Friday, May 20, 2011
Symmetry Happens: Jeremy Rowback by Eddie Christie
'Models often question me when I want to put them in an uncomfortable or what seems like to them, an awkward pose, but when the model puts trust into me, symmetry happens.'
One thing leads to another...
Last month when I came across some shots of 28 year old model Jeremy Rowback I knew I wanted to feature him on FH. In researching Jeremy I could not believe my good fortune in finding his work with Boston based photographer Eddie Christie.
Regular readers of FH will know I have been especially fascinated lately in the blending of model and location. Unique, and for some reason, bleak and long forgotten buildings make extraordinary settings for photographing the male form. The most skilled photographers know how to shoot their models not within the location, but as a part of it. Eddie Christie accomplishes this in spades. The way in which he shot Jeremy, especially with poses, angles and his choices for framing each shot, has definitely made this shoot a favorite!
When I put together a feature for FH I usually throw a few questions (well maybe more than a few at times...) at my subject and then, along with the images, attempt to weave them into a story. Eddie's responses to my questions were not quick answers but a incredibly detailed account of the shoot from conception to final edit. Thank you Eddie!
Eddie Christie recently became friends with another photographer from Boston who specializes in Urban Exploration (abandoned buildings and locations). The photographer took Eddie to a local abandonment. While roaming around, They decided to shoot each other. Learning of this abandoned building through his friend, possibilities were opened and Eddie began leaning about and discovering other properties.
'My initial contact with Jeremy Rowback was for a general, generic nude shoot. We agreed on terms but I then learned that the studio, which I share with another artist/photographer, was to be open that weekend for a local art show and fair. I then contacted my local outdoor location connection only to learn that it was not available and that it was going to rain. I propositioned Jeremy about doing a nude shoot in an abandoned building. Negotiations went on and off, unsure of his safety, possible legal complications and so forth. The shoot was almost canceled by both of us at least once, but eventually, we decided to go ahead.'
'The weather cooperated beautifully. The natural light was perfect. We started simple but naked, getting used to each other. Once my mind is in gear my strong spatial relationship ability or thinking kicks in. I see colors, patterns, motion and movement, composition happens naturally as does in frame cropping. I look for light and shadows as “chiaroscuro” is my favorite style of photography. The model tends to become one with the environment rather than its subject, or at least, they enhance each other.
I come from a gymnastics background with some yoga and various forms of dance thrown it. Form and movement is very important to me. Models often question me when I want to put them in an uncomfortable or what seems like to them, an awkward pose, but when the model puts trust into me, symmetry happens. Jeremy was not only a wonderful model that needed very little direction, he embraced my ideas while also willing to do anything I asked of him to include some poses, ideas and images that would make most models uncomfortable.'
'I was expecting the shoot to be blasé based on what had transpired during our correspondence. Quickly invigorated at the beginning of the shoot, my mind was spinning with ideas spurned on by his natural ability. I did not want to stop the shoot. Upon arriving at home, I promptly downloaded the images to my computer; staying up late to peruse and select certain files. I found my favorite, did a few quick edits and sent it off to him before retiring for the night.
Casual conversation with models always tends to yield more information than direct questions, at least in my experience. He was in the U.S. Army right out of high school but due to a motorcycle accident and a severely injured left leg, it caused him to leave the military early. He used to run a fitness center (and maybe still does), however, he makes his main income as a licensed professional Plumber! Imagine him arriving at your door to fix your pipes!'
'On Jeremy’s behave, I have to say that the temperature was in the 50’s F and some shrinkage did occur at times. My point of view and angle on some images or the position of his legs caused him to look “smaller” as well. I am glad that he took it in stride and did not make a big deal out of it nor did he constantly adjust himself to look "bigger" between each take as some models do. To me, that is true professionalism. I highly recommend Jeremy. He is able to adjust his style of poses to the wants and needs of the photographer as well as have a natural ability to know just how to pose, where to look and what to do. He is extremely open-minded and puts 100% of himself into the work.'
I tend to believe the most interesting work comes from the most interesting people and Eddie Christie is one of them. Like Jeremy, Eddie was in the Army and served during the 1st Gulf War. Eddie rock climbs, scuba dives (adventure diver certified –night dives/wreck dives), and loves to hike and camp in all four seasons.
'I love to travel (historical places/landmarks, other countries, haunted places, stone circles, battlefields, castles, churches, caves, and abandoned buildings or ruins) and I used to be a lead investigator on a Ghost Hunting team.'
Eddie has worked as a photographer off and on for over twenty years doing the typical wedding and portrait work. Eventually he got bored with that. He then began working as a nude model for art classes; which quickly lead him to get behind the camera, taking images of the other nude models himself. Shooting fashion models for comp card and portfolio updates became his mainstay. Eddie worked in digital media making TV commercials, promotional videos, CD album covers, promo posters, page layouts for publishing companies and as a training manual writer.
'Two of my favorite things I loved to do, as a child was climb (climb trees, rocks, mountains) and the other was to explore. I love caves, old barns and abandoned buildings so it was only natural that I started to do nude model shoots in the places I love the most. Many of the outside environments I shoot at are rock climbing or camping locations. I know the territory, I know the grounds, I have studied the trees, rocks, streams and paths, and I have looked for spots that I think would be great locales to photograph with a model. I then find a willing participant and shoot away.'
Thanks again to Eddie Christie for sharing his incredible work with Jeremy with FH!
Check out more of Eddie's work on MM HERE:
You can also check out more of Jeremy on MM HERE: