Photo © 2000 Kyoung
Interview with Craig Morey.
Q. How long have you been interested
childhood, I suppose. I annoyed my family by constantly asking
them to pose for snapshots. By the time I was a teenager, they
were calling me "C.B." (short for Cecille B. DeMille)
because I had a tendency to direct them into unusual positions
and was rarely satisfied with just capturing the moment. I also
remember clipping interesting photos out of magazines when I
was even younger.
Q. What first got you interested?
A. I think
I've had an innate interest in images all my life, but it really
awoke in college (at Indiana University) when I became involved
with a girl who was in the photography dept. She would visit
me in my dorm room at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning after having
worked in the darkroom all evening. I was quite impressed that
the photo school would allow students to work there all night
long, and I started spending more time with her and her photo
classmates. I soon discovered students and teachers who were
infinitely more interesting than the folks I was meeting in the
psychology dept., and that rekindled my interest in taking pictures.
Q. Who were your major influences?
A. I have
always been attracted to the black & white work of Avedon
and Penn and Norman Seef. Also, while I was in college, Ralph
Gibson was very active in b&w and it was one particular photo
of his - a white horse's head with a woman's hand resting on
it - which I mark as the epiphany or the turning point in my
understanding of the photographic image. I can't describe it
in words very well (and isn't that the real point of photography
after all, to describe without words), but seeing that picture
at that time helped me realize all at once the great simplicity
and the great complexity of photography.
But even that step would not have been
possible without the guidance of Henry Holmes Smith, the photo
dept. chairman. Smith came from the old Bauhaus school of visual
arts and transmitted to us such a passion for images that we
all learned, for the first time, that it was alright to love
looking at and taking pictures, without having to explain why.
Q. Do you have formal photographic education,
or are you self-taught?
A. I would
have to say both. I learned a great deal in the art dept. at
I.U., but that taught me nothing about earning a living as a
photographer. My technical training came as a result of being
an assistant - first, in a large "assembly line" studio
where we shot everything from wine glasses to underwear, and
later, in the studios of various advertising and fashion photographers.