Ted does not own a real studio, he prepares all his sets in his houseboat at Eden Grouse (yes it is a naturist area if you wondered), or in the beach surrounding it. This is where we convened to meet. We sat on the front desk, the sun was shining and the man very charming, everything I could dream of for a good interview.
“Tell me about your personality and history in SL…. who you are, what you like or dislike, what you usually do when you do not photograph?”
I first learned about SecondLife through an article in Wired magazine. I’m an IT guy in RL, so I thought I’d check it out to see where things were graphically. That was 10 years ago… I guess I’m still “checking out the graphics. I’ve learned to keep my SL very simple. RL is complex enough and I just don’t need that here. Simple living.. simple fun. I approached SL technically and … found out there are real people here from all over the world. Never expected to make such good friends in this world. That’s the most satisfying part of my SL.
“How did you come to porn photography, what has been the trigger, the inspiration?”
I had a few friends that were posting to Flickr…. Some were very good at it, and were in some of the more erotic groups. The more I looked into them the more interested I got. It just kind of evolved. Once you post pictures, people start asking you to be in your pictures and want you to be in theirs. It just kind of pulls you along.
“Well I guess so given the quality of your work… those friends, would you name them or you prefer to keep it a secret?”
Not really into giving out names. And to be honest, I really like working with new people all the time. I think it’s nice to see some new faces from time to time.
“Do you run a company for your art, or do you publish in your name? Why is that choice?”
Although I’ve joined a few groups, I’m learning that I prefer to be more independent. Avoids the complexity that comes with being part of a company or organization. Free to do what you want and on your own time line. Gets back to keeping things simple.
“How would you describe your work? What is the motto?”
I like quality. From the setting to the people to the lighting. The lighting and shadowing wasn’t around when I first started SL. What’s available now allows for great photos. I’m far from an expert and learn new things all the time, but I know what I like. No real motto, but I like to go for interesting angles in my shots.
“Could you describe the process of how you produce a photograph …. the preparation, selecting your models, what tools you use and so on?”
Being creative isn’t always easy. Coming up with an idea can take time. You never know what will spark an idea… a comment, a photo posted by someone else, or even something you find on the Internet. For me, once an idea comes to mind it just kind of flows out…. I used to rely on furniture animations and would take stills as the animations flowed. It was just chance if you got a good shot. Then I found people using Anypose a few months ago and I was hooked. Been making my own poses since. As for models, most come from those participating in the groups. I also go to the parties to actually see people that I may use. Once you post some photos, you get people IMing you to tell you they’re available, as well. It’s flattering that they want to be part of your work. Upstairs you saw my pose stands from yesterday’s picture that I posted. A threesome picture that I thought turned out quite well. Not easy weaving three bodies together. 🙂
“At SLA Media, our company, we use to promote porn from talented people like you, we also try to spot interesting models … like Kioke with whom you work already. Would you be interested to work with some of them?”
Sure. As I said earlier, I always enjoy working with new people. My only requirement is that they’re reasonable proportional in shape. What I consider to be overly busty/curvy women or men with excessive endowment… that’s not my kind of model.
“Now … a difficult exercise … can you pick up 3 to 5 pics from your stream you are the most proud of and explain why?”
I’m going to re-word your question from proud to what pictures did I “get lucky” with. I say that because….With great models… But if your lighting and windlight setting isn’t right, all of that doesn’t result in a great picture.
I really liked yesterday’s 3-some picture. And it was the very last shot that I captured after turning on an overhead spotlight. I took 10 pics before that and it just wasn’t right.. then I got it.
I really liked that one. Just a touch erotic, the sunset lighting… great model. That was good.
I point this one out because it was the first time I used floating props. I’d like to do more of that. Push myself a bit to be more creative. A simple start, but I think it worked well. You get this, “how am I going to make it look like…..” thought in your head. And you realize it isn’t that difficult if you look around for props.
“How many pics do you have on your stream? Do you plan to do any vids?”
I didn’t really start posting erotic pics until mid-2016. Not sure how many… 50 to 60? My custom poses started just a few months ago, and that’s when I really started getting control of my work. I actually got started in video before photos on SL. I did the video capture and editing for 4 films back in 2010. The was long before mesh, bento, or even decent lighting. I do have some new video captured and will release it “any day now.” My first video captures using mesh and lighting. It’s going to take a block of time to wrap it up. A bit more complex to do than photos.
“Do you post-process your pics? Any tools you use?”
Yes, I do post-process pictures. Adjust for lighting/exposure and I may correct the typical SL imperfections and add shadowing here and there. I use Photoshop.
“Would you be interested if we promote your vids in our blog?”
My future vids… sure.
“So what are your projects? New ideas?”
Other than the video, I don’t plan too far ahead. Some of the groups have theme days, and those can help spark ideas. Otherwise, I take it day-to-day. I have thought about more edgy pictures in the BDSM area, but keeping them erotic. Not everyone is willing to do BDSM photos.
“Ok my last question …. “Tell me something surprising about you?”
Hmmmm. Surprising… Difficult question to answer. Not sure there is too much surprising to me. Like many I walk more of the straight and narrow in RL, so my SL is a great creative outlet. I tell many that shy is for RL so I don’t hold back too much in here.
“Thank you Ted.That is all”
This is how we finished our interview. I let him a few hints that I, and all SLA Media models, would be very keen to work with him, so we will see … some great pictures might come out of this soon. Anyway I would like to thank Ted for his warm welcome, his time and his “simplicity” that he cherishes.
If you want to see more of Ted’s work, check his Flickr stream.