November 21, 2013

Terrell Neasley's interview

" I do photography as an amateur and I improve my skills. I study constantly. I made up in my mind that I was determined to continue in this field and to pursue it in such a manner as to make my living from it. I want to do what I love and this is it." Terrell Neasley

You'll find Terrell Neasley at his official site, his very active blog, deviantART, Model Mayhem.

"Space Pod"
Art Model Lorelei

Dear Terrell, tell us more about you.

Originally from Texas, I am a former soldier, used to be in banking, and a recent graduate student pursuing two graduate degrees, an MBA (just finished in Dec 06) and a masters in Telecommunications at Murray State University in Kentucky, with one class remaining (to complete online Dec07).

So nothing to see with Photography... Are you a self taught photographer ?

 I completed 4 semesters of photography while pursuing these degrees over the last two years and easily spent 70% of all my academic time in a darkroom. I have recently moved to Las Vegas in early June trying to become employed as a Financial Analyst and continue my work as an artist.

"Stroll in the Grove"

I see your passion in your background. And why did you choose fine nude art photography ?

Basically, due to time I spent in Germany (as well as France and Spain) and my personal experience in modeling.

A tour of duty in Germany changed my perspective on nudity and trees.
Being naked there didn’t have the same sexual connotations as it does here in the US.
I fell in love with nature, the woods and the rolling hills.

Art Model Jacinda

You're telling me you were a model ? 

Yes, and I've loved being an art model.

I've always found the roll as highly under appreciated, yet it has been such a necessity in art since the beginning of time.

This is the primary reason I started the Las Vegas Art Models Group, although I admit I am still trying to get more of a balanced focus on Art Modeling and not so heavy on photography.

Art Model Lissa

"She Wore a Flower in Her Hat"

I know its impractical, but I'd like to see more photographers taking a chance doing this. Experience on both ends of the lens gives so much insight and appreciation to an art model's perspective.

"Lit Softly by the Window"

Art Model Lorelei

I am certain it has served well in my success in working with models.

Granted, I know that not every photographer should be nude in front of the camera. I'm going to go out on a limb and say its probably easier for a female photographer to do it than for males. When you think of fine art nudes, a dude is not the first impression that comes to mind. In many cases, photographers who shoot nudes don't do guys. I think in all, I've done about 5, some of which were part of a couple shoot.

I think you'd be surprised at yourself if you tried it. Besides, many of the greats have done self portraiture.


That's clear and sounds so logical. Make yourself what you're asking to others. So, the question was : why this passion for nude art ? Your trip in Europe has changed your mind and then ?

 After the military, I finished my last under-graduate year in college at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee (1998) where I first began modeling nude for the campus art department. I also modeled professionally for a modeling agency in Nashville for 3 years (’98-’01). I modeled for the nude drawing class for the local art guild while at Murray State as well as for other student photographers over the last two years. Through this experience, I became more comfortable with being nude and being around nude people.

Art Model Tiffiny

I became inspired by an HBO special on Spencer Tunick called “Naked States”. He rekindled an interest I had in photography and artistic nudes.

Most recently, over the 2006 Christmas Break, my inspirations have come from Jerry Uelsmann who creates photomontages that rival digital work. I had originally begun to take a strong interest in drawing the nude female which I did between modeling. A conflict arose when I had to model more than I was able to draw which made developing this talent difficult.

A solution was to photograph the nude instead of drawing the nude. This has allowed me to view life both behind and in front of the camera giving me a unique perspective with relations to models.

It was not a difficult thing for me to get models, compared to my photo peers, so nudes became my forte.

Art Model Lorelei

Wow... What a life ! And now, between drawing, modeling and photographing, what is your choice ?
I realize that mine is the art of photography. Specifically, photographing the nude form has become my passion and my niche. However, I still have a distinct affinity for figure modeling as it relates to drawing the figure.

"Can Beauty Be a Curse ?"
Art Model Brittany

My association to figure drawing is no longer through the medium of charcoal, conte, or paint, but rather as a facilitator of the sessions. I don't draw anymore, but since I have an extended background as a figure model, I've still held a strong connection to the those in the field of art modeling. That's the primary reason I started my Las Vegas Art Models Group. So despite my particular genre of art being photography, I still talk about and discuss figure modeling.

It's the art model who has captured my admiration and appreciation, whether she poses for drawing sessions or photography.

Art Model Batty

I know you're a film addicted ? Is it easy in a digital world ?

