Bijou Phillips Models For Photographer Michael Stipe

Is a picture worth a thousand words? That would be helpful for R.E.M.'s usually reticent Michael Stipe, who is nurturing a secondary career as a photographer.

Last year the singer published the photo book "Two Times Intro: On the Road with Patti Smith," which documented his punk mentor's 1995 tour. By the end of the year, he hopes to produce another candid photo compilation called "Fear of the Empty."

MTV News caught up with Stipe last week during a wild photo shoot with celebrity club kid-turned-chanteuse Bijou Phillips, and he spoke about his not-so-new vocation.

"I actually mastered photography before I ever knew how to sing," Stipe explained, "so I've been doing this for a really long time, and for me it's really relaxing... It's not as challenging as writing songs is, but it's really satisfying." [RealVideo]

The photo spread of Phillips (the daughter of John Phillips from

the famed '60s group the Mamas and the Papas) runs in the fall fashion issue of "Nylon" magazine, which will be on newsstands August 17.

You can also catch more on Phillips' curious transformation from party girl to recording artist on "MTV News 1515", which airs beginning this Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET)