Saturday, January 5, 2019

Interview - Carter Holloway

I was lucky enough to sit down with one of the best known, and most talented, photographers in SL, Carter Holloway.  Carter and I have been friends in SL since late 2015 and in the intervening years, I've admired his work, and seen first hand how he has improved.  I wanted to talk with him about his work more specifically, and to learn more about his methods, and motivation.  I hope you enjoy reading this, and maybe learn something along the way.  I'm thrilled to feature my friend Carter Holloway in this month's Dog Star interview, and after you've read it, be sure to check out his Flickr page.  You won't be disappointed.  💋 - Isa

All photos by Isabelle Cheviot except where indicated.

 Isa: Carter, I'd like to start off asking where in the world you're from and if that's not where you live, where do you live?

 Carter Holloway: I am from the UK; I have spent the last couple of years back and forth to SE Asia but am currently back in the UK.

 Isa: You're primarily known (at least to me) as a photographer.  Is there anything else you're good at?

 Carter Holloway: No, I am a one trick pony lol. I do like to think I am good at other things but photography has always been my biggest passion and its what most people know me for so prefer to keep some mystery and leave it there.

 Isa: Everyone loves a mystery. :) So in looking at your overall body of work, you shoot primarily hardcore.  Did you start out shooting hardcore?  Could you flesh out (see what I did there?) the development of your creative interests?

 Carter Holloway: I think I have moved away from hardcore, full, obvious penetration stuff at least. I used to do a lot of that in the early days but I prefer erotic photos now, something that invokes thought...a tease if you would. I tend to concentrate on close ups, angles that arent always obvious but that always depends on the pose.  I became bored with the same thing, dick, pussy, BJs, everyone does those and frankly I got tired of doing the same stuff that seemed.....easy and obvious.

 Isa: You're hinting at a quality of your work that I admire the most, specifically your ability to capture a MOMENT rather than an act.  How do you come up with your material such that you stay consistent with this broad theme?

 Carter Holloway: I looked back on a lot of my older stuff, stuff that has long since been deleted and wondered how I could improve it. Different lighting, angles, tweak of a pose and then it got me thinking that by cutting out the obvious act of sex, I could make the photo more erotic. I stopped using store bought poses and now make my own from ideas that pop into my head. I like to see the model in advance so I can see what will work with her shape, height etc and then make a specific pose from them. I do google a lot of images and see what I think will transfer to SL, pose wise.

 Isa: Regarding your process, you have your model, you have an does it become a hot picture?

 Carter Holloway: Time, in a nutshell. I always make sure the model knows its not a 10 minute thing. I make the pose almost to completion and then work out an angle I want to shoot from, once I have that, I tweak the pose to ensure there is no cutting of bodies secret, I cheat. In a lot of my photos, there is an immense amount of cutting, that's done so I can get the right shot and allows me to not worry about how the lighting will look. If you look at my recent pic "taken" , the bodies where so close that there was a lot of cutting but having already worked out my shooting angle, you cant tell.

 Isa: What do you mean by 'cutting'?

 Carter Holloway: When parts of each others bodies clip, merge into each other. Some call it cutting, others call it clipping.

 Isa: So what you're saying is you hide the cutting by changing the angle of the pose to hide it?

 Carter Holloway: Yes, some poses wont work, if the model has large breasts for example, so I find the right angle and tweak the pose to compensate.

 Isa: I'm not sure that's cheating; I do the same thing with my films and I'm sure other creators do the same thing.  What tool(s) do you use to edit your pictures? 

 Carter Holloway: I use Photoshop. I have used it for about a year now, still learning it but it gives me the best options for editing.

 Isa: Can you reveal some of your editing tips?

 Carter Holloway: I could but then I would have to kill you :). Joking aside, I will usually spend 30 mins or so going over the photo to check if I have missed anything, any slight clips. I tend to use a blur tool and trace over my shadows to soften them, then its a case of finding the right filters to enhance the raw colours and tones.

