Today I’m hosting an interview I had with Francis J Cura. You’ll recognize him from both Chris’s stumblingoverchaos blog (check out the naughty santa section for covers) and many of the covers of various novels. I’d call him the Fabio of this decade, but he’s way more than a gorgeous face and stunning physique. Mr. Cura not only models, he’s a talented photographer, singer and actor. He was also kind and gracious enough to answer my fanboi’ing email and agree to the interview.
Read the Interview:
I’m going to gush a bit here and tell you that I’ve studied, drooled over and sighed at all of your pictures on various microstock sites. I learned of you actually through Dreamstime, where I first saw a picture of you here:
When I started making the cover for my book, I researched cover art from various online publishers and your picture was everywhere, including some very famous authors.
I don’t think a lot of the readers know that you’re not only the model on romance covers, you’re also the photographer behind many of the models/images on other covers. I own probably thirty of your photos, only a few of which are actually you. So you’re not just a beautiful model, you’re a really talented photographer as well. I think you capture your models vulnerability, as well as sensuality, really well. Case in point, my favorite picture of yours is this one (which I also own):
So model, photographer but little do readers know that you’re also a classically trained opera singer and an actor! Your schedule must be crazy.
My first question: Professionally how would you describe yourself first: Photographer, model, artist, singer or actor?
All of the above equally, although there is nothing that can compare to singing.
The Feehan and Singh covers are Microphotography exclusives or was that a photo shoot?
It’s all stock.
Now that you’re featured on so many covers across all genres, do you shoot your images with that in mind?
I guess I’m well aware of the way some of my photographs are being used, therefore I do keep that in mind. Although it’s not the only focus I have as a photographer since there are infinite numbers of concepts and ideas to be explored outside book covers.
Have you read any of the hundreds of books which feature you, or any of your images, on the cover?
No. Some authors did send me a copy of their book but I never read them. I will once I’ll get a chance to stop for a minute and relax.
Did you know some of us call you Naughty Santa? =)
Ha! I wonder why. I don’t consider myself the kind of Santa that brings gifts to children…
Speaking of Santa, you have a picture that’s one of my favorites (and obviously a lot of other people’s favorite, judging by the downloads):
Can you tell me about how you photographed that—what type of lens you used, where it was done, who was the model, or anything else interesting about that picture you want to share is good!
I love that image as well. We took this photo in a Los Angeles public park since I wanted to have Santa sit on a tree branch. It was shot during the day with a strobe, which is a big flash light; by doing so I was able to give a night effect while everything in the photo remains sharp and visible. The starry sky was added in post production – sorry to disappoint everybody. The model in the image is Paul De Sousa, a close friend of mine and fellow actor. Lastly, the lens I used is a 50mm.
Are you single? If not, does your significant other ever point out or read the covers you’re featured on?
I recently came out of a two year old relationship, so currently I’m dating. My ex girlfriend saw many of the book covers that feature me and certainly liked them. But I believe she never bought any copies (though that is not the reason of our break up).
The woman I just started seeing recently already knew about my projects, so she’s well informed.
Where are your favorite places to shoot?
I don’t have any specific favorite location, but having to choose I would go with the beach. Although I believe that even a public dumpster can be turned into a spectacular location if utilized in a smart and creative way.
You have a mixture of men and women in your photographer’s portfolio, which do you prefer shooting and why? (For example, I think I’d prefer women because of vast array of clothing options and the opportunity to have flowing dresses etc.)
I surely love shooting women but prioritize men due to a much stronger demand for male subjects in the photography world (the female market is over saturated while the male one is lacking). With that said, you are absolutely right when mentioning the endless aesthetic possibilities female subjects (along with their styles, hair, clothing, make up, accessories) offer.
Of the many covers where you or one of your images are featured, do you have a favorite(s)?
Katie Macalister “Sparks Fly”(audio book)
What kind(s) of camera(or cameras) do you use the most?
Mainly a T Rebel Canon
I asked a group of readers if they had some questions for you. Here are the ones they requested:
Carrie wanted you to know that if you’re ever in Canada, feel free to give her a call. =D (I’m guessing this will be a recurring theme!)
Haha! I’ve been there only once, but if she leaves her phone number I’ll surprise her for Christmas ; )
Naughty Santa is coming to your door, Carrie. I may be jealously weeping over here.
Ilhem would like to know how the cover was done for the Nalini Singh cover. Is it a stock photo or did you model for it? If you modeled for it, how did that photo-shoot go (were you given a character? A mood? Etc).
If I’m not mistaken, I was on two different book covers (both showcasing a close up of my face).
Chris: I’m curious whether models are surprised at the books their photos end up on.
They love it.
There you have it. Photographer, singer, actor and model, Francis J Cura. Pretty amazing guy. You can find more (and see more) on his website http://www.francisjcura.com/galleries.htm, http://www.francisjcura.com/wire.htm, and here at ModelMayhem and please check out the hilarious new commercial he’s starring in: http://youtu.be/-DZyO2Yhl1M
You can find his stunning stock pictures here:
Have any questions? Please leave them below.
Thank you so much, Mr. Cura.