|Model - Helen Stephens|
Hi Keith. Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to answer some questions for me. How did you come to be a photographer?
'Even when I was young I always admired the female form, so as soon as I was old enough I bought myself a camera and started taking photographs of girlfriends et cetera. In those days I wouldn't really have called myself a photographer, just purely someone who took pictures.'
|Model - Melissa Tongue|
When you started did you have aspirations of it going somewhere or was it purely an enjoyment thing
'No for 40 years I shot purely for fun, then about 10 years ago I joined my first model photographer internet site and carried on in the same manner. A few years after this somebody told me about PurplePort, so I joined that as well. When I had been on PurplePort for about a year I spotted a casting call by Melissa Tongue saying she was in Dorset and would anybody like to shoot with her. I applied thinking she'll take one look at my work and ignore me, but she didn't. We had a fantastic first shoot, got on like a house on fire, and for me got some reasonably good pictures. I got to thinking I really haven't done this girl justice, so it slowly dawned on me that I wanted to become a better photographer. Although I know I still have a long way to go, I do think I have come along way in the three years since I first met Melissa.'
|Model - Zoe Moore|
You have by your own admission photographed many styles of photography which of all the stalls your shot is your favourite
'That's an easy one, although I enjoy most genres I would have to say my favourite is art nude.'
Are there any styles you've tried that, either while shooting it or after the shoot, you've thought to yourself "nope, that's just not for me"?
'I once travelled to London to shoot two girls doing a BDSM in a fully equipped dungeon, and although I quite enjoyed the shoot as the girls were brilliant, I thought afterwards it's not really my thing.'
|Model - Zoe Moore|
You surely can't have shot as much as you have without finding yourself in a precarious, or hilarious situation or two. Are there any that spring to mind?
'Yes definitely. I have had many precarious and hilarious situations over the years but one funny one that really sticks in my mind. I was shooting a girl for the first time on location when somebody spotted us, and we heard a voice come over the fence and shout "tell your misses to get her clothes on and **** off". Anyway, I thought no more of it until about a week later I had a visit from a policeman. He informed me that an older gentleman had been spotted with a young girl, apparently in distress, and wanted to know if it was me. I informed him it was me that she certainly wasn't in distress, in fact she was laughing all the way back to the car because we had been caught. Anyway, I told him I would invite him into my living room show him her modelling page on PurplePort and my portfolio, but unfortunately couldn't do it at the present time as I had a naked lady in my living room as I was halfway through a shoot. By the time I got back to the living room the model was actually dressed and was happy for me to invite the policeman through to show him what was what. On the way out he informed me that we may need to speak again my reply to him was don't worry mate I have so many plans for location shoots in the future by Christmas we will be on each other's Christmas card list. Luckily he had a sense of humour but I never did hear from him again.
The only precarious situation I have really had is when a fellow photographer started spreading malicious lies about me. I heard the same story from three girls that I had worked with in the past, but luckily they all knew me well and knew that what he was saying was untrue. For quite a while this really affected me, and helped to put me in to quite a bad place. For the first time in my life I suffered with depression as I thought a lot of people will think there is no smoke without fire. Fortunately since that incident I have worked with some incredible girls who are all being really supportive, and have helped me realise that nobody believes his stories, and personally I think my references on purple port speak for themselves. In hindsight I don't really blame the photographer as I know the model he received this information from had borrowed £1000 from me, and for some inexplicable reason instead of paying me back she decided to try and ruin my reputation.'
|Models - Anna Rose (Top) & Ayla (Bottom)|
One of the advantages of the internet is also one of it's big disadvantages, advice is always available. As sites like Yahoo Answers have proven on many occasions, there is as much naff advice out there as there is good, if not more so. Have you found yourself on the receiving end on naff photography advice?
'I have but on the whole I really appreciate it when somebody takes time out of their busy day to critique my work. Especially over the last couple of years I have had some comments that make me extremely proud of my work. Even when I ask for critique on a picture and I get all bad reviews, I really do appreciate it as most of the time I agree with what the people are saying, and it inspires me to do it better next time.'
|Model - Zoe Moore, Taken At - Art Asylum Photo Studios|
After that, and somewhat putting you on the spot, what would be the one piece of good advice you'd give aspiring photographers?
'Most of it is common sense. Especially when starting out you will definitely get better pics if you work with some of the top models, they know what works for them and can be really helpful with ideas, lighting and posing. Also when working with models always treat them with respect. It's fine to have a laugh and joke on the shoot but at the same time remain professional, and obviously always respect the levels that the model states she work to. There's no point in trying to push levels, if the girl is not comfortable, it will show in the pics, and you will get a bad reputation and probably kicked off networking sites.'
|Model - Ayla|
Where should people look to see more of your work?
'I do have a photography page on Facebook, and have recently joined Twitter. Shortly hope to join Instagram, also start a blog and then write a book about all my experiences over the past 45 years or so. I already know a lot of photographers and models that cant wait to read it and unfortunately some are probably dreading it.'
|Model - Tigerbelle|
Last question, and no pressure but this determines whether or not your interview is published... What's your favourite joke?
'A young boy runs into the kitchen crying and tells his mum that he thinks his dad is dying. She asks him why and he says hes lying on his back naked in the bedroom the nanny is jumping up and down on him trying to give him the kiss of life and he's shouting GOD I'M COMING'.
|Model - Natural Happy Girl|
I'd like to thank Keith again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all the links above (coming soon!) for more of his work, as well as the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved in creating them.