'Four photographers "of a certain age," and three younger and striking models would all be descending on the crossroads hamlet of Hanksville, Utah (population 214), for the night. There’s actually a perfectly nice family-run motel in town, plus a couple of okay restaurants, and two gas station/mini-marts. It’s all surrounded by miles of summer-sun baked prairie and, at first glance, little else. Mike and I, driving out from California, were arriving a day early. Tom had been concerned with us finding the group if we met in the field (with no local cell service) and logistically it made sense for us to arrive early and be rested for the big shoot days.'
'The rest of the group, Tom & Jed, and Gordon, John, and Aaron, were all driving down from SLC. Because of schedules the 7 of us would have 4 SUV’s between us, and be sharing 3 hotel rooms. Over the years I think Hanksville has seen it all – the motel certainly didn’t bat an eye at our group of 7. The other guests our first night were a Scandanavian biker group on a Harley tour across the state, so we were the quiet ones…'
Jed, Aaron & John by Tom Clark
'The old car. What a fun prop! Before long the models were engaged in a playful pantomimed driving trip. Then the car became a stage for yoga moves. And, finally a back drop for some goofing around with a car grill. Not the car's grill - that was long gone - but some car grill left nearby.'
John by Gordon Nebeker
'Our models, Aaron, John, and Jed, were all real troopers! When we got to the abandoned car, nobody said, “Its too dirty" or “it looks unsafe” or the ultimate, “you are joking, right?”. They all just stripped down, jumped in, and had fun with it. The photos are evidence of their talent and sense of adventure.'
'The cost of Mike and Mark's rookie mistake of not filling the gas tank, became apparent as the gas mileage plummeted once off the highway and on dirt roads. By the car photo spot, it was clear that their SUV had only enough gas to return; not enough to continue out and return. So we left their vehicle there and consolidated into the three remaining SUVs. We would later return, after sunset, to drive out on fumes in the dark. '
Image from Mark Grantham
'Despite my obvious love of tarnished locations and setting man against that sort of backdrop usually, I was so overwhelmed with the beauty surrounding. The guys were absolutely great, and even this early in our shoot really threw themselves at the prop/set with abandon. I did love their 3 related, but very different, yoga poses here.'
Image from Tom Clark
''I had photographed Aaron and John together twice before and worked many times with each of them individually. But this time we were adding a wild card to the mix with Jed whose look and style is completely different than theirs. Rather than being a distraction to the trio he added a counterpoint of visual interest and flowed seamlessly with whatever John and Aaron were doing. Each of the models is an athlete and skilled in his own particular discipline; Aaron is an aerialist and acrobat, John is a yogi and Jed is a martial artist and weaponist. The combination of their strengths, styles and disciplines made for some compelling moments as each of them infused the trio with their own creativity and athleticism. '