July 1, 2013

Jason Tag's interview

" One of the things that I don’t do is tell women what to do with their bodies. It’s simply not my place. They are far more knowledgeable about their own bodies and what they are capable of. And besides, models are much more than just body parts to be posed and photographed. They are artists and I try my best to treat them as fellow artists."  Jason Tag

Art Model Jillian

Jason Tag, his books at Lulu.com, deviantART, flickr, One Model Place, Model Mayhem.

"Enjoying the Morning"
Art Model Sera

The Art of Nature

First, my most favorite question (my deepest investigation !) : how did your passion for photography begin ?

My passion for photography began as most things do, because of a beautiful woman.

About 15 years ago, my girlfriend at that time was learning about photography. She was taking a class in school and her father had been a photographer as well. So she taught me a few things.

"Point and shoot"
Art Model Sylvia

It seemed that there was always a camera around.

Whether it was her Haaselblad or a disposable or my Dad’s Kodak Pony IV, there was always a camera somewhere. At some point she really dove head first into photography and I remember joining her on photo hunting adventures around the neighborhood or around the island.

She also showed me how to develop negatives but I never took it any further than picking up my prints at a local photo lab. At that time we were only shooting landscapes and what ever else presented itself. I was fascinated by the process of film and how the images were stored then later printed. I tried to learn as much as I could about how and why it worked. At some point in my life, I got more interested in other things and gave it up.

"Turning back"
Art Model Christelle

Art Model Ella Rose

I'm sure you remember your first experience !

Yes. My first experience with a camera was with a Fuji disc film camera I got for Christmas one year. I was probably 9 or 10 years old and I thought that it was the coolest thing. I'd take pictures of people and places near where I lived. Nothing too important, I was basically just playing.

It was a lot of fun to get the images back from the lab and see what I got. Kinda like a treasure hunt or something. So when I met my girlfriend after high school I already had a sense of photography. How it worked and all that so it was very easy to pick it up.

Do you know that : all the photographers I've interviewed, the passionate I mean, those who dedicate their life to their art, began early, around 10/12... It's why I love so much this first question : yes, we born artist. So, helped by your girlfriend, you're mainly a a self taught photographer ?

Somewhat. My Girlfriend, who I mentioned earlier, taught me a few things. Not a lot in regards to the physical act of taking pictures.

Art Model Jillian

She mostly showed me how to think about taking pictures. What to look for and how to see the world around you in order to tell the story of the place.

"Sylvia in Sepia"
Art Model Sylvia

So I need give her some credit for getting me in to all of this. I also took a couple of video courses in college which gave me some education in picture composition and how to frame shots. As far as learning how to operate the camera and understanding things like exposure, shutter speeds, which lens to use, when and how to use flash and other stuff like that, I'm self-taught.

"Lava rock"
Art Model Serafina

I know it's not yet your only job. Do you consider to dedicate your life to your art in a next future ?

I like the idea of a “Next Future”. Re-inventing yourself can be such a powerful thing. I'm happy with my day job as a sound engineer.

It's been a successful endeavor and while I would certainly like to be able to create art full time, I'm also happy if it's something I do on the side. The main thing is that I can continue creating art and continue to share it with the world.

It's not the money that makes me happy, it's the act of creation and the reaction to the art that drives my desire to continue creating art. But it would be pretty cool to be able to be a full time artist.

Art Model Goddes

"Old Road"
Art Model Goddes

How I understand you !... Jason, you're mainly shooting outdoors. It's a fact and your choice, your preference. But is there another genre you would like to try, another genre you enjoy ?

I should preface this answer by saying that I really don’t have much interest in any other genres other than nudes. 

There are enough fashion, stock and wedding photographers out there to keep the the industry of commercial photography going for while. Besides they always say that you should photograph things that interest you and what I find interesting is only found through being nude.

With that being said, the other day I saw an interesting image of a woman reading a book in the nude. What really made this image shine was that it was a real life situation where someone just happened to be reading a book nude. There were no gimmicks, no complicated or abstract poses and no odd camera angles. Just as simple as you could want it to be. The lighting seemed to be from a single source like a lamp on a table or something like that. It looked more like a slightly artistic snapshot of someone’s life. I was captivated by it’s simplicity and it’s beauty.

"Rough and Soft"
Art Model Ella Rose

So if there were any style I'd like to try it would be something along those lines. Candid nudes, shooting indoors. Portraying real life situations in the nude.

Something like that. I don’t know what kind of message would exist from images of this nature, but I think it’s ok to not have a message sometimes and allow the viewer to interpret a message for her or himself.

Art Model Sylvia

"Cloudy Morning"
Art Model Sera

"A Beautiful Morning"
Art Model Ella Rose

Like Kiran Patil ! He's using the same words than you. I invite you to watch his work...
Jason, your message is clear : showing the connection between Nature and ourselves. It seems to be the choice of many photographers from Hawaii and Australia. Do you feel it's the result that you're living in a paradise on earth ?

On some level, absolutely ! I don’t necessarily live a lifestyle that portrays a oneness with nature. I spend most of my time in the city, indoors under fluorescent lighting. Driving in traffic, fighting with the copy machine or my computer at my desk. So I guess that shooting nudes in nature is a direct result of spending a great deal of time in a place that I don’t find beautiful or inspiring.

"Stream bank 2"
Art Model Ashleigh

It’s not just about Hawaii being “; paradise” though. It’s about nature. Whether it’s a tropical rainforest, a beautiful beach, a desert or frozen tundra.

Nature is everywhere and it’s beautiful. So my choice to showcase the connection between nature and ourselves could be done anywhere you find a natural setting.

