I had a great pleasure of interviewing Digital Desire’s creator J. Stephen Hicks. He’s images have been described as sensual and he came into the industry through his passion of landscape photography.
His skills and choice of models come together to create some of the most beautiful images on the net, which can all be found at DigitalDesire.com.
Wjrparks: What motivated you to become a photographer and what made you decide to do nude photography?
Stephen: I bought my first camera at 18—it was love at first sight–after finishing school at Brooks institute in Santa Barbara I got hired at Playboy Magazine as studio manager–then I quit and assisted commercially for 2 years–once i started shooting on my own i realized shooting female nudes was the only place i could really have complete, free, artistic expression
Wjrparks: What do you believe is the most difficult challenge for a photographer to master when entering the world of nude photography and working with the models? I would think trust is a major challenge?
Stephen: The biggest thing is most of the girls (nude models) have little modeling experience. It’s very much about directing them well and being a good enough psychologist t to make them feel good while being shot
Wjrparks: What has been the biggest obstacle for you growing as a photographer?
Stephen: The changing markets in the last decade. It’s really challenging as a business man to stay agile, and keep morphing the model. The photography part is the easy part
Wjrparks: I believe everyone wants to accomplish something big in their life, or leave something behind to be remembered for. In regards to photography, what is your ultimate goal? What do you want to be known for?
Stephen: That’s simple. I want to be remembered (in my field especially) as someone who knew his boundaries, treated the models well, and most of all cared about my images as art!
Wjrparks: Do you have a photographer that inspired you or still does? What did you learn from his/her images?
Stephen: To many to name, really. Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell, Phillip Dixon, Francis Giacobetti, Richard Fegley
Wjrparks: Each image, in the large collection of work you have, radiates with such sensuality and beauty. What are the main ingredients to creating the beautiful images that you produce, do you have a certain creative process you follow?
Stephen: It all just comes from the heart. I honestly believe there’s nothing more beautiful in nature than a female body–so it’s a very pure link for me
Wjrparks: Any funny, scary or bizarre stories from a photo shoot?
Stephen: Sorry, I can’t write a book right now. Way, way to many……………..
Wjrparks: I know you hold quite a few shoots through the week. With such a large amount of models on digital desire, how do you look for your models, or do they end up finding you?
Stephen: Most of the girls find us. We’ve never been good at that part of the biz. We just get tons of inquires from girls and agents. But still, there’s never too many good ones..
Wjrparks: How do you choose your models, do they have to be professionals or can they be amateurs? What is the criteria?
Stephen: Experience makes no difference. In fact we prefer new talent so it’s just about their beauty—we can handle the rest.
Wjrparks: Your images have a way of using light to really give them a unique look, which is one of the main things that captured my attention. Do you have of certain way of working with lighting and setups compared to other photographers?
Stephen: I think this is what is special about us (myself and my two associate photogs)—we shoot w/ daylight, strobe, tungsten, florescent– and mix all of them. We dont’ decide till the moment — each girl, and time of day dictates our agility. We’re always just trying to use the best light in the particular situation–never formula.
Wjrparks: Have you ever thought about quitting photography?
Stephen: Hell no. I have a bigger passion for photography than shooting nudes or business–I’ll always shoot. Check out hicksphoto.com
Wjrparks: Any last thoughts you would like to share?
Stephen: Sure, I’m pretty disgusted with the low common denominator of most Adult sites in the U.S. Almost no one shoots for erotic art or female beauty appreciation–it’s all just exploitation—really bums me out.
But, hey, I’m one lucky guy to make a living doing what I love–taking pictures with my camera!