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All photographs © 1974 - 2005 by Craig Morey. Contact: Morey Studio PO Box 8747 Emeryville CA 94662. All content on this site is protected by US and International copyright laws. No use of any image in any media is permitted without written permission from the copyright holder, Craig Morey. This site contains nudity, and should be viewed only by those interested in bold artistic representations of the naked human body.


The Fine Art of Photography .........



 INTERVIEW with Craig Morey - pg 3



Q. How long does it take you to make an exhibition print in the darkroom?

A. A lot longer than most people think. As most photographers know, the printing process is a lot more than just pushing a button. I have a multiple step process which takes about 3 hours, plus toning, drying, and finishing time, which is all done over the course of two or three days. The larger prints take even longer. And I have to fit it in between shooting, travelling, email, phone calls, and office work - so it can take several weeks to get a print delivered to a collector, especially when I have a backlog of orders.

Q. Do you always photograph the nude in black & white?

A. I find that I'm most comfortable working in my "classic" style in the studio, in b&w. However, over the past couple years, I've been doing so much digital color work, that I've also now gotten very handy with that format.

I've been working a lot with natural light, in foreign settings, shooting much faster, and the new work is much different - I'm still getting used to it.

Q. Do you think that shooting digitally will change your artistic outlook?

A. Yes, I don't see any option - and I mean that in a positive way. While I'm still happy using the traditional b&w techniques, I'm also excited to be learning the new technology, and that's bound to have an effect on my work, and on my philosophy.

Q. How do you set up your nude sessions?

A. Prior to a session, I often make sketches of the images I have in mind beforehand. For each model, I try to envision a pose or gesture or expression that seems to fit her. We talk about what I have in mind or look at some rough sketches and then begin trying to achieve something photographic that gives me the feeling I'm looking for.

Sometimes we hit it right on the mark. Other times, my ideas turn out to be less interesting than I had imagined, and a collaboration of the entire crew begins. In one session, the make-up artist decided to wrap the model's head in lace and created a beautiful image. And another time, the model Roxanne (35959.11) brought some metallic fabric with her to the shoot, which looked great in the photos.

We may get something much better in the collaborative process than one person alone would ever achieve. The models often have ideas which complement or go beyond mine, and then, when photographer and model and crew are on the same wavelength, we get into a magical sort of shooting where great images just appear in my viewfinder and I find myself in something akin to what athletes call "the Zone" , where everything you do seems just perfect and effortless. It's also very erotic and seems to infuse everyone on the set with an electric energy.

Q. How long does a studio session last for you?

A. It depends on many factors. If I'm shooting for a client, such as Penthouse, or the London Studio Group, I have to make sure I'm getting shots they want or have assigned me to get. Then I can shoot a bit more to get something I may want, and the session can last three of four hours. Other times, I may be going for one particular shot, get it done early on, and the session is over in an hour.

If we have that electric energy going, and we get into "the Zone" I sometimes can't stop shooting - I just keep going till I run out of film or the model is exhausted. And some models have returned several times to do sessions for me or for themselves, with no client and no money involved. In those cases, we sometimes shoot all day, but with less intensity.

Q. How do you find models?

A. For my early work, I used people I knew - friends and girlfriends. Later on, and especially for the Penthouse sessions, I found models in nightclubs and "strip clubs". Penthouse had assigned me to photograph women who worked as strippers, but to shoot them in a studio away from their normal work environment.

In the beginning, it took a lot of talking to convince them that I was a legitimate Penthouse photographer. But after some time, and after some of the photos had been published, the models began to call me and volunteer. They seemed to appreciate the fact that I was doing something more sophisticated and artistic than traditional men's magazine pictorials.

After that, many models sought me out, or called after having seen my work with a friend or an acquaintance of theirs. Now, we get a lot of models from online portfolio sites, or from European agencies.

Q. What do you look for in your models?

A. It's not always easy to tell who will be good in front of the camera. Obviously, I look first for someone whom I find attractive. But that word "attractive" is very complex. It may be that I first see someone in a dark club who looks totally different in the studio, and I end up wasting my time. The most important aspect of finding the right person is less a matter of how they look and more a function of how they interact with me and with the camera, and that's sometimes impossible to predict until we're shooting.

The best models are the ones who have an inner power, a presence in front of the camera, and an understanding of what I'm hoping to capture on film. Many people who don't seem unusually attractive in person can project an entirely unforeseen power in two dimensions. They may not even realize they have this capacity, but it comes through in the photos. These are the people I ask to return to the studio time and time again, because the feeling I get when I see that presence is the ultimate goal of my work.






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