Friday, December 7, 2012
tMf #7 Bonus: Dylan Carden by David Wagner
tMf #7 came out this week and one of the features I was thrilled to work on was a profile of photographer David Wagner. I have loved, followed and featured David's work since first discovering his work over 2 years ago and was so happy to have his work with Dylan Carden in the issue. tMf has a few rules though, ones fans of the male form I am sure don't mind. Dylan's motto for the magazine is LESS WORDS-MORE PICTURES and LESS FASHION-MORE SKIN! That meant that some my words, and some of David's images of Dylan actually wearing clothing had to be left out. Some of those images however were too hot to be left out so here is Dylan with a bit of fashion. Of course if you want to see the rest of David's images, the ones that fit the magazine's motto you can simply head on over to the tMf site HERE:
Although he grew up in the Midwest, photographer David Wagner feels LA is a part of him. When I spend time with David’s images I am always transported to the world of old Hollywood, a time of old movies that when even in black and white cannot diminish the light and heat of the hot Southern California sun. Wagner’s uses the natural light from the California sun to light the many men he has photographed on balconies and on his rooftop. Sadly these balconies are several stories up and out of view from anyone except airplanes and Google Maps! Even when shooting with studio lighting, he tries to make it feel softer like natural light.
Although it may be the lighting that helps bring about this retro Hollywood feel, David believes it might just be the atmosphere and environment itself. In the musical Sunset Boulevard, Joe sings of a tempting boulevard, one with dreams with hidden dragons. Hollywood has always been a maker, and a breaker, of dreams. Young men and women put everything they have on the line for a chance for fame. David often encounters these men and with all of those hidden dragons, it can sometimes be difficult to find one who is open to trusting in someone to photograph them naked.
‘I don’t think there is a model out there that has not been taken advantage of by a photographer, or at least attempted to be taken advantage of. Another reason is that LA is filled with models, but many are only modeling as way to get into acting. And we’ve all seen actors who’ve been in the spotlight because nude photos of them surface years later and they feel it could hurt their careers. Lastly many models have gone into shoots with a plan to do very tasteful, creative, artistic nudes, and in the end for whatever reason, the images are not good and they lack that artistic/creative edge. And there’s nothing worse than a poorly done nude.’
In old Hollywood movies, nudity, let alone sex, was of course banned from ever actually making it onto the silver screen. Directors and actors had to rely on their skills to create, in the absence of showing actual fornication, extended foreplay. Scenes were filled with desire, anticipation and intense longing. This skill set also guides David’s work as a photographer. With his experience as a designer, David is able to take viewers of his images up to, but not over that climatic peak.
Is there a difference shooting nudes or implied nudes with experienced models vs a new model taking it off for the first time?
'I think if completely depends on the model. I’ve shot models who’ve never had a professional photo shoot, but they were so at ease with themselves that they make wonderful models. I’ve also worked with very experienced models who decided to do nudes, but for whatever reason, just were not comfortable and that always shows in the final piece.'
Dylan Carden is new to modeling did that effect shoot in any way?
No, I don’t think it had an effect at all. I work with many new models and many experienced, so I’m used to it all. Dylan was very friendly, very relaxed, and took direction extremely well, so any lack of experience did not make my job challenging and I don’t think it shows in the final images.
I was curious about the ‘James’ tattoo on his ass, do you embrace body art when your shooting skin, or is it something you find yourself wanting to cover?
Yes, I definitely embrace the body art. I don’t specifically look for models with it or avoid models with it. I just try to make the best of any aspect of the models appearance. I have received many comments from people that say that they think the tattoo is sweet.
Have you had any strange requests for a shoot concept through Model Mayhem?
Yes, I’ve had a few. I had one model who wanted me to shoot him on a horse on my balcony in my condo in West Hollywood, before I moved into my photography studio downtown. And he wanted me to provide the horse. For free.
Have you ever ended a shoot mid-way through because the model was just not working out?
Yes, once. The model made a comment that I found homophobic and I ended the shoot then.
David Wagner on FH