As a child Derek Mick a.k.a. Obscuri was drawn to horror movies and the darker side of life. He seeks his inspiration from movies, music, childhood fears, nightmares, loneliness and erotic fantasies.
This interview was featured in the 2 Year Anniversary issue of Sinical Magazine. Print copies can be ordered here.
Sinical Magazine: How did you get started in photography?
Derek Mick: As a young boy my Grandfather was the one person I looked up to. He was a man of many talents and one of them was photography. After spending many afternoons watching him take pictures of animals and landscapes I decided I wanted to give it a try. My High School was having a Yearbook Photo Competition and I was determined to enter it. So I did what any red blooded American Teenager boy would do, I stole my Dad¹s camera and took the photo that won the competition. Winning that competition gave me the confidence to pursue photography.
Sinical Magazine: What type of camera equipment do you use?
Derek Mick: I have to say I have tried different brands of cameras but Nikon has always been my first and only choice. I also only use Nikon lenses.
Sinical Magazine: What are your preferred Nikon lenses for portrait photography?
Derek Mick: My lens of choice is the Nikon 24-70 2.8 a close second is the 70-200 2.8.
Model: Suzi Rubbish.
Sinical Magazine: Your work has elements of horror and darkness and there is a monofilament of blood running throughout your work. What can you elaborate on this?
Derek Mick: The only genre of movies I will sit and watch are horror. The first time I saw Leatherface it was love at first sight. I love the juxtaposition of my subject and the purity of blood, after all blood is source of life.
Sinical Magazine: When creating a composition what is your main focus?
Derek Mick: I want to stir emotions by bringing together beauty, horror, filth, shock and blood while at the same time the eyes convey a sense of innocence and purity.
Sinical Magazine: How much planning goes into a shoot?
Derek Mick: It seems to be about a month for most of the more in depth shoots.
Sinical Magazine: Do you work with strobes or continuous lighting?
Derek Mick: I work with both. It really just depends on what the shoot calls for.
Sinical Magazine: What are some lighting set ups that you like to use?
Derek Mick: I tend to use 1 to 3 lights. I like to keep that aspect of my photography simple and bare bones.
Sinical Magazine: Steve Diet Goedde mentioned in an interview with us that he is often ripped off by people who take his images online and turn around and sell prints. Has this happened to you?
Derek Mick: Yes and I have had imagery used by other photographers claimed to be their own on websites. Technology is a double edge sword. You want to use the Internet to share your work but you run the risk of bottom feeders trying to steal it.
Model: Crystal Piper.
Sinical Magazine: How does living in Dallas influence your work?
Derek Mick: Dallas like any other city has the ³shady² parts of town where you can find cool rundown buildings. There are a lot of dark elements in Dallas, which inspired me to start a new project called ³Dumped² based on murders I saw on the news here.
Sinical Magazine: Who are some photographers that have influenced your work?
Derek Mick: To be honest its movie stills and crime scene imagery that truly inspires me.
Sinical Magazine: How much does music influence your work? What do you listen to?
Derek Mick: Music has always been my true passion. I always have to be listening to music. If I am not listening to it I am writing new material for Drudenhaus (my Band). I can¹t do anything with out it. I like all types of music but my main focus is EBM and Industrial.
Model: Ashlei Decay
Sinical Magazine: What do you do when one of your shoots is not going the way you had originally imagined?
Derek Mick: I get it going back on track by keeping a calm head and taking a breather if needed.
Sinical Magazine: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to working with models?
Derek Mick: If the model can't follow simple direction and put their ego aside I won't work with them. I have a vision of what I want the outcome to be and will only work with models who respect my artistic vision.
Sinical Magazine: What annoys you about other photographers?
Derek Mick: My biggest complaint is the poorly executed mimicking of my work. I had a guy contact me asking what I used for blood and my lighting diagrams so he could give it a go. As if blood and lighting was all that went into creating my work. You can learn how to use a camera that doesn't give you the creativity or eye to create art. About a year ago I had posted that I may put an end to my blood work in 2012 and had another photographer try and pick up where I left off same basic style just poorly done. It ended when I continued the shoots due to demand.
Model: Ladonna Stein
Sinical Magazine: What is the most interesting that's happened during one of your photo shoots?
Derek Mick: Last summer a cop saw my self and a model's husband throw her in a dumpster wrapped in plastic and covered in blood, that was a tense moment.
Sinical Magazine: What is your approach to the business side of photography?
Derek Mick: This is the area where I have the hardest time as most artists do. I try to keep on top of things but this is where having a business orientated wife comes in.
Sinical Magazine: Do you have one tip that you would recommend to any aspiring alt photographer?
Derek Mick: Shoot often and develop a style to distinguish you from the others.
Sinical Magazine: What projects are you currently working on?
Derek Mick: I am working on 3 at the moment faces and dumped both are going to be small coffee table books limited runs and finalizing my blood book based on all of my bloody portraits.
Let us know what you think of this interview in the comments!