While I am primarily a film photographer, I understand that digital is hard to ignore, especially since I am minus a darkroom and studio after moving to Las Vegas. I want to continue to shoot, so I have my heart set on a Canon 5D because I am better receptive to its full frame sensor. At the same time, however, I will not abandon film. I am not a man who believes equipment is what makes the photographer but my next purchase after the 5D shall be a Mamiya RZ67 Pro IID. I’ll just have to find a way to continue my darkroom endeavors. I miss the photo-manipulations that I began experimenting with after exposure to Uelsmann.

Art Model Lessa

How could you define your style ? At least, I know this question is really difficult, what do you like the most in your art, your preferences ?

I’ve had a long interest in shooting women in their homes while relaxing or going about their affairs as if I were not present. After studying Tunick’s work, my interest grew and I began to take on my own person style of nudes which has evolved into :

- Mainly nudes in a natural environment.
- Non-glamour and unadorned (no makeup or jewelry… as natural as possible).
- Sometimes provocative but not for pornography
- All shapes, sizes, and ages of the female form (ages 18-55 so far).
- Intriguing features, qualities, or abilities (tattoos, body shapes, style).
- Black and  White film images mainly, but color digitals too.
- For artistic uses only, not used for purposes of promoting sex.

Art Model Trixie

Art Model Faerie

We exactly love the same things ! Some words about your models ? They seem so natural.

 I love that women are comfortable enough with me to pose for me. I know part of the reason for this is because when they look through my portfolio, they can see themselves in it. Its not full of all the high fashion glamour.

I mainly use the girl you might see driving past your car on the interstate on her way to work at the local Five and Dime. They can identity with what I do, is what I think.

And they respect you because you were a model too... You know what you're talking about. Terrell, what for your next future ?

Although my training is in business, at a minimum, I will do photography as an amateur and improve my skills. I study constantly. I made up in my mind that I was determined to continue in this field and to pursue it in such a manner as to make my living from it. I want to do what I love and this is it.

My current endeavors include exhibitions in shows and contests. Presently, I exhibit my work on my own website and my blog. This website is my main means of exhibition and promotion of my work.

"Find Me"

Ok, but have you some others challenges you're dreaming about ?

My current goal is to shoot nudes in natural environments starting in a 50 mile radius of Las Vegas and broaden it out to 100, 200, 300, and so forth until I hit all the major areas in the Midwest and West Coast.

"Seated in Dynamic Style"
Art Model Lorelei

There are not many black photographers in the world today. I plan to add to those ranks.

In a recent dialog with Eolake Stobblehouse, he mentioned that he did not personally know of many. A friend of mine in New York interning with Essence Magazine made a similar comment as to the demand for good black photographers.

I study my trade because I want to be great at it, not just good. I want to be deserving of any accolades I receive, not because I am black, but because I am the best at what I do compared to any ethnicity or cultural background. Therefore I seek to certainly refine my skills and know my trade, especially pertaining to my forte in nudes and landscape, better than anyone else in the business. I endeavor to do this by engaging my business background with talent and wisdom. I love this thing I do, Chris.

You're working hard for, I know it. But it seems you want to take (temporary, I'm sure !) a new direction in your work. Why exactly ?

 I want to gain more experience shooting other things and then bring some of those new-found skills back to my nude art again.

Right now, I am behind on many of my non-nude edits. I've got other things I like to.

I have a series of work on old scrap metal like rusty cans and I like to shoot odd signs.

I've taken so many other photos that no one has ever seen just because they are still sitting untouched on my computer.

I also want to take another look at the business side of my operations. I don't have a logo just yet. I need to better manage my workflow. I need to improve my backups and storage management. All that takes better resources in terms of equipment and tools.

In terms of skills, I think I can benefit from some better lighting techniques and more photoshop editing. Shooting other things that have different demands from my nudes can help me excersize different photographic muscles to help tone up my photo skills overall. I think its a good way to expand my knowledge of image capture and light manipulation. When I am back to shooting nudes, I am just that much better at it.

"I like the sun too"

I understand. It's always good for an artist to take some distance from his work. A kind of break to start again stronger and better. Before we leave Terrell, a message to send ?

One of the reasons I like what I do is because right now, I don't have any expectations.

I have dreams, desires, passions, and loves. I crave some new equipment. But I don't really have expectations. This is not income driven. I am not under someone else's deadline. I'm not prepping for contests trying to beat submission deadlines.

I have the option to shoot what I like.

You're free ! How lucky you are !... Thanks my friend for your support and your big heart.

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