Interview with:
Barry Hail

Barry Hail

Where are you born and when?

I was born in Texas, USA. I’ve since lived in New York City and several other countries.

Where do you live?

I now live in Taipei, Taiwan.

When and how do you start your path in photography?

As an autistic person, I flailed around for quite a long time without finding my “path.” I finally discovered theater and realized I was some kind of artist. I’m now a theater and film writer/director, sometimes actor. I find that those things and photography complement and inspire one another.

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.

Can I list more than 3? These photographers, early on, are among those who helped open my mind to other, stranger possibilities in photography:

Diane Arbus

Francesca Woodman

Jan Saudek

Joel-Peter Witkin

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

Completely self-taught.

Do you make photography as a living?

No. Not even close.

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

In nude photography, I’ve never been a fan of “pretty-girl-looking-pretty"-- I was always attracted weirder, darker, more enigmatic ideas and images. I’d rather raise questions than answer them.

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

Not simple titillation. A sense of a story glimpsed, curiosity about what is unshown or unexplained.

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

When working with a model, the moment when you know this combination of pose, light, composition is going to be the shot. When looking through images later--maybe much, much later--realizing that a once-ignored image is actually a good one; sometimes it takes distance.

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

Just 3 again? Maybe these--though tomorrow I’d probably pick 3 others.


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.

Usually digital (Nikon). I generally avoid flash and use natural light as much as possible. This originally developed out of frequently shooting models while traveling, making lots of equipment impractical, but it’s now my preferred method. I usually edit only at a very basic level--slightly adjusting brightness, contrast, etc.

How and why your work as changed since you started?

I used to be more rigid in my requirements and expectations. Now, when shooting with a model, I prefer to let things happen. I still start off with a rough plan including certain essential shots, but I like to be surprised.

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

Like most things related to the internet, I have mixed feelings about it. It gives us access to much more good work, but we have to sift through much more crap to get to it. And clicking through hundreds images an hour--necessary to get through the crap and find the good stuff--can cheapen the whole experience.

Why did you decide to join the nudeartzine project?

I like holding a real book and turning real pages. I like things with weight and texture.

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

There are a multitude of ways to learn. The important thing is to just start shooting. Don’t be timid, but don’t be arrogant; everyone is or was a beginner.

What are your plans in the future?

Continue to write and direct films and plays, and fill in the rest of the time with photography. Survive as long as possible.

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

Would you like to add something else?

"You’re on earth, there’s no cure for that.” -- Samuel Beckett

Last updated 20/02/2022 15:02:27

Books by Barry Hail

Cover of Best of 2021 a nudeartzine book}
Best of 2021 a nudeartzine book

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