JAMES FRANKLIN INTRODUCED HIMSELF TO US WITH HIS SERIES OF 2008 COWBOYS. WHICH WE DIDN’T MIND AT ALL. ON THE CONTRARY. IT MADE US CURIOUS LEARNING MORE ABOUT JAMES. AND GUESS WHAT. IT SEEMS LIKE JAMES IS RUNNING A PHOTOGRAPHIC EMPLOYMENT AGENCY WHERE YOU CAN FIND A LOT MORE THEN ONLY COWBOYS. WE HAPPILY WENT THROUGH THE LIST OF JOBS, AND AT THE SAME TIME TOOK THE TIME TO GET TO KNOW JAMES.
Of course James Franklin does not really own an employment agency. But looking at this exciting series of photos, this talented photographer does know what makes us tick. Men in uniform. And we aren’t limited to the usual fire fighter, soldier and police officer.
James, welcome to Beautiful Magazine! Tell us about yourself, hometown and heritage.
James: Wow there is a lot to cover in the 1st question. If you take pieces of my life and put them together it sounds exciting, but on the whole I'm actually pretty boring. Right now I'm really focused on creating quality work and growing as an artist.
My social life consists of the rare date and small dinner parties with friends (I love cooking). We all hang out in the kitchen eat & talk about everything.
My family traveled all around the world so I really don't have a hometown. I think I've lived in both Northern & Southern California (9 years) & Dallas/Forth Worth Texas (22 years) the most. I now currently live in Los Angeles. I miss Dallas, but LA has its moments where it can be fun and even charming.
How do you define your style and how did you become interested in a career as a photographer?
James: My style is always evolving & changing. Most categorize my work as commercial. The Cowboy images especially have gotten so much attention over the last few years. They came about from a need to evolve and do something different. I love the rustic, rugged feel I get from the images.
My interest in photography came from an interest in art. I studied everything I could (art history, design, sculpture, architecture), but I didn't fully explore the art of photography until I got into college. I wanted a creative career and photography gave me the most options with the greatest freedom. I was very lucky to have some great instructors who allowed me to really explore photography and push my personal limits as an artist.
Do you think that digital era really helped the photographers concerning aspects like quality and technology?
James: I think it allows more people to explore the field of photography. I am grateful I learned about photography using film. When I shot using film I had to work hard to perfect the images sight unseen until processing. Photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Herb Ritts, Robert Maplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Ellen Von Unwerth all Icons in the industry all shot film & all created iconic images using film and their camera.
What is the best / worst that has been said about your work?
James: Worst: "your work is not very clever and your subjects are boring" (everyone is entitled to their opinion). Best: "Sometimes, when we see great things... we can't describe the exactness of the quality that makes them so. That is the case with James outstanding images. His shots are 110%. His composition, clarity, contrast and lightness are flawless. Perfection would be a step down." JP Valdez, NYC Art critic (this one made my year).
How are you to work with?
James: I have my thoughts and can be opinionated, but most will say I am one of the easiest to work with. I'm like a kid when I am shooting and totally love what I do with all my heart. I demand a lot from myself and can sometimes get pissed at myself for not doing my best.
I’m sure you might have some unusual/funny backstage stories. Can you share some of them with us.
James: There are plenty. Just about every shoot I do has some small element of fun. I think the funniest behind the scenes story has to be when I was shooting singer Paul Lekakis. One of the shots he's using was photographed in a port-a-potty. Man did it stink, but the image is beautiful and works well for the CD cover.
What are some of your current/future projects?
James: After taking a two-year break from beefcake calendars I have the new 2008 Cowboys calendar that did very well. I also do a lot of family portrait work and private contract work for designers. I also have a small celebrity client list that I love working with. I am working with a local clothing manufacture shooting images for there catalog. I'm also I'm working with a production company on a major film project.
If a model wants to work with you, how do they get in touch?
JAMES FRANKLIN | BEAUTIFUL