 Isa: So you aren't going to reveal all of your secrets?  That was the whole point of the interview :)

 Carter Holloway: I dont really have a secret other than I go over the photo in great detail to make sure everything is good to go, nothing worse than editing a photo and finding clipping or hair missing etc. So my tip is always do that, really check your photo before doing anything to it.

 Isa: You heard it here first, folks.  So Carter, have you made or participated in any films?

 Carter Holloway: I have been an extra in one, I think. I never did see the final film. I did appear in one many moons ago but it was a small part and I cant say I recall anything specific about it. In all honesty, I am rarely asked to pose for other people, never mind appear in films.

 Isa: Is that by your choice or by circumstance?  Are you willing to pose in pictures or films?

 Carter Holloway: I am more than happy to pose for people. I was told recently that I intimidate other photographers, not sure if that is a common perception or not. Film wise, while I am not adverse to it, its not something I seek out, if it were for a friend then I would consider it but in all fairness, I don't consider myself a "Porn Star".

 Isa: What WOULD you consider yourself then?  Your work is definitely in the porn genre.

 Carter Holloway: By porn star, I mean I am not someone who seeks out photos or films, I am not someone who is interested in doing dick pics. There are a lot of people that do that type of photo so I try to take it and put my own twist on it. I guess I would classify myself as a part timer, I flick in and out of the scene.

 Isa: Speaking of dicks - what kind of cock(s) do you have and what is your preference?

 Carter Holloway: I have the Aeros Magnus; I have looked at others but this one works well enough for my needs. I have tried a few others in the past but this one gives me the best options for looks, colour, shape, angles etc.

Isa: And flavor?

Carter Holloway laughs:  Aren't all dicks one flavour....salty?

Isa: No comment.  Hey who's conducting this interview?!   :)

Isa: So what are some of the themes that you personally find the most interesting? Dominance seems to be a you consider yourself dominant?

Carter Holloway: My biggest theme is Vampires. I have done quite a few but stopped for now so people don't get bored of the same thing but its something I will return to. I prefer darker themed stuff but its hard to find the right people to shoot with for that. I don't class myself in terms of dominance, my ego isn't that big. I do like control, in what I do with my shoots so perhaps dominance is the right word.

Isa:  Why is it difficult to find models to work with you on some of your darker shoots?

 Carter Holloway: Blood, in a word. A lot of people are too squeamish for those kind of photos, they expect porn. Another reason why I don't class myself as a porn star, I like to do other things.

 Isa: I think photographers who explore expose themselves to more challenges for which a solution can be applied elsewhere.

 Carter Holloway: Agreed, and I do like a challenge :)

 Isa: Carter, I asked you to select a handful of pictures that best represent your looking at the first picture, titled 'Kink', the first question that comes to mind do you select your models that you work with?  My readers will definitely be interested in that!
Kink - Carter Holloway

 Carter Holloway: I will often look through Flickr, see who is following me, who I am following and see an avatar that catches my eye. I will usually have several poses in mind and choose one that I think will suit. If someone has moderate type poses on their accounts, I will never ask them to do anything past that. I have usually chatted with them a few times before posing so will get a feel for what they are comfortable with. The important thing is that they have an initial look that has some appeal to me, full mesh, good selection of outfits etc, the most important thing...a sense of humour though, I am not a big fan of people that take things too serious in SL, I like my shoots to be fun for the model.

 Isa: What are your thoughts about having sex with models?

 Carter Holloway: During a shoot, never. If I click with them, then we may arrange something. I pride myself on being professional during a shoot, if a model gives up her time, then she deserves full attention on the shoot. Sex with a model is never a reason to arrange a shoot with them, it's always based on getting the best photo possible.

 Isa: Thank you for that answer.  I think professionalism in this business is what distinguishes the artists from the pretenders.

 Isa: In 'Kink' have a grainy look...why did you choose that stylistically?

 Carter Holloway: For that shot, I wanted something...edgy, to go with the shot. I do a lot of black shots, mainly so I don't distract from the model or the pose. That one just it needed something grittier, something rough to fit the theme.

 Isa: How did you achieve that gritty look? 

