This interview was an unscripted, unplanned, spotaneus interview that just happened to come about when two friends run into each other at a local eating place. The first went so well that they meant for an additional chat a few days later.
Dan Hurdle: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say in all the years that we've known each other, we've never talked in depth about your back story, or really your current story as well. Seems like we just skirt the past and present and enjoy whatever we are doing together. So my thought here is, let's interview you for SESSIONS. You've included everyone else, why not your story as well?
K R Tracy: I think the main reason is that I've gotten to the point where I'm tired of talking about it. Just seems like it's a boring story. If there is a story there at all. (sips a cup of coffee, which tends to be something I've noticed he does a lot of, drink coffee). After you create websites surrounding your work, and have to write bio after bio, you get a little tired of talking about yourself. But,.....I'm game to give this a shot. I don't have a lot of content for my magazine just yet, so let's give this a try. LOL
Dan Hurdle: Ok then let's do it this way. I'll ask you questions and you answer as best you can. How does that sound?
K R Tracy: Takes another sip of coffee,....smiles, let's give it a try, Dan.
Dan Hurdle: Three first questions on my list first are; 1. After many years as a Photographer you now list yourself as a Photographic Artist, why? 2. Summer May has been your model for the last year or more, is she the first muse you have ever had? 3. You told me recently that other photographers scorn you for your use of overly editing your images, please expand on this.
K R Tracy: Because I'm not a Photographer. My background is art. Art of many levels actually. There is a huge difference in how we equally work. Both with the model and when it comes to editing. My want is to take the image from a reality to a figmated version of it. Our mind set is vastily different. Photographers follow all these rules of lighting, ways that your camera is set, or how the model should look. In fact when I first started out many years ago, there was all this dogma about how you should shoot. I used to call these guys , the Monte Zuckers of Photogs. Either your follow their set rules, be it guidelines for the perfect pic, or you simply are not a photographer. They follow and teach all this dogma of being a photographer. They make pretty pictures. yet none of them capture something deeper in the model. It's what it is, a pretty picture. Not slamming, ....simply throwing out reality. I, like most photographic artist, set out to break everyone of these so called, rules. So about a year ago, I started weighing how different what I do was from what they do. Came to realize I match better with the creative process of a Photographic Artist then I do with a Photographer. My work is a mix of using alternative lighting, maybe a high ISO, or messing around with the saturation of a setting, in camera. Can I shoot like them? Sure! Do I want to? No! At the end of the day I don't look at any photographer and sit there and think they are the best. Because they are not. One step further...I don't critique anyones work. I stand by that theory. To critique you are molding an artist to shoot exactly how you do and how you think a shot, any shot, should be done. I've seen young kids or Hobbyist throw in the towel and quit because some arrogant so called, Pro Photog gave him or her "sage" advice. Photographic Artist play with the art of photography, they very rarely critique. If a beginner asks how they made a pic, then odds are the artist will share. Consider Brooke Shaden, or any other Photographic Artist, they all do workshops sharing how they make the images they do.
K R Tracy: As for Summer May being my first Muse? No! She isn't. I've had three main Muses in my time as an artist. All of them have either been a wife, a girlfriend/wife or then girlfriend. Then I usually pull in models around them to fill in the rest of my shooting. All of them have given me a different element to my work. Summer May and I probably experiment more. We search out odd places to shoot, or we mess around with ideas we find online that maybe European artist are doing. We do our homework before we shoot. My first wife was more the fine art model. And Rachel Lawrence, she was more the glamour model, plus she did a lot of the erotic work. See? Each has given me a different element. I like to shoot with a Muse. It's a collective work that shows models range, using OUR chemistry. It's interesting to look through what we have created and see how we change with each and every concept we shoot. All three have helped to mold me into the artist I now am. I don't regret working with any of them. I think Summer and maybe Rachel have been the most driven by their modeling. They each have fought to provide me with the best shot they can in any shoot. My first wife was more laid back and simply posed. It was back during the days of film cameras so you gambled with every shoot you did. We never knew if we nailed something until I was able to process the film in the darkroom. So thank God for digital. To date, Summer has been my best Muse by far. She lives and breaths modeling. So she puts her heart into it.
K R Tracy: The third question has presented itself to me many times in the last few years. What most of my contemporaries don't get is that a lot of what they say about me, my work, my style, gets back to me. Those people out there that think you can trust to talk shit on me and it stays between you two, Well guess what? They then tell me. It's bullshit. See? Photographers love to talk shit on each other and it gets back around. Pisses me off to no end. If any of these assholes went to any site that has my work on it, I'm very honest and up front about the fact that yeah, I do over filter, I do over photoshop, I do go way, way, beyond what any of them do. Why? Because it's intentional. It's my art. But nope! They just keep on with the slamming crap.
Dan Hurdle: So without mentioning names. Whay are these other photographers doing this? I mean, didn't you tell me that just this last year you began the process of taking legal action against another photographer in Kanas City and a one of your ex models?
K R Tracy: Yeah, we can't mention names. We've put the lawsuit on the backburner, but we have people keeping an eye on both individuals. But yes, the "photographer" in question cropped my copyright off my work, then did a re-edit, his way. Huge No! No! His partner, and ex model of mine said she owns all her work, which she doesnt. He fought with me over it for a bit until finally I called a lawyer and he was like, yeah, let's go after him. It was a mess. But no! I dont feel these two are the ones who have passed along this negative crap about my work. Or, let me rephrase that. I think these two have intentionally spread bad information around to other models and photographers to ruin my name and my studio as well as my work. It's the bigger photogs in the KC area, that maybe due to their simply disliking me as a threat, that they help to pass this crap around. Again, just as I explained the difference between a Photo Artist and a general Photographer, unless it's done their way, it's not done right. So instead of having an open mind and seeing what I am doing artistically, it's easier to talk shit on my work. Easier to make you look bad to other models. I'm telling you I have knives in my back on a daily basis. I've often contemplated leaving Facebook altogether. It's the root of the problem. You have no idea how many knives I get in my back in a week. Yet, you shrug it off and work on. I find it more amusing that instead of embracing another artist as an equal who does great work. They instead try and demolish them. I've been doing this for many years now, I've seen witch hunts on some really great photographers and artist. Now with social media, you can destroy someone over night.
Dan Hurdle: Why did you say this person is a "Photographer"?
K R Tracy: Because he's not. Least not one that has ethics to what he does. This is a professional GWC. He went from retail worker, to Chiropractic student, to Photog, to DJ, to Photog, etc.. He flips around to whatever pleases him. It's all about skin with him. He robs ideas and or an artist work. His ethics in dealing with models are way beyond fucked up. He's a pathological liar. If I were a model I would watch my back with him. His talent. He can make you believe the oddest crap. I see some really great artist and photographers go down in flames due to something minor that has transacted between them and the model. These guys will lose their lifes work. Yet this guy goes on and on, stealing ideas and passing around crap and he gets away with it.