If you ain’t already a fan of Deanna Templeton, let us right that wrong by introducing her latest masterpiece THE SWIMMING POOL. Following numerous published photographic bibles such as 17 Days and Your Logo Here, Deanna has established herself yet again as an icon in photography.
‘The Swimming Pool’ delivers a proud and absolute stripped vision of the human body, presented through wondrous shapes and romantic hues, without limits. Here, we introduce to you a sneak peek of the photo series and an insight into the whole concept from the goddess herself.
Can you tell us the basis for your inspiration of ‘The Swimming Pool’?
The inspiration came from shooting my husband Ed one day taking a skinny dip in our pool. When I got my proof-sheets back from the photo lab I really liked what I saw, so then I just thought, ‘let’s see where this can go’ and started to ask friends and friends of friends if they would be down to swim for me.
You shot over a span of 8 years – did you originally set out to complete this book from the beginning or was it a natural progression into something larger than just a collection of photographs?
It first started off just to see what images I can make. Then it turned into a show, in the early stages, like 4 months after I started shooting. I had a gallery that wanted to do an exhibition with me and asked if I had anything new that I wanted to show so I thought well, this Swimming Pool series is new, I’ll show that. Then I felt like I wasn’t done, that in reality I was just at the beginning. So, every summer for the next 7 years I would ask around for swimmers and kept on shooting…and I’m glad I did, most of the photos in the first exhibition didn’t even make it into the book. I really learned over the case of 8 years what I wanted and what I didn’t want in my photographs.
All photographs in the book were shot in your backyard. What was the ratio of you orchestrating these photos versus you spontaneously capturing friends swimming in your pool?
Yes, all the photos were shot in our backyard pool. I think I would have to say about 80% is spontaneous and the other 20% is me asking for some specific swimming techniques, like I would see someone blow bubbles from their nose once and then ask them to do that again. Usually the way it would start I would tell the swimmers that this is a collaboration between us, I wanted them to swim to express themselves. Then when I saw something that was unique I would ask them to do that again.
You have really succeeded in presenting a strong connection between the human body with nature – how important was it to you to have the models swimming in the nude?
Very, I also tried to find swimmers that had little to none tattoos. I really wanted a blank canvas, just the body, water and light. No distractions. I mean even my time frame for shooting this was limited because I have a patio cover that at a certain time of day the shadow starts to creep in the pool and I wanted to avoid that so I usually had about a 3-4 hour time frame to shoot everyday. The time frame was even shorter in the winter so that’s why I only shot in the summer months. Plus I didn’t know how to work the pool heater so it was better for the swimmers if it was warm outside.
Is there anything specific that you hope to accomplish, or deliver to the world, with this book?
That in such a vulnerable environment, these swimmers showed how beautiful and strong the human body is. There should be no shame in the nude form.
’The Swimming Pool’ really cements your ability to capture movement so beautifully and brilliantly – would you ever depart from photography in favour of film?
First, thank you for the kind words about my work. Second I would never depart photography for anything, I would only add to it. And it’s funny that you asked because about 3 years into shooting this series I did start to think about filming it as well. When I would day dream about that I would even hear the music that would go with it.
You’re no stranger to publishing successful books – when working on a project like this, what is your favourite part of the process?
Shooting the photos is definitely the best part for me. Everything else is so stressful. Editing is hard. I’m also not very computer literate so when I ask for help I usually get a chip on my shoulder, and that sucks because my husband is the one that helps me and he doesn’t deserve that. I also need to work on receiving constructive criticism better.
With an already impressive and acclaimed body of work behind you, could you tell us of any future creative plans for yourself that we can look forward to?
Well, I have two other series I’m working on. One is about Huntington Beach, Ed and I take an afternoon walk almost everyday downtown H.B. Just shooting the locals, the passerby’s and everything in between. We hope someday to publish a 2 volume book, a his and hers take on H.B. The other series is still in the works but it will deal with me personally when I was between the ages of 14-18.
‘The Swimming Pool’ will be released late April/early May, published by Um Yeah Arts. It is also available for pre-order through Amazon for April 15th.