November 5, 2011

Erik's moment

I have known Erik Flak (Phydeau on deviantArt) since I joined dA in June 2008 and we have become online friends and collaborators - we are both involved with the dA group Fine Art-Photography and the one I recently founded with Iris Dassault, Models-Photographers.
Erik has been taking photographs for some years and I have particularly admired his underwater nudes, one of which was recently awarded a Daily Deviation (a DD as it is known) on dA.


Abandon

I have asked Erik to tell us a little about himself and his work.

"My name is Eric Flak, and I'm currently located in North Carolina.  I've been doing photography since I was 11 after winning a cheap toy camera in a contest.  There really wasn't much I could do with that camera, so my parents got me an SLR and a tripod that Christmas, along with some books on photography.  I took pictures until I went to college, at which point I was required to pay for my own film and developing.  I slowed down a lot after that.  Later, point-and shoot digital cameras came along, and I gave up on the SLR all together.  Point-and-shoot cameras aren't bad - I managed to get the occasional good shot - but they really just don't have the control of an SLR.

Lush love
During those years, my main artistic outlet was through drawing.  I liked to draw people, and in particular nudes.  A friend introduced me to deviantART in 2006 so I could show off my drawings.  I quickly became addicted to the site.  I had no idea there were that many talented artists in the world.  dA changed my view toward photographic artistic nudes.  I didn't know there were that many people doing that, either.  It was the first time I got involved in a discussion of art vs. pornography.  Until then, I had made the assumption that with very rare exceptions most photographic nudes were of the prurient variety.  I changed that way of thinking quickly.  The artistic nude gallery is probably the reason my interest in photography was renewed.

My most popular deviation at the time was actually not a drawing, but a composite image I made by morphing 32 faces together.  I did 3 of those, using the same celebrities at 3 different angles.  I decided that I wanted to do the project again, only with more control of the variables as opposed to the random weirdness I got from internet searches.  While I was at it, I thought it might be a good idea to do it full-torso.  I asked for volunteers, and the only responses I got were all along the lines of, "Eh, seems like you just want girls to send you naked pictures."  There's a dozen reasons why that was ridiculous, but I didn't argue with them.  I just said to myself, "Well.  I guess I'm going to have to do it myself.  And that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks:  "Why the hell am I NOT a nude photographer?"  I decided that moment to finally break down and buy a DSLR.

Home
I didn't just jump into it, though.  I spent almost 2 years learning to use the camera well, and practicing hard.  Sometimes I used myself as a model.
My biggest challenge is money.  I can't afford to hire models, and the bible belt isn't exactly crawling with models willing to work for trade.  Thankfully, my main model, Cassandra, has been kind to me a few times.  What they say is true.  The more times you work with a model the easier it gets.  We're more like friends than just photographer and model, now.
Lush

I'd like to eventually broaden the types of models I work with.  Different ages, weights, ethnicities, and not just women.

My favorite photograph is one of the first I ever took of a model.  I knew I wanted a specific look, but I wasn't able to articulate what exactly that was.  I had her positioned on the edge of the bathtub for over ten minutes trying to get it.  Finally, there was this moment.  I suspect she was running out of ideas of how to pose in such a confined way, and for a second she stopped posing.  That brief moment when she was in her own head was what I wanted.






The Moment
I titled the piece "The moment" not just for that reason, but because it was the turning point for me.  Until then, I thought I wasn't going to hack it as a photographer.  I was worried that I   was wasting her time, and that I'd be percieved as the "GWC".  After that shot, I felt unstoppable, and the rest of the shoot went beautifully.  It was my moment, too"

Thank you Erik, for sharing that moment with us.



1 comment:

lola said...

I love this site, thank you to all who are created, I learned many things, very positive, a thousand thank you.
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