Hawaii or Australia might seem to be a perfect choice for this kind of work because of the relatively warm weather all year round and the relative ease at which you can find a beautiful place. But I’m certain if I were to go out into the woods around Mount Rainier in Washington or wander around the desert surrounding Reno, Nevada, I’m sure that I could capture a human connection to the beauty that exists in places that have a different kind of beauty than Hawaii or Australia.

"Sea Cliffs"
Art Model Ashleigh

Hawaii is certainly the impetus for my bond with nature but I believe that paradise is where you find it. It’s the place where you feel the happiest. It's where you find all the things that are important to you.

"Stream Bed"
Art Model Ashleigh

"April in the woods"
Art Model April

What could we add ?... You tell the simple and only truth. It's good to hear. To have such woderful results, do you plan every details or is it just improvised ?

My shoots are usually improvised on the spot.

I find that by allowing models to be artists and letting them create usually makes for a much more fun shoot all around.

I might have a few shots that I've thought about before hand and I'll try them if the opportunity presents itself. But if the opportunity doesn’t present itself I don’t force it. If it doesn’t work or if it feels weird then I let it go and move on to something else.

I find that it's much more fun to discover the shots as you shoot them rather than plan out every detail.

I tend to find things that I couldn’t have thought of any other way. Besides this style of shooting allows me to spend more time shooting and less time setting up shots.

If an idea strikes me while we’re shooting then I'll explain the idea and try it. Sometimes the model will have an idea and we’ll talk about it. If it doesn’t work then it doesn’t work. If it works, then it works.

"Surveying the river"
Art Model Jillian

"Banyan Tree"
Art Model Ashleigh

Some words about your models ? How do you direct them ?

I feel very honored to have worked with amazing, beautiful and talented women. Their beauty, grace, and spirit inspire me and continue to do so long after the shoot is over.

Art Model Sera

I am deeply grateful to all the women who have worked with me and who have helped me along the way. For what they have shown me, for what they have taught me, and for what they continue to teach me.


"X's and Oh's"

One of the things that I don’t do is tell women what to do with their bodies. It’s simply not my place. They are far more knowledgeable about their own bodies and what they are capable of.

And besides, models are much more than just body parts to be posed and photographed. They are artists and I try my best to treat them as fellow artists.

During the shoot I’ll basically tell the model that I want to start off in a sitting pose and that I want to her be thinking about the beauty of the place we’re shooting at or something along those lines. Where she takes it from there is up to her. When it’s feels like it’s a good time to move on to another kind of pose or a change of location, I ask. But for the most part I enjoy having the model creating poses while I move around and try to find interesting and beautiful angles from which to photograph.

I'm sure they love you !!! And how do you feel at the end of a shooting ? Tired, excited ?...

At the end of a shoot I usually feel energized. I can't wait to see what I shot but I try to wait an hour or two before looking because I want to stay as objective as I can. I often feel like a little kid at Christmas. Sometimes I’ll peek a little at the last few shots from the shoot... can you blame me ? But I usually only peek at a few.

"Basking in the Light"
Art Model Jillian

That's so nice to hear... Your passion is communicative ! Have you some challenges you're dreaming about in a near future ?

My current challenge has to do with one of my lenses. It’s my favorite lens to shoot with but sometimes I get shots that are just little blurry. It has been quite a challenge and it’s forcing me to analyze how I shoot in order to figure out a viable solution to the problem. I think I’ve got the problem nailed so we’ll see how my next shoot goes. Right now this is my number one challenge. Everything else will need to wait until I feel confident that I’ve fixed it.

You have published 4 books. Is there a new one to come ?

There is. I finished it the day you did the First Feature. I had been working on it for a few months and finally put it together. It’s available in my store at Lulu.com.

"An unusual angle"

Congratulations ! By the way, what is your best way to promote your work ?

There is really no way to answer this question without sounding like a paid advertisement. So I’ll do my best answer without sounding like a commercial.

Don't worry about that ! All artists need to be feeded.

So, websites like DeviantART and RedBubble have been great in terms of helping me find my voice and an audience for my work. But they have also been invaluable learning tools.

Both sites have a vibrant community of artists and fans who are quite vocal and opinionated about art of all kinds. Being able to not only see what other artists are creating but also being able to connect with art appreciators and artists from all over the world has been invaluable.

The other tool I use frequently is Twitter. I try to post on twitter when I’m on location or gearing up for a shoot. It doesn’t always work out since I’m often in places that have no mobile phone reception and therefore can’t access the internet from my phone. But when I can I try to write about it in real time. I find it to be an interesting way to connect and share with people who might be interested in what I’m up to.

"Flower power"
Art Model Julia

And where can we purchase your prints ?

Prints are available of my work on both DeviantART and RedBubble. And if there’s an image on my website that you’d like to purchase but isn’t on either of these two sites let me know and I’ll make it available for purchase on DeviantART or RedBubble.

"Kimono 5"

Any message you’d like to leave to our readers ?

I just want to thank you for your encouragement and your support of nude artists all over the world and for including me in that list.

And to your readers all I can say is keep supporting art and the artists and maybe go outside and take a few pictures, you never know what you might find or where it might take you.

Thanks a lot to you dear Jason ! Without your support, this site couldn't exist. Now, as you say : Aloha ! Come back soon.

The fifth book of Jason Tag !

By Jason Tag

Click to preview and order : here

" I haven't been around much lately because I've been working like a fiend ! Part of which involved editing images for my latest book !

The book, titled "Depths", features a series of images I shot with Ashleigh a few months ago.

The idea was to do something different. A little dark, perhaps sadness, depression, drugs. We had very loose ideas when we started sthooting but soon enough the ideas started to take shape and we both loved exploring and creating the scenes together.

What we got from the shoot, I feel is my best work yet and I can't wait to see how everyone enjoys the book !"

Art Model Ashleigh

Art Model Ashleigh

All his books :

Click on the covers to preview and order.

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