Monday, March 3, 2014
Normally Naked: Jason by Donald Chambers
There is a reason why there are not a flood of blogs and tumblrs featuring Rick Day's images of the swamps of the mid-west, Bruce Weber's visual tribute to the oboe or Donald Chambers colorful salute to tropical fish. If an artist is going to devote their time, money, heart and soul into a subject, it sort of helps....if they love it. One of the most interesting parts of photography featuring the male form is of course that very male form. Some may believe it unprofessional to say that photographers of the art form love the male body, but they sort of have to. Passion is required in order to obtain the interesting, erotic and often powerful ways in which they permanently capture the human form.
So.... In order to shoot the male body, one must have one in front of them. Model Mayhem has become one of the most popular ways for photographers to connect with models. Photographers can see images of the model prior to hiring or a setting up a shoot. Models can check out the portfolio of an artist and then decide whether they are comfortable with the style in which the artist shoots.
When models join ModelMayhem, one of the boxes they are asked to check is whether or not they will shoot nudes. It is immensely fascinating to me how many models check 'no' yet have nudes in their portfolio. It is equally interesting how many check 'yes' then balk when asked to take their pants off. It is understandable. For many, the decision to drop trou for the camera is also connected to their values and beliefs, their relationships with family and partners and maybe most importantly, their future career plans.
There is also sometimes a bit of a game at play. It is the modeling industry and money is of course a factor. Models have to be careful not just how much exposure occurs, but also the frequency. Some models choose to shoot nude, sometimes with many different photographers, only to find themselves overexposed. It can be a tricky path to find the right balance and the right photographers to work with.
Whenever I interview a model I am always curious as to the factors that come in to the decision to shoot nude. For many it is a tough decision, one that they agonize over for weeks. For others, like Jason here, the choice is a little easier. Sometimes before a shoot there is quite a bit of negotiation about how far those undies come down... Is the nudity implied, side, full frontal? With this shoot with Jason however, photographer Donald Chambers had no such issues. If anything it might have been difficult to get Jason to put his pants back on. Model Jason loves to be naked... anywhere and any time.
'Jason loves being naked! He was a pleasure to work with, no hang ups about his body but then why would he, it is perfect.'
Who better to answer an Donald had placed seeking nude male models, than a nudist. Jason is a student and world traveler and part of his love for traveling is visiting the nudist areas everywhere that he visits. Donald reports that Jason is very popular at the nudist resorts and beaches he visits and that Jason loves all of the attention he gets. I love that Jason loves the attention as it is always refreshing when the model in front of the camera is comfortable and as passionate about the work as the artist behind it. BTW, I would enjoy seeing Donald's work with tropical fish, might even buy a Day book on swamps but despite my love of music, would most likely pass on anyone's visual tribute to the oboe.