'There are only a couple of places where one can escape and be free without the restrictions of others; your imagination and your art.'
I wrote the line above the first time I featured the work of Chris A Freeman in the 2012 FH feature Enclosure. Although I feature many photographers whose profession, and source of income, is photography, it is always interesting to find out more about the artists who shoot for passion. The men and women who go to a building or office from nine to five and shoot evenings, weekends and very often during their well earned vacations.
Sometimes we get so caught up with the day to day stresses of work, it is often hard to muster up artistic creativity and energy required to focus on a passion on our far to little precious free time. FH is definitely a release from the enclosure that my regular job surrounds me with, and photography is certainly that release for Chris Freeman's. Chris is a doctor, not one you go to when ill, but one you hire to come to you. Freeman consults with governments and corporations and spends much of his time on the road, travelling around the country consulting on public health issues.
With the pressures that come with a job like his, you can understand the need for an artistic release. The Dr. behind the camera in this case, was shooting a possible Dr. to be. Model A.R. as well releases his artist side through taking off his clothes and enjoying the release that comes from modeling. A student, A.R. is also pursuing a difficult and stressful career, currently finishing is final year in a Bachelors program working toward a degree in forensic psychology.
'A.R. is one of those models who will work hard as long as he hears the camera shutter. It lights him up. A.R. loves to pose for tasteful nudes, even more so, when in public.''
I know some people might not care as much about the professions of those behind, and in front of the lens, but I find it endlessly fascinating. Maybe in part because like A.R. my work is based in the field of psychology and after long days, and sometimes long nights, enmeshed in the pain, loves and lives of others, after hour artistic releases move from being a luxury to something mandatory in order to be fully present when returning to work the next day. Knowing the profession of artist and mode within these photos, especially when looking into A.R. eyes, gives the images more meaning and brings an added depth and level of enjoyment.
'A.R. is one of my favorite models, bright and energetic . I have now shot three times with A.R.. He always comes with creativity and confidence and is very easy to work with. Our three shoots were all in the Chicago area: one in a quintessential three-story brick building with wooden stairway out back on the alley, another at Montrose beach on a freezing cold foggy morning, and the third in a forest preserve just west of Chicago.'
After spending time with these images, I of course had to ask about the gas mask. I have see many sets of images where gas mask's have been incorporated, and usually there is a meaning or message being sent. The images with the flag and mask were taken at Lake Michigan beach last June. In this case, the prop was simply that, a prop and a creative idea brought to the shoot by A.R. With the military style pants he was wearing and the the foggy conditions and signal tower Chris felt it worked well within the setting for the shoot. The flag of the Dominican Republic is a nod to A.R's ancestral homeland.
Not only does Chris approach photography as a passion, but as a hobby and a forum for meeting new and interesting people. As he gets to know a model, Chris works off the vibe they develop and tries to create something memorable with the environment he has at hand.'I never work in a studio, rather use the resources at hand to create one. It's fun, and it works for what I do.' Most of the shots in this series are unedited--recorded just as it happened. 'I hope to have a few more shoots with this fun-loving guy. We're planning one in a junk yard. Why not?'