Friday, September 24, 2010
Beyond The Surface: J. Rowan Pierce
Above: Shot by Jeff Code for Metro Weekly.
In the early stages of FH most of my posting came from lengthy research and sharing the things I enjoyed with the readers of the blog. As the audience of FH grew I was happy that I was able to begin to work directly with many of my subjects of my posts. My favorite posts are always those which include more than just a series of pictures. Last year photographer Hans Fahrmeyer sent me his work with J. Rowan Pierce. Rowan is one of those guys who you cannot help but be drawn to.
Above: J.Rowan shot by Nicole Martinez
Male models are often stereotyped as good looking idiots. In my years of working on FH that stereotype is rarely the case. J. Rowan Pierce is hot no doubt, but beyond his appearance he is a strong, talented, intelligent and driven man. Rowan is also somewhat of a paradox, using his appearance to further his goals yet defiant in his refusal to be defined by it. Rowan wants you to see him but has no time for fake adoration.
Rowan says that one of the reasons he models is to see how other, professional photographers work. To examine what is good and bad about their process, to see what are the most successful ways to negotiate things, and how to interact with models. 'It's important to have a well-rounded awareness about your craft.'
Above: Phobias by J. Rowan
(Models Jesse Mockrish and Jennah Berardino)
'I think education is important for any endeavor, but not in the academic or scholastic sense. The technical know-how of photography is very important, and someone needs to be taught that. The rest is how you combine your technical skills to make the image. That's something each photographer needs to learn from themselves.'
J. Rowan is always studying. Formally by day but maybe more importantly informally all of the rest of the time. Rowan has a diverse educational background, both in academics and photography alike. This has led to a varied portfolio and a decidedly individual technique. Rowan had been commuting weekly to the NY from Philadelphia for work but moved to the city full time this past July.
'My inspiration comes from nightlife, existentialism, queer politics, sexuality, and culture. I look up to photography greats Robert Mapplethorpe, David LaChapelle, and Karl Giant. I work in nightlife, editorial, fashion, commercial, and automotive photography.'
T Bird by J. Rowan Pierce
(Models Melissa, Mahogany and Larry)
Although in my thirties I personally feel much younger. I think that might be due to the fact I have only been out for about 9 years. If you have read the few times I have delved into my past you might remember that in my early twenties I was firmly crazy glued into my closet and was engaged to a beautiful woman. Given this, I have massive respect when I get to know some of the men I profile, many so young but already knowing who they are and what they want. I went through a lifetime of careers, photography, acting, teaching before finally taking the save road to degree in psychology. J. Rowan Pierce is barely past 20 yet is already a young professional who knows where he is going and what he wants.
Above: Still-one of my favorite shots by J. Rowan.
Rowan's dream job as a photographer would be to shoot for automobile magazines.
'I think that a lot of car magazines have really exciting premises for shoots that their photographers often don't interpret artistically. I love to shoot in motion, play with depth of field, and a good motion blur. They can really come together for an ideal image- if I were to shoot for these people their content could be so much more visually stimulating.'
Above: On stage earlier this year with Kylie Minogue.
Below: J. Rowan shared two of his nude self-portraits, displayed here for the first time. When asked about the main obstacles in doing self portraits, J. Rowan says:
'The main obstacle of self portraits is having to deal with the trial and error of posing yourself. You lose the rhythm of seeing the image the moment before the shutter clicks, and you have to accept that your portraits might not be the level of proficiency you expect.'
Rowan is currently building his website which is coming soon. When complete I will be sure to post a link. Thanks J. Rowan!