Interview with:
Curtis Joe Walker

Cover of Volume 26

Where are you born and when?

Las Vegas, NV — 1977

Where do you live?

Las Vegas, NV

When and how do you start your path in photography?

I became interested in darkroom black and white photography in 1997 while helping out a photography student as a model. I enrolled in the commercial photography program at the College of Southern Nevada and started learning about photography with a Pentax ME-Super. TMax film had just come out and I was mostly shooting with that film.
After a few years of on and off interest, I advanced into the lighting course, and that was what i discovered to be the most exciting part of photography for me: creating and capturing interesting light. I also had great classes in night photography and large format photography.

Who were the three photographers that inspired you at the beginning and who are the three ones that inspire you now?
Please add links to the pages where the images are shown.

1. Frederic Fontenoy — http://www.fredericfontenoy.com/
I am very inspired by his use of large format film and textures of his locations. The photos are devious and shocking.

2. Roy Stuart — https://www.roystuart.net/
I discovered this photographer’s work in Taschen art books at Tower Records, and I noticed that he also had photos in Hustler Magazine. I learned about his approach to lighting in his books and it helped me become a better lighting designer.

3. David Lachapelle — https://www.davidlachapelle.com/
His use of bold posing, expression, color, action, etc has always left me astounded. I loved his work as soon as I saw it.

Did you go to a school or are you a self-taught?

I went to College of Southern Nevada (CSN) and I have an Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) in Commercial Photography

Do you make photography as a living?

Yes. I also have a studio that I rent out to the public. I am available as a gaffer for photo and video shoots. I also do workshops and private tutorials.

What do you like in photography, what is your motivation?

I like creating and capturing interesting light. Photography has opened me up to the world and brought me into situations I would have otherwise had no access to, working at special events and spending time with celebrities. Photography is my literal window to the world.

What do you want to express or arouse in those who watch your images?

I want to show people something they haven’t seen 1000 times already and I like to continually push my own work into new realms so that I am challenged. I love to mystify, confuse, arouse and shock the viewer.

What are your preferred moment(s) in the creation process?

I love working in the studio with a model or subject, making jokes and having a conversation along the way while we are creating.

What are your three most representative images, and why?
Please add links to the pages where the images are shown.

I will say that picking three images to sum up my photography is very hard, and that is because I have so many different kinds of photography to share. These are all model shoots, but they represent some of my favorite work.
1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtisjoewalker/45963666471/
Justine Marie — I love working with double exposures because it is a new challenge for the models as well. I explain the process to them and they usually come up with some ideas of their own that they want to try. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtisjoewalker/50980993142/
Fae D Cay — Grub Girl — Working with a team that includes a special effects makeup artist can really push concepts to the next level. I was inspired by a comic book for this image and let my makeup artist and model take creative license to come up with this. Collaboration can really open up the possibilities for creativity.
3. https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtisjoewalker/48213793541/
Brittany Bochart — Working with models who know how to pose, vs working with friends is an important aspect of successful photography. Being able to rely on the model for posing, wardrobe and makeup spreads the creative burden out evenly and lets me worry about the various technical aspects of the shoot, like focus, composition and so forth.

What equipment and/or techniques do you use?

It is not a matter of brands/lenses, it is mostly about analog/digital, preferred light (natural/flash), how much post-production, etc.

I like to shoot with analog instant film alongside my digital photos. I find that having a layout images from a pack of polaroids provides a real sense of accomplishment after a shoot. These photos are usually then made the subject of copious phone photography by enthusiastic models. I like to use a three light strobe setup for the most part, and I like to use gels. I have been working more with continuous lighting due to the availability of affordable LED panels.

How and why your work as changed since you started?

I have gotten to be more comfortable with people and social situations that I would have otherwise avoided. As a result, I take fewer still lifes and work more with models and clients.

What do you think about the fact that nowadays photography is mostly enjoyed on the Internet?

I really detest Instagram and I think it has always been a black hole to throw photos into, in exchange for friendship interactions. I was a big fan of Flickr since the get-go because they were focused on community, freedom of expression, interoperability and archiving. Flickr doesn’t game the psychology and advertising isn’t their main goal. The bar for entry to photography is nonexistant now, because everyone has a camera. They don’t automatically get a good eye for composition or lighting, however.

Why did you decide to join the nudeartzine project?

I was invited, and it seems like a wonderful opportunity for exposure and networking.

Would you have an insight or advice to give to whomever is watching your work and wants to learn photography?

Ask me whatever you want! I usually have a simple answer and a complicated answer for any question. The best general advice? Always be a professional.

What are your plans in the future?

I am continuing to run my studio and introduce new sets. I usually work with 2 or more models on personal shoots every month, creating new galleries for my Patreon subscribers and adding more images to the Polaroid stack.

On what page our readers can find more of your work?

if you go to www.CurtisJoeWalker.com, you will find links to all of my social media pages as well as information on how to access my vast image archive by becoming a Patreon subscriber.

Last updated 26/05/2021 22:05:07

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