WHO IS FRANK? How much does one need to know about the author to appreciate his/her work? “The less people know, the more they want to know,” says FRANK. Sensuality is the art of leaving some to the imagination and you’ll have to use yours to fill in the blanks. ALOUD. took a peak behind the lens but if it’s a name you’re after, no luck here either.
“Who’s that girl? When you see her, say a prayer and kiss your heart goodbye…”
ALOUD: Hi Frank, how would you describe your work in a few words?
SHEISFRANK: Technically, I always aim for my work not to be contrived, the way I shoot is very easy, very ‘real’. I like to work quickly and move on… I try to introduce an element of mystery… It is very colorful, very bright, I like to use the flash a lot … I mainly photograph women. Visually, women are more interesting to me because I feel that I can transform them much more as a subject than I can with men.
ALOUD: Some of your work reminds me of Dave Lachapelle’s imagery in terms of the vivid colours, a theatrical quality but at the same time, his work is usually shot in very elaborately constructed sets while you often work within real environments, some quite funny and others pretty unremarkable. I find this juxtaposition of the made-up models, the bright flash, the vivid colors and the slightly strange backdrops pretty interesting.
SHEISFRANK: An important rule in photography is contrast. To have a very pretty girl and in a very pretty setting can be interesting but this idea of being “out of place” is where the excitement lies.
ALOUD: From your blog, I can see that you have travelled for work a bit, to LA and Miami for instance. How different do you find it working overseas? How quickly are you able to absorb something about the culture that you can use in your work?
SHEISFRANK: What I love about America, is that it’s everything you think it is. Everyone, all over the world, has grown up with American movies, music etc… so I had already made up my mind about the culture before I even got there but at the same time, it all seemed very exotic being there. I love Melbourne but it doesn’t excite me so much anymore so traveling becomes a great opportunity to see things with fresh eyes.
ALOUD: You’ve described yourself as being quite ‘impatient’. Do you feel that you get bored easily? Do you feel like you need to move on to the next thing all the time?
SHEISFRANK: It’s not really that I get bored but it’s more like “What’s next?”. Photography is great because it has such a quick turnover and the work can really happen in the moment. I couldn’t imagine spending months on a single outcome, I would rather have 10 completely different things going on at the same time.
ALOUD: You are currently represented by an agent (Kate Austin, Assembly Agency). Has that changed the way you work?
SHEISFRANK: My agent is aware of my style and we share a sense of direction for my work. She only pitches my work to labels or clients my style is suited to rather than pitching me to something really corporate or commercial. She also handles the financial side of things. Putting a price on my own work is very difficult to me so I enjoy having someone else who is capable, through experience, to (unemotionally) estimate the ‘value’ of my work.
ALOUD: There is a video on your website which suggests that your life is almost entirely devoted to your work. Is it difficult switching off? Are you constantly working?
SHEISFRANK: Photography is all I really think about. I don’t really have any other skills… I don’t paint, I don’t cook…photography is my only outlet so even if I am not technically working, it’s always on my mind.
ALOUD: It sounds like you have been very busy with commissioned work. Do you find the time and energy to create personal projects?
SHEISFRANK: I haven’t had quite as much time to shoot for myself as I would like but I am constantly trying to arrange it and I still manage once in a while. I organized a shoot a few weeks ago just for myself, without anyone telling me what to do and it just reminded me of how much I love doing that. People expect a certain style of photography from me now so it’s good to try and push that as much as I can.
ALOUD: What do you think is the hardest part of your job?
SHEISFRANK: Sometimes, I look at my work and I hate everything. I almost wish I could erase every single image and start afresh. I’m never content but I think that can also be a good thing to always keep evolving. I never feel like anything is ever finished.
ALOUD: What makes it all worth it?
SHEISFRANK: Although the instability of working for myself can be scary at times, it also means that I have so much more freedom. I am living and working exactly the way I want to and I am not compromising my work or my style for other people. It’s this love of photography and working with something I have so much respect and admiration for that makes it all worthwhile. If 10 years ago, I had seen myself working as a fashion photographer…. wow… It’s like a dream to me.
SHEISFRANK Website: http://sheisfrank.com/work/
SHEISFRANK on Twitter: /sheisfrank
If you are an artist or designer and have found ways to turn your passion into your livelihood, I would love to hear from you and help you get the word out there. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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- ALOUD interviews Jessica TREMP – Photographer – MELBOURNE, Australia. (interviewsaloud.com)
- ALOUD & IWD2012 present SHE RAW – A Photo Essay by Lilli WATERS. (interviewsaloud.com)