When I think of Fleet Week, I think of summer. Thousands of servicemen and women from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard docking in ports along the coast for a brief respite from the daily grind of their regular duties and routines. City streets full of young men and women, all in white, walking the pavement in groups, excited to be temporarily free of the confines of the ship they spend so many hours aboard. When I think of Fleet Week, I also think of sex.
I think sex in part due to history, along with more than a little Hollywood mythology. The heartache of opposing goals, sailors looking for sex, and locals looking for love. Fleet Week is often chronicled through films and stories in terms of the relationships, most temporary, that begin, are consummated, and in most cases, evidently end, over those brief seven days.
The faces on the young sailors touring these port towns and cities, exhibited a youthful innocence and enthusiasm, in part due to their temporary leave and freedom. Below the smiles, and just under the laughs the youthful innocence also covered the reality of what may lie ahead. It is one of the reasons this weeks of freedom were so powerful, and why the sexual energy, so heightened. If during war time, it was a moment in time which no one had a guarantee would ever be repeated.
Model Gregory Stiles blends these mixed expressions beautifully. His face, highlighted by his beautiful and curious eyes, great lips mouth and smile show an energy and excitement for what is about to occur. Looking a little deeper though, Gregory is also not quite innocent, clearly experienced and aware of the raw sexuality and power he exudes from every inch of his body. It is a sure bet, that if Gregory was was one of those men in white, walking the streets during a seven day hiatus, sex would be plentiful, and the unreciprocated love, utterly painful.
When I first discovered the work of Dallas photographer Nathan Scott, I know was in love with his imagery. There was what I would call a fullness which made Nathan's images not just visually dynamic, but full of erotic emotion. They were complete. Nathan filled each frame of his work with model and mood. I was especially taken with Nathan's work with Gregory. The artist's skill and creativity, especially with lighting, framing and pose, complete a full story, not just depicting a happy sailor looking for sex, but a man searching, for maybe a little bit more. Gregory, as well as being incredible looking, expresses through his eyes and face the complexity of emotions that fit the theme of the shoot.
'I love shooting fashion and fitness and also enjoy the human form and what kind of body designs it can make!'
In addition to his work as a fashion photographer, capturing the beauty and form in others, Nathan Scott also creates his own. A professional ballet dancer and actor, I think Nathan's ability to capture such complete visuals, full of story and emotion, comes in part, due to his own experiences of creative expression. A graduate of The University of North Texas, Nathan obtained a BFA in dance and acts when he can, including a small part, recurring as Max, the bodyguard on TNT's Dallas.
These images actually developed from a shoot Nathan had done a few weeks previous. He had been shooting for an underwear campaign for Blue Collar Underwear and had shot in the same location, on the bed and in the bathtub, with another model. Nathan liked the images but couldn't help but think there was something missing. He proceed to set up another shoot , this time with Gregory and his girlfriend,. It was raining on the day of shoot so they ended up shooting mostly inside and Nathan says the cloudy sky worked perfectly as a soft box in the bathroom window and some of the other locations that they shot. The theme was created while Nathan was looking for some interesting props for the shoot and came across a skipper hat and a sailor hat.
'I almost bought the skipper hat, but chose the sailor hat, because I really liked it. I went into the shoot knowing I was shooting an underwear campaign, and for some reason I could only think of Fleet Week when I was shooting Greg. I focused it more towards a what would a sailor do, if he could come home and wear underwear like this, or just hang around naked, it just all morphed together and Greg was super open to try anything!'
The climatic culmination of Fleet Week