Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Favorite Pic of the Day for June 9th

Above: My favorite shot of Dave Wilkinson by Dan Skinner.

Today's posts started with a question about a razor. It ended with a day covering the work of one of my favorite artists, Dan Skinner from Cerberus Inc. I have featured Dan's work on FH several times over the past couple of years. I decided recently to go back to some of the photographers I have covered in the past and do updates on their new work. Some of have been so wonderful and giving, sharing not only their work but what motivates them in their art.

Dan was one of my favorite artists to profile for many reasons which I outline in the posts below. Not only does Dan brings us beautiful, thought provoking images, he also introduced us to model Dave Wilkinson. Dan and Dave had created a wonderful working partnership and the trust they have in each other have created an outstanding body of work. Dan has such enthusiasm for his work and is always willing to assist me with stories so that I can really do justice to his work.

Dan is at heart a story teller. His work is never just one image, it is a complete story and each shot is carefully thought out. Dan knows exactly what has occurred prior to the shot as well as just after. Like a motion picture, Dan storyboards his work and includes more information in one single shot than almost anyone that I know of.

Dan's storytelling is not just a facet in his work as a photographer and artist. When I ask Dan a question about a shot he responds with a complete story. A wonderful back story of the shoot including anything from the mood of the model to the weather that day and how something like the temperature can effect the outcome of a shoot.
Dan's storytelling has also moved to books (see more below). I usually only post one page a day but due to the amount of past posts on Dan's work be sure not to miss out on page 2.

Thanks Dan again for sharing not just your work but more importantly, thanks for sharing your stories!


No Birthday pics today but you can go HERE: to see my posts for June 9th for previous years. Happy Birthday today to Andrew W. Walker (31) today, Jean Galfione (39), Cameron Bunce (29), Gildas Verbist (31), Johnny Depp (47) and Michael J. Fox (49).

The Muse: Dave Wilkinson

'Dave is an incredible talent. And I don't use that word lightly with him. This is a guy I know we will see on the screen. He is "star" material in every sense of the word. And I say that not confining my assessment to his looks. The kid is a gifted, gutsy, a full -of- daring actor. I feel incredibly blessed to have discovered him... and had him make my work look so much better than I could have even imagined.'
Dan Skinner

-Please continue to read more about Dan's work with Dave in my more detailed post below.-

Coverboy by Dan Skinner

One of the things I love so much about Dan's work is his ability beautifully depict scenes of male love. It seems many of those who showcase two men together seem to struggle with separating love and sex. Not that sex is not apart of love of course, it is simply not the only thing. Dan clearly knows this with scenes of lust, longing, passion, anger, sadness, pain and every other emotion associated with a relationship. Dan is not simply one of my favorite artists at showcasing male love, he is also one of the best.

Dan does not just photograph it, he also writes about. Dan has written his first book, Coverboy and promises it is just the beginning. Dan says about the book:

'It was very important for me to tell a story that would be uplifting and inspirational about male love. There are a lot of personal things in this one, as you probably guessed. Something that conveyed friendship along with admiration and love. It's considered a novella, or a short read. I designed it for folks who were sitting on a beach, riding a subway or bus, camping out at the park for lunch...etc. Something they could read and walk away from going... yeah... this could happen to me. Things can change. Things can get better.'

You can read a review of Coverboy HERE: or purchase it yourself (the price is great!) HERE:

Pic Series Of The Day: Shaving By Dan Skinner

When I asked Dan about his shaving shots he replied:

'I am known for some bizarre reason for my innovative and always " unique" shaving shots. Every model who has come to me has asked me to dream up something specifically for them'.

Not bizarre at all. Personally, I never seen 'shaving', an activity find a chore each morning, ever look so good!

Below: More Dave Wilkinson

Below: John Paul Matteucci (see more of John Paul Below)

Pic Series Of The Day: Study Break by Dan Skinner

In September I did a post on Photographer and artist Dan Skinner from Cerberus Inc and his work with model and friend Dave Wilkinson. I followed that post up with one shot as 'pic of the day' from Dan's series 'Study Break'. Here are some more amazing shots from that series.

Dan began this series with the goal wanting to do a total exploration of the male/male romance. The web is filled with exploring sex, but there is shockingly very little on romance.

What may seem like a simple concept was actually more difficult to carry out. Dan has a vision and completing this project was more complicated than it looks.

'It was an elaborate storyboard I laid out scene by scene just like a movie script. The shoot took 12 hours simply because I had to climb all over the place, up and down on ladders, out on balconies, rearrange lights, bring in people to hold lights... etc. etc.'
Dan Skinner

Dan did not just want his models (Mondo and J.P.) to pose, he wanted them to act. When looking at the images, you can see how doing the shoot like scenes from a movie plays out by bringing out emotions and subtle movements with eyes and the body that might not otherwise have been seen.

Beautiful Work Dan!

