In last years We Bought A Zoo, zookeeper Kelly corrects new owner Benjamin when he calls the area's in which the animals live as cages. 'They're not called cages, they're called enclosures. They haven't been cages in like a century.' Of course no matter what they are called, the purpose is still the same, to prevent an animal from escaping, from being free.
Of course we know enclosures can be literal, but they can also be metaphorical and the most dangerous, emotional. Even when physical barriers don't exist, we humans seem to find a way to create them.
We spend most of our lives attempting to rid ourselves from the enclosures that surround us. We work many hours to enjoy a few free ones, we try to change laws so we can have the freedom to marry, to acquire the same rights as others. No matter who you are though, there are really very few places on this planet where humans can be truly free. It gets worse as each year goes by, as cities grow and technology takes on bigger and bigger parts of our daily lives. I remember a time, when if I did not want an extra shift at work, I simply had to not answer the phone on the wall in the kitchen. Now, between voice mail, mobile phones, e-mails, texts and social media, you cannot escape contact from someone your avoiding no matter how hard you try.
There are only a couple of places where one can escape and be free without the restrictions of others; your imagination and your art. It is common for photographers I profile to talk about their work in terms of being an artistic release, especially by those who don't capture images as a primary source of income. With the job I hold, and the everyday life stress's we all encounter, we all need ways release what ever it is that we hold in. FH is without a doubt a creative outlet for me, one of few that allow me the freedom to express myself any way I want.
When you think of stressful jobs, I am sure being a doctor is near the top of the list. You need to practice a high level of self care in order to oversee the health of all those who put their trust, and their lives in your decision making and judgement skills. Artist Chris Freeman is a doctor, but not one you go to, but one you hire to come to you. Freeman consults with governments and corporations and spends much of his time on the road, traveling around the country consulting on public health issues. One of Freemon's most recent trips was to meet with the heads of one of the nation's most prominent professional sports leagues.
'Bryan is a young model, just starting out, who is also a dancer, so he can jump! His physique says dancer all over it, too. Large thighs and buttocks, mini-sized waist. He works hard at modeling, is very creative, and an absolute delight to work with. I spent 3.5 hours with Bryan. We started out on Oak Street beach in Chicago on one of those warm early spring days we had this year, then moved indoors to my hotel room just a couple blocks from Lake Michigan. I shot about 250 stills--a larger than usual proportion of them were good, simply because he is so "ready" and photogenic.'
Freeman picked up photography as a hobby a couple years ago. He began shooting models while traveling for his business and as a means of meeting people an an antidote for the boredom of seemingly endless nights in hotels. Freeman shoots with a low end camera and because he is on the road, without a studio or studio equipment. The photographer says he tries to compensate for these limitations through his creativity and the skilled use of what he has available. For this doctor, the people are as important as the work. Meeting models, and learning what motivates them, both creatively and in their pursuit of modeling opportunities, is all part of the experience.
'Photography, whether on the beach, in my hotel room, in the evening, or in the morning is a nice break from the monotony of traveling and time alone in hotel rooms.'
'Sam is training to be in the broadcast business and truly enjoys performing in front of a camera. He was comfortable from the very start and one of the most self-assured models I've met. He is remarkably beautiful with a very nicely developed body, though not overly so. As he said a couple times during the shoot, "I love my body." He is also very bright and serious about modeling. During the shoot, I found him to be creative, gentle, fun and adventurous, yet just beginning to learn how to present himself in a variety of ways. For him, this shoot was the start of something much bigger. It was only his second or third shoot and he seemed to blossom as we went on with the shoot.'
There is little in the way of creative freedom when it comes to the health of others, it is a skill and knowledged based profession. Removing enclosures when ont at work and releasing oneself =artistically seems that much more crucial within such a demanding profession. Thank you to Chris for sharing some of his non-work with FH, and be sure to check out more on ModelMayhem HERE