placement, it all tended to come naturally. Peer group pressure and hard core criticism by those peers made one try that little bit harder. It was there that I took the image of the mannequins faces titled “1975”. Only faces I promise, I wouldn’t dream of taking nudes back then, even though I was surrounded by them. Nude mannequins that is… I wonder what an analyst would think of that connection ?
Don't wonder ! It's Art... And where did you learn it ?
I tagged along with those co workers and joined a local camera club which held monthly contests. These were always judged by notable professionals so many an old school tip or technique was passed on.
I took thousands of images over that two years stay including my first nudes.
John Hedgcoe was my teacher via his fine book “Hedgecoe Nudes” back then. It turned out that I wasn’t lonely at all but I still hammered that Minolta during the two years I was there, the paint was worn off the top of the body before I later traded it in on my first Nikon. So I guess you could class me as mainly self taught.
"Abstract a shower"
You seem really prolific. How long could you be far from your camera ?
I don’t pick it up every day. It is a tool that I use as required.
I know it is cliché but Helmut Newton. He set me on this path, it is all his fault. I like China Hamilton's work as well.
I am still looking for it, I try to compose in a slightly abstract way… I would prefer that you who view my images answer that one for me.
My answer is clear : your eclecticism is amazing, as I'm trying to exhibit it from the beginning of your interview.
To go farther, is there a message you want to express through your work ?
Art Model LeeAnne
Do you plan every details before a shooting ?
No. I blame my original profession for this. We were told what theme of window we were to do on the morning that we were to dress it so one had to come up with props and concept within 30 minutes. I mostly work this way. I do like the thrill of that. Of course it can go wrong but not usually long enough to make me look too foolish. I like to improvise and save the day. That quietly gets me off.
As an Australian photographer, have you also this preference for outdoors settings ?
Yes I do, mainly because it is so available to us still. I am always looking for new locations but I do not seek uniquely Australian looking backgrounds, they tend to bore me. Indoors equally appeal to me.
Some words about your models ?
Who am I without them ? A nature photographer ? A sunset snapper ? They are all so special. They trust me and I trust them to make me look good.
I photograph women because I love women. It is as simple as that. I really enjoy this type of work when I witness the power that is enabled in the model as she gains the strength and self confidence that this work brings out in them. What occurs on the day is all their decision and that is just fine with me. I am only there to record it as best I can.
Art Model Rosie
How do you feel at the end of a shooting ?
I tend to leave them for a few days and approach them slowly. I suppose that I am so immersed in the shoot that I don’t want to know about it again for a few days afterward.
Art Model LeeAnne
Have you some challenges you're dreaming about in a near future ?
Studio G. white bicycle project. An exhibition.
Art Model Mia
" I am overwhelmed by this rather audacious shot of Mia, taken in the very early hours of what must be the quietest night of the year. This shot was taken on the bridge that leads to Carrington, an inner city suburb of Newcastle. I do like it."
A beautiful dream, and a real project, if I'm well reading behind your concise answer ! Keep us informed. And what about your next ?
When and where I am invited. If not where and when I can arrange it.
Have you published a book ?
Not yet but with what is available out there (self publishing wise) that will be soon.
I made the cover and centre spread of that most famous and widespread magazine titled “Kink-E.” Not exactly what I was striving for as my first printed foray but hey, I’m not complaining.
Magazines ? Not only Black+White would be a nice place to be seen, it is my favorite and Australian based. I would love to be featured in that some time if they ever get around to publishing it again but that is wishful thinking, me being featured that is.
I note. A message to send ?
One method that I judge others by just how seriously they do take themselves, the ones in this world that tend to take themselves too seriously give me great entertainment at their expense.
Value your work but don’t kid yourself for one moment. There will always be someone out there better or worse than you.
Art Model Leeanne
" This is LeeAnne at a local beach VERY early last Sunday. It took a round trip walk of about 6 kilometres to get this and dozens of other varied images with a dramatic sky and wonderful golden light as a background. The little lights you see on the horizon are ships waiting to come into the port of Newcastle."
Interview done by Dave Rudin