'I've been photographing "real, normal" men for over 10 years. Perfection is not a requirement and often I've found it to be a detriment. I like to capture that special essence that makes each man a living, unique work of art.'
The above quote comes from the first time I featured the work of Seattle photographer Jim Wilkinson back in 2010. (E.G By Jim Wilkinson) Whenever I spend time with Jim's images the quote always manages to find a way return to my thoughts. I think because it is such a beautiful, and incredibly powerful, expression of why Jim's images are so strong.
Many artists, especially those capturing the human form, take a subject and use their considerable skills, as well as their editing program, to make their models look as perfect as possible...or at least however perfect is imagined by that particular artist. Other artists, see the beauty in what is there, and try to capture the unique quality within that makes them special. This quality may not necessarily be the perfect body, or a well sculpted nose or head of hair. It might be a kindness, or a strength that cannot be seen without an artist who appreciates it as important.
No one philosophy to shooting is better than the other, both can result in great imagery. There is a difference however, one that continues to come up the more artist that I communicate with. The primary features many use to determine the worth of a male model are age, weight, sometimes height along with a fit body and a decent and chiselled face. Most of us however, have a combination of primary and secondary features that we are forced to blend together to make work.
Great face but short, hot body but with a face doesn't quite work. 19, thin but not attractive, 18 but overweight. No one is able to balance all of the primary desired traits, at least not for very long. No matter how great the body and face, we all age and changes to human bodies are inevitable. I guess that is why I like to have a balance in the men and artists that display. We all love a young fit body, but it is refreshing sometimes to see erotic and dynamic images of men with beautiful secondary features.
When I was recently visiting Jim's tumblr I was colourfully reminded why I love his work. If you click on the archive link at the top of his page, you are taken to pages of small thumbnails of Jim's images. The page was a feast of both literal colors, both primary and secondary, but as well a visual feast of secondary, and many primary elements, that make the human male form such a worthy spotlight of one's artistic focus. Spend a few minutes scrolling down and I think you know what I mean. Also check out the next FH or some exclusive images that had me going back for more than a few secondary glances.