Saturday, May 21, 2011

Everyone of us, who enjoy photography, especially photography of beautiful men have had or eyes seduced by the beautiful images created by photographer/artist Dallas J. Logan. In a sea of photographers Dallas has achieved the difficult, created his own instantly recognizable style of photography. I have many photographers that I admire and I have to say Dallas is at the top of my list, so when I reached out to him for a Photographers feature, I expected no response, but instead I received an invite into the mind of an incredible individual. Models, Photographers this one is for you! Please enjoy this in depth interview of on my personal favorites!

Q: First I’d like to say thank you for being open to an interview, you are one of my favorite photographers, in a world that seems to oversaturated with photographers you have found a way to stand out, your photos are instantly recognizable as Dallas J. Logan, how did you accomplish that? 

A:Thank you for having me on your blog. I am flattered and honored that you like my work. Every well-known photographer has their own unique “visual signature” that forces them to stand apart from their peers, be it Bruce Weber, Richard Avedon, Terry Richards, Jill Greenberg or even Annie Lebovitz. I realized early on that if you want to be “seen” you have to be consistent and find a formula and look that works for you. It may evolve over the years as you evolve as an artist, but your visual signature rarely changes. 

Q: What drives you as an artist?

A: Beauty. No matter what shape it may take, it can be a rock a waterfall, the way light glints off of a skyscraper, anything that forces me to pause for a moment and say “God, that’s beautiful.”

(The Incredible B.J. WILLIAMS)

Q: You've managed to capture the respect of your peers as well as the models you photograph, I’ve seen many of post showing you love and singing your praises as a photographer as well as a person, how does that make you feel?

Honestly, I don’t understand it and I don’t believe the hype. I guess because I am so hard on myself that when I look at my work all I see is what I could’ve done to make it better. What if I put the light here instead, what if I had the model do this, etc. etc. etc. When people come up to me saying they like my work, I still go “wow? REALLY?!”

(The Stunning Yusef)

A: I must say your eye for beauty is undeniable, you seem to be able to capture that perfect “something” in your subjects, is this skill instinct? Or something that developed over time?

B: It was something that was developed over time. One night I had to sit down and really take a hard look at my work from an objective point of view and say to myself “what the hell are people seeing when they view my images?” I am flattered that people love what I do, but when you get down to the REAL nitty-gritty of it all, my work really isn’t that special. It is very simplistic in its approach, normally just me, some sort of light and the model. Then it dawned on me, what people are seeing in the images is my connection with the model and vice versa. I likened a photoshoot to a session of lovemaking. It is my job to make the model feel a particular emotion (be it love, anger, desire want, etc.) it is the model’s job to convey that emotion back to me and it is my job to capture it. The better the lovemaking, the better the babies (photographs) are. If I can fall in love with a model, and make the model fall in love with me, THAT is what you see in my photographs. 

(Classically handsome RUMANDO)

A: Ok so you’re on the street and you someone you think will be a good subject, do you approach them? If so have you ever been turned down?

B: I’m not a scout so I rarely approach models. Once in a while I may give my card out, because I am finding out that I don’t “look” like a photographer (whatever that means), or when they view my work I get the “Oh, I thought you would shoot eye candy”. There are so many pervs masquerading as a photographer, I just let people approach me. Believe it or not I am shy in that aspect. It’s like I have to audition to get your attention. I don’t audition well. 
Q: Have you ever had a missed opportunity in your career that you regret? Or felt could have brought you to another level?

A: Though I’ve been shooting my entire life, I didn’t take the professional plunge until 5 years ago. My only regret was I wish I would’ve started in my teens. 
Q: Have you ever been somewhere and seen your work as someone’s screen saver on computer or phone etc!? cause I have a screen saver on my pc RIGHT NOW!!! Of one your models, Lamar! Good lawd!!!

(Good Lawd! its LAMAR!)

A: Yes, I’ve been places where I’ve seen my work used as someone’s wallpaper and I laugh. It’s a great feeling and I always resist the urge to go “wow, I am glad you like my work!”

Q: Do you think that there are barriers in this industry with regard to black photographers, models etc? If so what are some that you have faced? Is it getting better?

A: Luckily for photographers, we don’t NORMALLY have the issue of race from behind the camera, however, I am “old school” in that approach. We let the photos speak for us, there is a new generation of photographers who are trying to reach celebrity status and they want be known moreso for themselves than their work. While that photographer may want to be on Bravo, I would rather be represented by Sotherby’s
I haven’t come across any racial barriers, except, I guess when I finally posted my photograph on Facebook, one of the first questions I got was “holy cow, you’re BLACK?”


Q:There seems to be a severe deficit of black male models in the “mainstream” Do you feel that a black model, males in particular have to be extraordinary to reach that status of a Tyson Beckford?

A:There are a lot of black male models out there working (Marcus Hill, B.J. Williams, Mechad Brooks, Bobby Roache, Pierre Woods, Rob Evans, Victor Ross the list is endless). I find that when it comes to “mainstream” (aka white), a lot of them don’t see black models (male or female) as marketable We’ve made great strides recently for example David Agbodji for Calvin Klein and Jordan Dunn and Sacha M’baye for Burberry, all the wonderful editorials in the Italian issue of Vogue. Because it is SUCH a visual market, we (as black photographers), need to shoot models of color like they were campaigns. Shoot them like Gucci, shoot them like Abecrombie & Fitch, let them see what they would look like, it will open their eyes a lot more. 


Q: What would it take for a black male model to reach the same level of success as their female counterparts, ie Tyra, Naomi? Is it possible?

A: The fashion industry is a female market. Male models usually would NEVER meet that kind of standard. 
Q: What advice can you give black models trying to get into this business and be successful?

A: It is a very hard market, and it is undeniably racist. They would prefer to sleep with you before they would market you. Because of this, models of color tend to be very very impatient. They tend to jump ship when things aren’t happening fast enough for them. They don’t like to listen. Back in the 80s, models were developed. They were groomed. They were marketed. Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Beverly Johnson, Tyson Beckford, Tyra Banks, these models were groomed by their agents to what they were today, they didn’t just wake up one morning and say “I am a supermodel.” That has become a thing of the past. My business partner (Michael Maddox) and I tend to do it the oldschool way, and teach models how it is to be models. How to look, act and present yourself as a viable and marketable product out there. It is soooooo much more than just a pretty face (all models are beautiful in some way, shape or form), it’s learning to separate yourself from the herd. Models today need to build a strong team around them, because they cannot do it alone. They have to be thick-skinned, because not everyone is going to like them. They have to STUDY the market. Find out who is doing what. Study their craft, how to pose, how to emote in front of the camera, keep their body in tip-top shape. Models of color are held up to a much higher and harder standard than their white counter parts. They don’t have the liberty of having an off day, or a bad day. They have to be 3 times better for less than ½ the work than their white counterparts. 


Q: Advice for the photographers? 

A: Because of the advent of digital photography, the learning curve for picking up a camera and learning how to shoot has dropped ridiculously, so anyone and everyone are picking up cameras and calling themselves photographers. To be successful in this business, before you enter it, realize that you cannot and should not enter into it for the money. It is a very very expensive business and you will lose more money before you start seeing any profits. Shoot what you love, because when you do, you will shoot it well. Always strive to be better with each and every photoshoot. Don’t listen to people who try to impose their “artistic footprint” on your art. Go to museums and study art, because from studying art, you learn the true meaning of light. Light is very important. 


Q: If a model wants to shoot with you, what is that process? Do you have criteria that a model needs to meet?

A: This is a trick question. The SIMPLE answer is a model can just book me, pay my rate and we can shoot. The COMPLICATED answer is this: Photographers have basically two reasons why they would shoot with you (a) because you will be a welcoming addition to their portfolio or (b) you are paying them. If you are a model and you are serious about working with me, don’t assume I (or any other photographer) are going to shoot you because you’re beautiful. My portfolio is full of beautiful men and women. Study photographer’s work, see if you fall into their “guidelines” as to what they like to shoot. Look at a model’s features, each photographer has their “thing” they like. Don’t just make an assumption that because you are gorgeous, we are gong to want to shoot you. (Talk to the Atlanta Georgia model Billy Payne, it took him four years to finally get a shoot with me). I love beautiful people, but I love their soul/essence even more. My criteria is there has to be something wow-worthy about you for me to actually want to shoot you. It can be your eyes, your mouth, your bone structure, your smile, your spirit. Something has to move me more than just a pretty face. 

(The Beautiful Billy Payne)

Q: Finally what is next for you? The next evolution of Dallas J Logan photography?

A: In a single word: Cinematography.


When so many photographers or models get upset for their images on a blog, Dallas embraced and showed love, that is more than class, that is humility and respect. I wanted to say Thank You! Very much to Dallas J. Logan not only did he grant this great interview he also sent over those extremely hot photos! I suggest to ANY model seeking to build their portfolio that schedule a shoot a Dallas! he truly  is "Building Careers one photograph at a time."  Hope everyone enjoyed this interview talk back to let me know Sincerely,


adrian said...[Reply]

Love Love Love Dallas who has been an inspiration from day one... Best wishes to him

Joao Baptista said...[Reply]

OMG my heart can stand it

malik m.l. williams said...[Reply]

Always love Dallas's work. Like Adrian, he's been an inspiration for me. Great feature!


This interview made me cry because I have personally witness the growth of the great Dallas J. Logan. He is not only my favorite photographer in the world but also my most favorite human being because of his hard work, dedication, and loyalty to everything he loves and cherish. I've never seen a more committed person than Dallas. He shoots each and every image with immense love from every cell in his body, from every heartbeat in his heart, and from every snap of his magical finger. His pure love for photography and his genuine and honest interaction with everyone he meets is the primary reason he has become so many people's favorite photographer. I truly love this interview and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving the world a glimpse into the brilliant life of the genuis photographer Dallas J. Logan. -Goldin

thegayte-keeper said...[Reply]

I am in LOVE with this man's work!

Mechadude2001 said...[Reply]

OMG, great interview. I was captivated. And learned a lot.

Tyga said...[Reply]

He captures art!

blackmorpheusfau said...[Reply]


Butch Johnson said...[Reply]

A great and insightful interview. Dallas J. Logan is one of the best photographers and an exceptionally kind human being. I think that this interview captured him perfectly.

AGB said...[Reply]

Great interview! I'm awwed!!!! I Love Dallas' work also. Thanks for sharing with all of us.