Carter Holloway: It was achieved by a few different layers, I found most of them on google. I then layer them on top of each other, change the opacity/tone/saturation etc. and blend them in until I get the look I am after.

 Isa: It's a great image - I particularly like the look on the face of the woman on the left.

 Carter Holloway: That was just a case of adjusting her neck and head in AnyPose, she has a solemn look by default so it was easy to achieve.

 Isa: There's a lot she's saying with her me get away from this creepy photographer!

 Carter Holloway laughs.

 Isa: Why did you select Kiss Me You Fool? 
Kiss me you fool - Carter Holloway

 Carter Holloway: I do a lot of close ups and liked that one as it had no real contact but my mind....had a sensual feel to it

 Isa: For a picture like Kiss Me You Fool, do you change your facial hair or tattoos or are you pretty 'set in stone' in terms of your appearance?

 Carter Holloway: I take my ink off as the mood takes me, some shots dont have an ink feel, that one would have felt cluttered, in fact it did, hence the reason I took them off.

 Isa:  This picture is one of several that I think has a look of being in firelight.  Is that intentional?

 Carter Holloway: Yes, I go through stages in the type of photo I do, I like the rich tones that a dark windlight will allow me, though of course, it depends on the models original skin tone if I can get away with it.

 Isa: Do you have a favorite windlight?

 Carter Holloway: Yes, Analu - outdoor night. I do have a few others but find I always shoot in that one, even if I change, that's my go to.

 Isa: Seasonal Sensuality is an absolutely stunning image. Anything with Katina in it is going to be super hot. How did you line up the models so perfectly?
Seasonal Sensuality - Carter Holloway

 Carter Holloway: It wasn't without its cursing :) I had to rotate the girls until I got them lined up with no clipping and then had to rotate Kat's hips to have her seem to be side on to Vixxen.

 Isa: That's a lot of work.

 Carter Holloway: Its hardly work when you have two naked hotties that allow you to work on them as you see fit! :) It was my first time working with Kat, she was very sweet.

 Isa: I particularly like the contrast in skin color between the two.  Was the casting choice accidental or did you select them for that reason?

 Carter Holloway: That was an happy accident. I had spoken to Vixxen about the pose prior and she insisted she be in it. She is quite buxom so I needed someone with lightly smaller boobs, Vixxen was the one that suggested Kat. I was of course delighted when she came over and I saw the contrast. That's was why I made the image a lot lighter than some of my previous shots, so you could see the 2 tones of skin against each other.

 Isa: Totally shifting gears, at least in terms of theme....we have Fancy a Bite. This bring us back to the vampire theme you mentioned a bit about this one?
Fancy a Bite? - Carter Holloway

 Carter Holloway: I think I am right in saying this is the last of my vampire shots. I had decided to put him back in his coffin for a while when Twisted (the girl in the photo) found that bite skin tattoo. It was too good an opportunity to pass up. I had done one with a bite previously but this one had the makings of a hot photo. The chance to sit in a bed of blood had me positively drooling.

 Isa: Is that a theme you like in general?  I you watch all of the vampire movies, etc?

 Carter Holloway: Yes, I am a huge Vampire fan, every since I was a young boy. I used to watch the old Vampire movies and loved them since the first one I saw

 Isa: What's your favorite?

 Carter Holloway: You might not know the films but there was a whole series of films from "The Hammer house of horror" in the UK. I grew up with watching Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

 Isa: I know those names but not those movies.

 Carter Holloway: Mainly 60's and 70's movies.

 Isa: What attracts you to the idea of vampirism, if that's a word.

 Carter Holloway: It is...I have always liked the darker side of life, the idea that evil is just a small step away from good. I enjoy bad/evil, in movies for example, the bad characters are always the most entertaining, take any film and look at the bad guy, they tend to have the best actors, the best lines. I always side on the bad guys side, I like to root for the underdog :)

 Isa: Adoration

 Carter Holloway nods.
Adoration - Carter Holloway

 Isa: I absolutely ADORE this picture.  Ha ha.  You're welcome - please tip your servers and try the veal.

 Carter Holloway: I tried the server, they didnt swallow so went back to the veal.

 Isa: Probably tasted better.

 Carter Holloway: He didn't. :P

 Isa: Wow - let me get this interview back on track!  I'm sure you enjoyed working with Anyka - she's super talented, and very gorgeous.

 Carter Holloway: Anyka is an SL treasure; sexy, witty, smart and a real joy to work with. She also has the 2 things I need, patience and pose awareness.

 Isa: I couldn't agree more. I think that she is WAY underutilized as a model, and some of her pictures are my favorites.

 Carter Holloway: She does some amazing stuff for sure

 Isa: So in Adoration, what I like the most is that the focus is on her pleasure....she has a look of ecstasy on her face.  So many photographers, particularly men, I'm afraid, focus on the male perspective.  In Adoration, you're focusing a bit on the Feminine...but there are two people in the image. How do you balance the feminine without undermining the male perspective?

 Carter Holloway: I don't give it much thought if I am honest. If the pose works, then I go with it. I like strong women too, empowering them and not just having them seen as things for men to play with.

 Isa: That's certainly refreshing.

 Isa: That takes us to Just a Taste, the picture that made many a woman swoon. The best part of this image, besides your tongue on her neck, is the delicate way both of your fingers are perfectly aligned on each other.  Amazing!  How did you get that level of exactness?
Just a Taste - Carter Holloway

 Carter Holloway: By using every curse word I knew. Ok, so that photo, my favourite by the way, was the biggest pain in the ass photo I have ever done. It was a store bought one and nothing fit, everywhere you looked it clipped, poor Lexia heard the full range of my foul mouth...several times. I eventually got AnyPose out and redid the whole thing, used Fate hand poser for my fingers and after 2 hours, the pose was finally done. I think it then took another hour to find the right angle and lighting. I was close to scrapping the whole thing, I figured it just wasn't worth the effort and I wasn't enjoying the shoot at all.

 Isa:  So what makes it your favorite then?

 Carter Holloway:  I think because its a shot I gave up on a few times, cursed, walked away, came back, tried something else, cursed some more. Eventually I figured I had invested too much time to scrap it and I had Lexia posed for a long time. It wasn't until I started to edit it that i started to see the true image and it made the time worth while.

 Isa:  Do you shoot in Ultra?

 Carter Holloway: I don't... I don't see the point. I used to but the difference between ultra and medium with all the settings tweaked is negligible. It saves a lot of pressure on your PC too and allows me to shoot at higher resolution.

 Isa: How do you achieve the shadow effects if you aren't at least in 'High'?

 Carter Holloway: I basically tick everything in the graphics tab, set shadows to sun/moon, complex shadows etc and then in windlight, I go into edit sky preset and play with the sliders.

 Isa:  So lastly, let's talk about Brunch. For me this is a perfect picture. You capture her ecstasy and again, that firelight lighting is so warm and inviting.  I notice you aren't naked in the picture...was this a conscious decision?  Is your cock THAT BIG that you had to cover it to deflect attention?
Brunch - Carter Holloway

 Carter Holloway: Well my cock is just too immense for most people to handle and I don't like to make other people feel inadequate. :)

 Isa: That's so gracious of you.

 Carter Holloway: All joking aside (Isa:  we were joking?!), I have found that I don't need to have my cock showing in every photo. Most, if not all of my photos are about my model, the pose, the image I want to portray. Not a vehicle to say "Look at me, I am great and hung like a Shetland Pony". I have never been a big fan of taking photos of myself and I am a staunch believer that my photos should focus mostly on the model and the pose, not me.

 Isa: Carter, this has been a lot of fun.  Is there anything I haven't asked you that you'd like my readers to know?

 Carter Holloway: I don't think so, I like to leave a little mystery although as I mentioned earlier, I am told I am intimidating. I am easy going and approachable so I would hope that's not the general consensus.

 Isa: I don't think you're intimidating in the slightest; I can't imagine why anyone would think that.  It's only your massive cock that is intimidating, but we've already been over that. :)  Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me!

 Carter Holloway: It's been a real pleasure.

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