Do you have a background in photography? Is this something that's new for you?
I shall tell you. Almost 20 years ago, I looked out and saw the light, and I said, "My God, it's beautiful." But I was ignorant. This was at noon; the light at noon is not good--it's flat. ... And I had a student--a voice student--who was a photographer, and she told me. I said, "OK, where do I start?" She said, "Buy a good, used camera--make sure it's manual--and get two lenses." I did that. ... And then I started taking pictures. I went on a research trip in music to Spain and took the camera for fun, and wound up doing a show at the Jewish Community Center--which is hard to crack. I thought I'd cracked it because I'm Jewish--not so. Then I joined a camera club, and I learned a lot, and then I went back to school. I took all the courses that are available in the photography department from Pima Community College. I learned to print; I learned buckets. ... Then, I opened a card business in 1993.
A card business?
Yeah, they were art cards--mostly desert, because that sells. And I had some rather sophisticated venues, including the Tucson Museum of Art gift shop, Westward Look, the Rincon Market, the Blue Willow--all the usual places.
Where'd the idea come from to do pictures for dating Web sites?
About a month ago, not one--two or three--friends said, "I want to find a boyfriend. Would you do me?" And I said, "Sure, I'll do it." I started shooting, and I looked at all my stuff. By now, I had converted to digital, and I have some really sophisticated cameras and software and the works. I'm able to put them on the computer and really critique them. And I looked at them and said, "There is a market for this." A little light turned on, and right out of the air, I pulled this name: Choice Images. Of course, there's a double meaning--images of choice and choice images. It had a nice ring, and being a musician, it was euphonious in my head. So, I started making noise.
What do you get out of taking photographs?
Two things: the aesthetic and the monetary. Does that sum it up? Artists--and I don't care what area they're in--do not do well when they're not doing their craft. I can tell you that as both a musician and as a photographer. It is you, because it becomes a way of life.
When we're discussing online dating services, what are we talking about?
We're talking about people who want their picture on MatchNet.com and that sort of stuff. They have these endless verbal profiles, and then, as an afterthought, people send in any old snapshot--and, really, some of them look like hell.
What makes a good pic for an online dating service?
I researched this. I thought I knew, but I wasn't sure. But, anyway, I called them up. I started with (Internet Web site) JDate--Jewish Date--which is part of MatchNet, which is part of something else. They said the following: definitely a headshot and a full-body shot.
If you were to describe these photos, what would you go for when taking them?
What would connote sincerity, honesty and having a good time. Those are the things that I would look for, were I looking for a mate: someone who's honest, level-headed, knows how to have fun and, of course, (is) intelligent.
You talked a bit earlier about things people put in their pictures that perhaps they shouldn't. What are those things--some mistakes people commonly make?
There was one with his dog. And people say, "Well, that's nice--the man loves animals." You could see there was symbiosis between him and the dog. I don't know if there was room for anybody else. Another one was with the grandkids all over him. People who are looking for a lover aren't looking for the grandfather type. They want someone that they can enjoy, and it's that simple.