January 20, 2009

Jan Murphy's interview


" Nobody asks me : "what it is like being a female photographer in a very male environment ?" My answer is I enjoy the challenge as most models I work with have never shot with a female before. It is always good to show others a different perspective to an image/subject." Jan Murphy







Model Shaz Zenith






You'll find Jan Murphy at her official site, Twisted Photography and Twisted Arts (with Mark Varley), Model Mayhem, Net-Model, deviantART, her MySpace, Saatchi Online, her first feature.













Jan, your passion began very young. I'm sure you remember your first experience...

I remember being out with my father and seeing a bird framed by wrought iron fencing and I started shooting directly into sunlight. My father let me, and then explained how silhouettes are created and all about lighting techniques, angles of the sun etc. I kind of knew something different would happen in that image, I seemed very aware of the basics. I guess I had a creative "eye" at a very young age.







"She waits..."
Art Model Emma





What a wonderful beginning ! After that, did you decide to learn photography in an art school ?

Well I was an enthusiastic beginner. My father shared his knowledge with me and I did a course in BTEC B&W Darkroom Techniques much later in life. So no, I didn’t go to art school.


I did a lot of my own processing so was really aware of how light worked and am still learning (will forever be a student), I love that about photography and indeed the creative process.








"Fine Art 4"
Art Model Emma




Your passion is your full time job. Was it easy to make this choice, in a world where so many artists can't make a living from their art ?

I kind of fell into photography being my work as well as my passion. I met Mark Varley, we moved in together and in 2006, Twisted Photography was born. It just felt right to go into business with somebody who loved photography as much as me and then further down the line, it still feels right. Being paid to do what you love is just amazing. Occasionally, if it feels too much like work when I pick up my camera, then I always make sure that I still do free shoots and have a few muses with whom I create my concepts.

Re the money aspect and it being hard to make a living. I am a Shiatsu Practitioner (Zenki.co.uk coming soon) also so do not totally rely on photography being my only income. I do feel blessed to be living out two of my passions as my careers.


You're lucky, that's right ! But you work hard for. Jan, I find your style and your themes very powerful. You like the strong contrasts, the rich colors, often in minimalist decors... What is your look on your work ?

Firstly let me say thank you, your opinion and remarks on my work mean a lot to me.







Model Soneya





I try to make a statement with some of my images by finding the person within, by sourcing the essence.

At times, it comes across and other times, not but I always work at this. Other times, the simplicity of it all, the shapes, the contrast, the lines, shadows, the beauty of an image speaks for itself and needs nothing added to enhance it.



I enjoy my style but am always open to learning, embracing and trying different styles too.


Life is a school... And except art nude, is there another genre you enjoy ?

I know my DA account doesn’t reflect this but I really love travel photography, other countries inspire me. The lush countryside to the dusty cities, you can always find something interesting to photograph.

I also, love people and portraiture. There is nothing stronger at times, then a person going about day to day life, working or sitting playing backgammon on a backstreet. Statements I love as others can read something different into each and every one of them. My book is ultimate portraiture, allowing the person to be themselves, to express their true identity. It has been a very interesting and challenging project.










"Stars and Shadows"
Art Model Sam












"Slipping away"
Model Akemi





What is the part of improvisation in your work ?

This is a difficult to answer as it can change from shoot to shoot.

At times I work not knowing much until the model shows, and then I "feel" where the shoot is going. Other times, I plan the details finely and work that way. Along the way, it can change if I see a different angle. It really does depend on the place/location/model (if any)/lighting and so forth. An interesting question, thank you.


It seems you have a preference for indoors shootings. Am I right ? Are there other locations you like ?

My work has been very focused on indoor shootings for some time now but I love shooting outside too and will be looking for more models to work with on location in the very near future. The very cold weather has kept me indoors too this winter.

I love working outdoors and I will be working in derelict places, with Vernon Trent (when he gets to England) in June, so watch out for those images - should be most interesting.
I’m always on the look-out for outdoor locations so I guess I actually have a preference for outdoor shoots. Interesting as looking at my gallery, you would not think so.























"Red Anger"
Model Skarlett Venom





It was just an impression. Some words about your models ? With whom are you dreaming to work ?

I have been lucky with the models I have worked with, as they have been most open minded, enthusiastic, tested my creative boundaries and worked hard to achieve the images I needed often bringing a lot of energy to our photo shoots together.

I would love to work with Joceline as I simply admire her grace and beauty, alongside wishing to work with dancers on a motion and movement project to reflect them in an artistic way.








"Warm Silk"
Art Model Emma




A majority of photographers are excited to see the results of their shooting and exhausted by the performance. And you ?

I feel inspired, I feel alive and I feel excited to see what I have just captured.





What is your own favourite photo ? Could you choose one ?

One of my all time favourite images is "Timing of The Musée d'Orsay", as if this man was standing anywhere else, it would not have worked. The placing of the clock hands, the foreground shadow, the lighting – everything was on my side and it was not planned. I was in the Musee d’Orsay, Paris and there he was.

I have many more Fine Art photo’s that I love but the above image stands out the most in my mind.









"Timing of The Musée d'Orsay" (Paris, France)













"Goddess Kali"
Model Susie Wong





I heard you have some challenges you're dreaming about in the near future ?

My book is challenging and I look forward to seeing that published when I have completed it. I am enjoying working doing figure work and shall hope to publish a book of my journey one day in the near future and I always wish to better myself, read, learn and absorb informations to make me a stronger photographer and one that is remembered (well here’s hoping).


I wish you the best. You are presently working on a book. When will it be available ?

I am working on my Portraiture book, "True Selves" at present and am hoping this to be in print by September 2009, if all goes to plan.








"Fine Art 3"
Art Model Emma





Im' impatient to see it ! Where can we purchase your prints ?

You can purchase my prints via my website, Twisted Arts, Twisted Photography, deviantART, or email me with any requests, I’m most accommodating.


Is there a question nobody asks you and you would like to answer ?

Yes. Nobody asks me : "what it is like being a female photographer in a very male environment ?"

My answer is I enjoy the challenge as most models I work with have never shot with a female before. It is always good to show others a different perspective to an image/subject.








"Holding On"
Art Model Emma




A true question indeed ! I note it. As an experienced photographer, what advices could you give to a beginner ?

Learn from as many sources as possible, never stop trying to capture that image that makes you gasp, work hard and most importantly, have fun.


Any message you’d like to leave our readers ?

Never say never as anything is possible, you just need to believe.


Faith, self confidence, passion and hard work are the Keys ! A wonderful message to begin the year in the best conditions.

Many thanks Jan !





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