October 28, 2009

Natasha Himpson, by Howard Nowlan

"An embodied person is a free being revealed in the flesh. When we speak of a beautiful body, we are referring to the beautiful embodiment of a person, and not merely about a body considered as such."

Roger Scruton on Beauty

An Interview with Art Model Natasha Himpson

by Howard Nowlan
Contributing Editor

Any photographer who has worked in this field for any time will know that is replete with moments filled with wonder, connection, discernment, and, amidst the joy of working with fellow artists, mutual delight in such an array of these meaningful discoveries.

For many of us, this journey really takes form when we
work with our first model - something which happened for me on a remote Cornish beach in 2002.

The model was Natasha Himpson, and that first session, financed and mentored by my late wife, well and truly opened the gateway to creating my own particular work in the fine art field.

I lost contact with Natasha in 2004, whilst both of our lives went through a turbulent period, but this year, she decided to return to modeling once more, and hunted me down through the internet. We have now commenced working together once again, so it is with great delight that I introduce you to her here...

Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I have been modeling for 12 years (minus a 4 year break) - which has made me feel somewhat new to the industry all over again (laughs). I am South African born but have been living in the UK for 10 years now. I love traveling, I have been to China, Egypt, Tunisia, Bulgaria, America, France, Dominican Rep, all over the UK and Southern Africa too. I am a naturist whenever the weather permits and really love spending time outdoors. I also en
joy reading, painting and spending time with my family.

What brought you to modeling?

I started modeling in South Africa when I was 17. I have recently returned to modelling on a part-time basis after becoming a mother. I suppose I have always been attracted to the industry because I truly enjoy being part of such a creative proccess and I really enjoy expressing myself in the work produced between the
photographer and me.

When did you first become involved in fine art figure work?

I became a figure model in South Africa when I was 18. I mostly worked with painters as a life model although I did do a few figure shoots. I liked working as a photographic model more because you get to move around and try new things all the time. With digital cameras these days, there's also an element of instant gratification which enables you to view and develop ideas that appear to work well.

How have you found the modeling experience so far?

Overall, I find modeling an outlet for my creativity and enjoy the experience immensly. Before I took the break from modeling, I was finding the glamor / fashion side of the industry somewhat tiresome. I decided that upon returning to modeling that I would try to stick to more creative and artistic ventures.

What have you most enjoyed and most disliked about being a model?

I find modelling most rewarding when both myself and the photographer are in persuit of a common artistic goal. Being able to bounce off of one another and share ideas builds inter-action and enjoyment which relaxes both parties and cannot really fail to yield positive results.

I dislike the stigmas that are attatched to the naked form. I think the human body really is something to behold and that the ability to capture it's essence is a gift. So mostly I dislike the narrow mindedness that surrounds the work that I do.

If you could work anywhere, are there any particular shoots you would like to do, or any particular locations you'd like to use?

I enjoy any outdoor location work, I feel that nature and figure work go hand in hand. I would love to work in any naturally stunning locations as they can only enhance the image.
In particular, I would like to try a desert shoot, a snow shoot and a waterfall shoot at some point...

I also really like the idea of multi media type work, so combining bodypainting with photography can look good also.

You have recently returned to modeling after a break to begin a family. How have you found your first shoots back in front of a camera?

It was really daunting at first. After having a baby, I had a great deal of body hang ups as well as
insecurities that I was 'beyond it' in age and out of practice. I think though that the right choice of photographer on my initial shoot made all the difference to my outlook and has helped me ease back into what I love doing without any set-backs.

What artists or photographers inspire you?

My favourite artists are Salvidor Dali, Botticelli, Monet, Gustav Klimt, and so on.

My favourite photographers are Man Ray, Helmut Newton, Ansel Adams
and of course I am constantly inspired by the photographers that I work with (smiles).

I'm also inspired by music though I find music can drastically alter the mood and affect the type of poses and feel of the images created.

Where do you feel your own modeling strengths lie?

Having studied art myself for 4 years, I feel that my main strength lies in the fact that I do have a genuine interest in helping the photographer achieve the image he or she is looking to create. From a superficial point of view I feel that my look is more classical and not glamour which lends itself to the type of work that interests me.

Do you have any particular aims for your work in this field for the future?

My most important aim is to enjoy the work I do, to produce images that I can be proud of and to help the photographers that I work with realize their objectives. I don't think you can ask for more than that.

Are there any particular projects on the horizon?

I have few offers in the pipeline and am currently working on a project which is a recreation of some paintings in the style of a famous painter.

Do you find your involvement in the field enhances your own appreciation of art or beauty in any particular ways?

Absolutely. I never realized the potency and affect that light has on images before getting involved in photography. It still amazes me how drastically you can change an image by adjusting the lighting just slightly.

As for beauty, I think it surrounds all the time and the that the art of photography is in the ability to capture those moments.

I've noticed that you really seem to enjoy your work (lots of smiles and
laughter). What aspects of a photo shoot are key for you?

I think it's important to be comfortable in your environment and comfortable with the photographer. The moment you feel begin to feel unhappy about either, you don't relax and it really shows on the images. I also always try to portray the feeling of the moment in my eyes, it's no good being in the pose of an ancient goddess while thinking about what you need to get from the stores after the shoot.


If you could give any advice to new models in the business, what would it be?

1. Stay safe.

2. Enjoy yourself.

I also found that even a small amount of photographic experience can really help gain a better understanding of the way lighting, form and composition work, which will in turn help to produce better images and will mean you'll need less direction from the photographer.

Many thanks, Natasha, and I look forward to working with you again soon.

All images by Howard Nowlan

October 14, 2009

Jan Murphy's favorites

UdA Art Editor,

I wished to share with you all some of my recent favorite images. I wish to thank all the photographers and models out there who keep producing such high quality images and for selflessly sharing them with us readers.

Sylvie Blum -
'Straight Through You'
Art Model and UdA Art Editor Brooke Lynne -

Mark Varley -
Art Model Joceline

William Earle -
'Immovable Forces'
Art Model Keira Grant

Miss Carriage

Simon Pole
'Isolated Solitude'
Art Model Chrissie Red

Katarzyna Rzeszowska -

Markus Goerg
'Los Angeles3'
Art Model Katyt

Thank you to everybody for producing these images, keep up the amazingly inspiring work.

October 12, 2009

2257A Lawsuit, by Dave Levingston

“ I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

" Free Speech Coalition et al v. Holder has been filed in federal court in Philadelphia.
A news release about the lawsuit is here : Free speech coalition.

I’m part of the “et al” in this lawsuit aimed at having the law known commonly as “2257A” declared unconstitutional.

I blogged about how upset I am about this law here : 2257-rant.

"Boo !"

In short this clearly unconstitutional law violates the guarantee of free speech contained in the Bill of Rights by making it a felony to fail to follow obscure, complicated and unclear procedures for record keeping for many types of completely legal photographs… and other forms of artistic expression such as painting and drawing.

That’s right, it’s not just about photography. The idea behind this law appears to be to make it so impossible to follow the law that people will stop producing perfectly legal art work and at the same time make it possible for the government to pretty much charge anyone whose work they don’t like with a felony. Conviction can result in a 5 year prison sentence and designation as a sex offender.

My reaction to the law has been to restrict my photography to work that clearly falls outside the scope of this law. This has meant removing award-winning photos from display on the internet and has also resulted in not being able to successfully complete some new projects because the restrictions just made it impossible to produce effective work.

I’m frustrated and very angry that my constitutional rights are being violated by this ill-considered law. It’s a bad law that needs to be eliminated.

I’m participating in this lawsuit because I think it really matters, not just to me but to any photographer or other artist who works with the nude.

UdA Editor and
Art Model Brooke Lynne -

If you do that kind of work and you think the law doesn’t affect you, I suspect you could be mistaken.

If you photograph or draw or paint any nudes, if you photograph any bondage or BDSM scenes, even with the model fully clothed, then it is likely that you have produced at least some work that could be considered to fall under 2257A.

The law requires that you keep detailed, cross-referenced records of all the models you work with for those images. You also must publish a statement of where those records are maintained with each publication (including on the web) of any of those images. And those records must be available for unannounced inspection by federal agents at least 20 hours a week, every week.

That’s right, if you maintain the records yourself you not only must publish your address, but you also can never go on vacation because you have to be there 20 hours every week in case an inspector wants to visit unannounced. Oh… and during that inspection they are permitted to look around for anything that they might consider a violation of any law, not just 2257A. So you have effectively given up your constitutional protection against warrantless searches.

If this concerns you, it should, if you think you could be affected by 2257A you should look into the details of it. The best way I know to do that is by reading the book Stephen Haynes wrote about the law.

You can find it here :

As the lawsuit progresses I plan to do updates on my blog : exposed for the shadows. So stay tuned for future developments."

Dave, we are with you ! Full of respect for your strength, your courage and your fight for the artistic community.

October 10, 2009

Industrial Nudes 2

Evgeniy Shaman -
"Vale V 2"

Jose Manchado -
"Wheel of fortune"
Art Model Sara

Andre J -
"Peach Pipe"
Art Model White Peach

Olaf Starorypinski
"The Steel 1"
Art Model Catphrodite -

Nad Iksodas -
Art Model Lela Rae -

Craig Roberts

Michael Siu -
"B and I : Bridge"
Art Model Vivan

Scott Nichol -
"My Lies are Only Wishes"
Art Model Tanya Dakin

Scott Church -
"Katie always shows"

Heiner Seemann
"Dark Sammia"

Nick Giles -
"JenW old shed"

Stefano Levi
"Keine Beschreibung vorhanden"

Igor Amelkovich
"Forgotten worker 04"

Jim Young -
"Upward stretch"
Art Model and Photographer Iris Dassault -