March 16, 2013

Sita Mae Edwards' interview

Sita Mae Edwards at her official site, her blog, Model Mayhem, Streetwise Art, deviantART.

A Master of Shapes.

You know how much I love women photographers. One day I'll write why but I'm sure you guess. What impressed me in the work of Sita Mae Edwards is her vision of the female body. She goes beyond what I could expect. It's a long time I was looking for a photographer who doesn't hesitate to shoot art models with forms. Done. And so well.

"Love Song To Weston"
Art Model Wenona

Art Model Stella Dean

California native Sita Mae Edwards is an internationally published and exhibited portrait and figure photographer. Though new to exhibiting her work publicly, she has already shown in a dozen group exhibits in four different states, including the San Diego Art Institute's Annual, The Dirty Show, Nude Night Tampa/Orlando and ArtPrize, as well as internationally at Vancouver Photo Haus Gallery's "Eros" February show.

Additionally, Sita Mae’s work has been featured on a full page of the January 2011 issue of French PHOTO, as well as two issues of UK’s Filament Magazine, including being featured on the January 2011 cover with a feature interview with her, as well.

One of the few photographers currently exhibiting almost exclusively on sheets of aluminum, her photography has been called “lush,” “fresh,” and “strong.” She is represented by Streetwise Art.

"Swan Dive"
With Art Models Mischief Vixen and Eden Eris

Art Model Sarah

"This is one of the most accomplished art models in the country at the moment. She's got images hanging in museums around the world. To say that I was nervous about working with a model who has experience with some of the best photographers around is an understatement !
She was wonderful, though, and we had a great time."

Dear Sita Mae, tell us how and when did your passion for photography begin ?

I was convinced that I had no art in me until I met Jason Fassnacht, a wonderful artist and figure photographer, in 2004. By 2005 he had seduced me to the dark side, and almost without my realizing it, he turned me into someone obsessed with photography.

So, impossible for you to do something else ?

Oh, no. When I was younger I tried singing, dancing, poetry, short stories, painting, pottery, charcoal, and even stone sculpture. I was abysmal at everything, which is why I became convinced that I didn’t have any art in me, despite my lifelong yearning toward expression. It’s a terrible feeling, being an artist without an art.

"The Penthouse"
Art Model Nerlande

Ho yes ! More than terrible. But let's forget this nightmare we all cross. So film or digital ? Contemplating your photographs, maybe both ?

Both ! I learned with digital, but I spent about a year with no access to a computer, and in that time I was forced to learn to shoot with film, which turned into a torrid love affair. Tri-X 400 is my favorite film, and if I were independently wealthy that is all I would shoot with. Practicality dictates that I use digital more often than film these days, however.

Art Model Afua

I knew it ! Your style is very original, personal, there is something different. We feel your passion for the woman as she is since the beginning of time, like in this photograph which remembers me some wonderful prehistorical sculptures. I know how difficult it is, but how could you describe it ?

Art Model Mischief Vixen

I have often been told that I ‘shoot like a man, which I think means that people expect women to shoot softly.

And I often do, with portraits, but with figure work I more often aim for the visual equivalent of Beethoven’s 5th – all crashing drama and a sense that it’s all just a little bit too much.

Modern Primitives Series

"The Bride"
Art Model Sarah

"The Queen"
Art Model Jessalyn

Art Model Modu

In what themes do you find your most prolific inspiration ?

With figure work, my abiding inspiration is the male form. I rarely get to shoot it, because it can be difficult convincing male subjects to do figure work, but if I could shoot men every day, I would.

The dramatic angularity and lines in the male form are incredibly beautiful to me.

"Atlas Defeated"
Art Model Style

"Sarah's Portrait"
Art Model Sarah

You seem to have a preference for the studio ?

I have historically favored working in the studio, because it allows me to focus on the subject to the exclusion of all else. Due entirely to necessity, I have recently been broadening my visual horizons to incorporate other elements, and have become fond of shooting in hotel rooms. I think every photographer goes through a hotel room phase, and I am in the thick of mine !

Tell us some words about your incredible art models ?

I am incredibly lucky in my subjects. I have had the opportunity to photograph many of the best art models working today, and quite a few have become friends. There is a wonderful, collaborative, creative magic that happens when making photos with art models that is difficult to describe. It feels less like subject and creator, and more like a creative endeavor in which everyone pours themselves into making something beautiful.

With who are you dreaming to work ?

I am dreaming of dancers and gymnasts and acrobats, those who live in every inch of their body, and are aware of it and in control of it from the soles of their feet to the tips of their pinky fingers.

"The Gymnast"
Art Model Nicole B

"Defying Gravity"
Art Model Nicole B

I understand. They know how to act, how to pose, in such difficult positions ! Another difficult question : what is your favourite photograph ?

The way that Edward Weston approached his peppers – with all that adoration of texture and shape and sensuality – that series is an enduring favorite of mine that informs almost everything I attempt to do with the human figure.

Until now, what do you consider as your greatest photographic accomplishment ?

I recently found out, thanks to a kind email from a photographer in Venezuela, that I received a full page feature in the January/February contest issue of French PHOTO.

Considering the open-mouthed, drooling awe I feel about that magazine, to be included in it is a thrilling accomplishment that hasn’t yet sunk in.

Bravissimo !!! Sita Mae, have you some challenges you're dreaming of in a near future ?

I think I might jinx myself if I’m too specific in answering this question, but I will admit that I am dreaming of the few publications that regularly publish fine art figure work ! Fingers crossed for 2011 !


All the dreams come true ! It's just a question of faith. I didn't see any book about your work ? Is there one to come ? I'm sure.

Someday, I certainly hope so ! However, I will be contributing to a German tattoo anthology set to be released in the near future, and I’ll let you know when it comes out.

Don't forget ! Where can we purchase your prints ?

My website has an easy ordering system. At the top of each photo is a little icon of a shopping cart that you can click to order that print. If you would like anything special, such as aluminum prints (which is how I present my work for exhibits), just write to me at !

Last but not least, what advices would you give to someone who wants to work in your genre ?

"Cat B's Bedroom Eyes"
Art Model Cat Bee

Find a mentor. Being able to talk regularly with someone who is talented and experienced in the genre you are looking to pursue is invaluable.

We might not all be able to get a formal photographic education (I don’t have one, either), but many wonderful artists are incredibly generous with their time, knowledge, and feedback. Take advantage of that !

Thanks a lot Sita Mae ! For your kindness, your patience, your talent, and your confidence.

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