Judy Dater: Sabine, Arles - 1973
“Dater: From my own experience, I mean, I did this book with Jack (Welpott) where we both photographed the same people. We both photographed women -– the same women, in the same moment, in the same room and were photographing them sometimes in the nude and sometimes not but often in the nude. So there I am a young woman working with an older man and we’re both looking at the same woman and we’re both photographing the same woman and we’re getting really different pictures and everything that I said before about my personal experience working with women, yes, I can acknowledge the sexual charge there. But that was my experience of it. And Jack’s experience of it was -– or at least what he would talk about — because who knows what he was really experiencing — but the way he would talk about it -– it was very similar to the way you describe Sam [Clayberger] and his relationship to his models. It was pretty sexually -– much more sexually charged -– much more a man looking at a woman and getting off on it. Very much a seduction. I think when you’re photographing -– when anybody’s photographing another person in a private situation, it’s a kind of a seduction but it’s not always a sexual seduction.
Interviewer (PAUL KARLSTROM): That connects to power, doesn’t it?
JUDY DATER: Yeah.
PAUL KARLSTROM: And control.
JUDY DATER: And I thought -– I feel like when Jack was doing it, it was a sexual seduction and when I was doing it, it was more of a psychological seduction in order to get them to cooperate with me. Not because I wanted them to spread their legs or … be, you know, “Wanna sleep with me?”, or whatever. Nothing followed through. I think for sure he did sometimes but not every time, and that wasn’t always what was gonna happen. But he was pretty up front about his sexual desires for these women and …
PAUL KARLSTROM: He discussed that with you?
JUDY DATER: He didn’t exactly discuss it but he certainly let me know. And, of course, it totally pissed me off but I was there, sort of protecting my territory so nothing was gonna happen right at that minute and they knew that but, I mean, that was a little game we were playing, I’m sure.
PAUL KARLSTROM: Yeah. Gee, this is really interesting. What a interesting scenario because it sounds to me there is seduction present that relates to getting something from the model -– different things between you. But it sounds to me there’s also a kind of -– I don’t know what term to use. It’s not sparring, exactly, but this has to do with your relationship. Were you guys married then?
JUDY DATER: Not yet, I don’t think. - Oh no, yes we were. Of course we were. Yes we were. When did we get married? In 1971 or 2. Oh maybe we started it before we were married but then we got married and then we continued it for a while.
PAUL KARLSTROM: When did you get married?
JUDY DATER: I’m tryin’ to remember. ‘70 or ‘71, I guess. We bought this house in San Anselmo first in 1970 and we mighta gotten married that year. But after -– the house -– the house is what got us to get married, mainly.
PAUL KARLSTROM: I don’t want to divert this but it just occurs to me, when we were talking about power -– starting out with the assumption that’s a basic component in human interaction. But I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing at all. It’s a way of maneuvering. It just strikes me -– the way you describe this — that there is a kind of power play or game certainly on Jack’s part. I don’t know about you. And he’s setting this up. Not that that’s the primary goal but -– from what you said — it sounds as if that was present. Like making a statement? Kind of a…
JUDY DATER: I’m trying to think about the dynamic of how it -– how these things came to be because we photographed a lot of different women together over a period of several years and we did talk about doing … when I first met Jack he had already started photographing women and he had done nudes and then I -– and I was doing them on my own and there were even -– I think what happened was there were actually a couple of people that we both had photographed before we started working on this thing together but -– and they were young women and they were probably students because those were the people I was photographing. So they were his students and my fellow students. And he had photographed a few of ‘em and then of course he and I started having this relationship and then we saw that we had done some of the same people and so we came up with this idea. “Why don’t we photograph the same women and you do it your way and I’ll do it my way and then we’ll put the pictures together and see what comes out of it.” So we agreed that we were gonna do this thing together and so that was -– that was the set up of how it happened. And sometimes the people would be people that I would see and sometimes they’d be people that he would see. Sometimes we’d see them together and we would agree that we were gonna photograph them but I knew, I mean, I was very aware of Jack’s nature. In terms of his relationships with women and his desire for women and maybe I thought this was a safe way to -– a safe outlet. “You can photograph ‘em all you want but I’m gonna be right there with you.” (Source)