You can check out more of Dan's work at his site on Deviant Art HERE:

Pic Series Of The Day: Dave Wilkinson by Dan Skinner

Originally Posted September 2009:

I would imagine that one of the most difficult tasks a photographer must have (besides coming up with an original concept) must be to narrow down what images they will include in a project. I know I struggled today to narrow down what shots supplied to me by the talented and generous Dan Skinner to include with this post.

Many of you may have seen the recent shoot Dan did with model Dave Wilkinson, 'End Of Summer' for Blake Magazine. They have been featured on many sites and blogs. In seeing that post, not only was I stuck by the raw beauty of model Dave Wilkinson, I was also reminded of the passionate eye of artist Dan Skinner whom I have featured on the blog in the past.

In struggling to narrow down which of Dan's shots of Dave to include in this post, the only think I could do was to narrow the shots to a theme I will call 'Alone In A Hotel'. The shots were actually taken in a hotel room during a trip Dan and Dave took for business.

There is something about being alone in a hotel that brings up a multitude of emotions. From my experience there are things you may do when away, when alone in a hotel you might not do otherwise. Things you might watch, things you might try, people you might interact with. Consequences seem off in the distance when away and inhibitions are lowered. There of course is something sexual about hotels but equally something excruciatingly lonely about being in a hotel alone. This is especially true knowing there are so many people, couples and families just a wall away.

Art is about not only about intent but as important, interpretation. It is through the description above that I viewed Dan's inspiration for photographing Dave in the hotel. Alone, uninhibited, sensual and creative. There is a special connection between Dan and his subject which allow both to reach a creative place full of not only beauty but emotion.

The Model: Dave Wilkinson
'I grew up in a little country town. I was always involved in sports through out grade school and high school. After graduating high school I have totally dedicated my life to sculpting my body to be 100% perfect, by weightlifting 6 out of 7 days a week.'
Dave Wilkinson

Dave Wilkinson may be from a little country town, and still young, but he is no fool. Dave is a guy who knows what has to be done to make it in the modeling industry. Dave is professional, creative and likes to be stimulated not just by standing in front of a camera, but by taking part in creative, fun shoots the push boundaries and say something beyond 'look at me'.

Dave is still building his portfolio and is looking to add more fashion shots to his already impressive resume. It is only a matter of time before Dave is signed with an agency. He is going to be big. An amazing body, great face, that head of blond hair are just the beginning. His attitude and desire to create great art is what is going to move him past the others to success. If you want to work with Dave, make sure your serious, because he certainly is. Dave doesn't play games, he just puts everything into his work.

Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 168 lbs
Measurements: 36-32-33
Shoe size: 12
Hair color: Blonde
Hair length: Medium
Eye color: Green
Skin color: Tanned
Experience: Experienced

The Photographer: Dan Skinner
CERBERUS: 'In Greek mythology, the three-headed watchdog who guards the entrance to the lower world, Hades.'

Missouri's Dan Skinner is not just a photographer. His day job is not just taking pictures, but though his company, CERBERUS INC, taking those pictures and creating cover art for over 400 publishers worldwide ranging from romance to mystery to sci-fi and fashion. Combining his eye for beauty with his digital skills he creates images beyond what you might find in a regular portfolio. Today I am focusing on Dan's work with Dave, but I will be showcasing Dan's other work in the future.

Dan did not start out doing cover art. Dan says that he started out as a fitness photographer and drifted into this venue quite by accident. 'Many of the fitness models I was shooting wanted to do romance covers so I did a few mock ups for them to send off and, lo and behold, the companies hired me' Besides mythology, Dan's inspirations include Stanley Kubrick because of his his technique of scene framing and illumination and cinema from the forties because of their lighting techniques and angles.

'My favorite medium is actually what I call storyboarding. or telling a story in a single frame...or starting a story in your head and letting you finish it. We all have basically the same fantasies so all I have to do is frame the inkling of the idea and your own imagination takes over.'

This certainly fits many of the images showcased here. Unlike a model simply standing in front of a background, each one tells a complete story. That story, started by Dan and Dave actually finishes where the viewer chooses to take it.

'I kinda work like a director in a film in that I will do five million things to frame, light and stage a scene before I bring the "actor" models in.I am known for taking a thousand shots to get "the one".'

Dan loves to photograph beautiful models. That in itself though, is not enough for him. To truly create an image Dan is proud of, he puts his models in a visual fantasy that is enhanced with saturated storybook hues and point of view angles. The end result, as you can see from the images featured here, is pure magic.

Dan and Dave have worked together many times and their creative collaborations are pure gold. When I asked Dan if Dave was his 'muse', his reply was 'Dave is a muse because he is so unrepressed in tackling any of my ideas. Whenever I have an idea he is right there to try it.' More than just a muse, Dan and Dave have a friendship. One of the most important aspects of any friendship is trust, and that is evident in each of the shots featured here.

Be Sure to Check out more of Dan's work:
At his Model Mayhem profile HERE:
His site at Deviant Art HERE:
Great Interview at Covermen HERE:

Thanks Dan!