Interview with contributing photographer Jim Pollock
Jim Pollock is an amazing photographer shooting out of the Sunshine State of California. We will be featuring Jim’s work this week on GMM and wanted to introduce you first to the man that will be bringing more beauitufl women to the screens of GMM. Let’s get to know more about Mr. Pollock:
How long have you been a photographer?
How did you get your start?
I had a friend that was a phtographer and I saw that it want so much about the type of camera she had, her pics were always interesting. I had always liked photography so I went out and bought a Pentax Optio point & shoot and that was pretty much how it all started.
Do you like to keep your techniques a secret or do you like to share with others?
I don’t think my techniques are all that special so if someone asks I usually tell them. But they aren’t always happy with my answer because somewhere in my little speech I say “I dunno, I kinda tweeked it.” I do tell people that it’s not so much the gear as it is in their eye and their creativity. I hear shooters talking about f-stop this and 5 layer that…I hope this doesn’t sound flippant but I’d rather talk about mood of image.
Who would you love to shoot?
I have a photo crush on Rosario Dawson — she has such an evocative connection with the camera and she seems totally fearless and she has a great laugh!
Who is the most famous model you have shot with?
She asked me not to tell because they were for her BF 😉
What makes you different from the other photographers?
I think I am more “filmic” – is that a word? — in that even though I started out with digital, I moved into shooting and developing film and so even when I am shooting digitally, I want elements of film.
Digital is 2 dimensional and with film, there is fluid that seeps into the film, the paper (many times my skin – ugh) and there is a depth to viewing a film print. I want that in my digital work. Also, the other difference is I’m not hung up on gear and I like having unique cameras in my arsenal.
Who is your favorite photographer?
Helmut Newton without a doubt. Edgy, sexy, voyeuristic and beautiful.
What more could you want?
What is your ultimate goal as a photographer?
I want viewers to look at an image of mine and recognize it from my shooting style.
What traits do you look for in a model?
Not so much physical traits but an energy and a gaze that connects.
Annie Lebowitz said she wanted viewers of her work to get that feeling she had a crush on her model. Trust is also huge — which goes both ways. Of course I want the model to be comfortable with me — I also want to be comfortable with them!
Canon or Nikon?
Nikon for digi and a slew of cameras for film
What is your favorite lens to use?
*gets up from desk to see which is on camera* I’ve got a Nikor 17-35 that is pretty much the one I use all the time. I also have this super old Nikkor H 85mm that weighs a ton. I bought it from a friend for portrait work but I also use it for other stuff since it gives me a very unique look from distance.
What is your Favorite Lighting Gear?
The sun and a reflector. Ambient light or other funky pieces like shop lights. I have a very simple soft box set up and as much as possible I use constant light.
Mac or PC?
Do you have a favorite location to shoot?
Anything where there are textures – walls, foliage, ruddy spaces.
Do you bring Hairstylist and Make up artist to your shoots?
MUA pretty much most of the time unless its a model who’s look and makeup knowledge works for the vibe of the shoot. I have a great makeup artist that can do some fun tricks with hair. Also, I have a hairstylist that is amazing with classic 40’s looks!
Do models try to play you for gimme’s? If so, does it work?
Not really — They are usually pleased with what they are getting out of the shoot — be it a paid gig, tearsheet or just a fun shoot and some images.
Do you find it challenging to be around such beautiful models?
In terms of keeping my mind on the work? Nah, its no different than being distracted by a beautiful nature setting or a beautiful set location.
Do you use model mayhem?
When I travel and know I will have extra time in a city where I don’t know a lot of people, I will reach out and see if there is someone to shoot with. And I have a number of models I have met through MM that I work with on a regular basis.
What is your favorite social network?
IG an FB.
What do you love about it? What do you hate about it?
Right now I like IG though there is a tendency to only get “likes” from viewers as opposed to FB where people tend to comment more on what they see.
Do you think photographers get a bad rap?
GWC’s — Guys with Cameras — give us a bad rap. There are of course a few D heads (use whatever D word you like) that get a lot of publicity about their antics. I think the ones that get perpetuate the sigma are the insecure ones that never had a cute girlfriend and find it empowering to boss a model around.
What is the worst experience you can remember from a photo shoot?
I’ve never had a truly bad experience. I just got a call to do an editorial shoot for a magazine and the talent was this actress on a sitcom. She plays a goldgigging shallow sexy girl. I booked my makeup artist and they then decided they didnt want my mua. Then they asked for the location which was a very cool mansion which they weren’t sure they wanted to drive to. They asked the magazine for my website and after they saw it said “he has a lot of nudity.” I counted 5 nipples and a couple of bottoms. Whatever. Then they said the concept wasn’t what she was going after in her career. I think she just didn’t want to do the shoot.
Do you see a solid career for the bikini/Glamour model?
Have a look that no one else has if you want to be “known”. Or, be anonymous and maybe you have a better chance to work steady. I could work more if I wanted to do basic headshots, Hallmark cards and bikini girls leaning up against a car, ut that’s not me. Thumbs up to those that can!
Is there anything you want to express now that people should know about this business?
I think about my favorite photographers — Newton, Sieff, Keith Carter, Weston — and they had an identity. People wanted to hire THEM not just someone to take a picture. Stand by your principles. I got a call the other day to shoot an ad pic for a start up business. They sent me a picture that had the concept they liked but it was shot poorly. They asked how much I would charge them and I gave them a very good rate. They told me the guy who shot the pic they sent me did it for $50. I asked, “and you got nothing for your $50.”
Is there anything we haven’t asked that you want others to know about you? the industry? your favorite cereal?
I promise — no duck face requests!