'My landscapes now come in the form of the human body. I love the male form and consider it an amazing honor when a model allows me to capture such a private part of their life.'
It can be interesting to hear sometimes how models and photographers perceive each other. For some, shooting is simply a business transaction, one or the other is paid and directions are given or followed. In other cases, especially for those where money comes second to their passion for the craft and experience, reputation and respect trump pretty much everything else.
It is not uncommon for models or photographers to have negative feelings, or speak unfavorably about an experience they may have had with the other. Most photographers have had models not show up, come up with every excuse in the book for not calling, or arrive at a shoot unprepared or looking like they have been up all night. Reversely, most models have had experiences with unscrupulous photographers who have misrepresented the shoot, brought them in for an underwear shoot, then expected them to shoot nude. Almost every model I have ever interviewed, especially those on Model Mayhem, have had to deal with porn recruiters who seem to endlessly scout the site.
Nashville photographer Donald Chambers has heard those stories and gets angered at what he has heard. Donald knows that it puts all of those photographers who shoot male nudes in a bad light. Over the past year or so, through working on FH, I have heard many photographers comment that it is getting harder and harder to find good models because of some of the bad experiences they have encountered. 'Most of us work very hard to be great photographers with good reputations.'
This is why I love featuring the work of artists like Donald. I love that he considers the trust that models put in him an honor and this is reflected the respect he gives back and the elegance and beauty that come through the finished images once trust and respect established. This is my forth profile of Donald's work, and each time I feature his images, Donald's goal to capture the male form through erotic elegance continues to remain front and center.
'Jonathan, was a fantastic model, very unassuming and rather shy, but blossomed during the photo-shoot and became more confident and his personality just lit up. He came to the photo shoot with about 5 baskets of outfits but quickly realized he enjoyed being out of clothes as much as in them.'
Whenever I profile a model, I love hearing about their first time in front of the camera, especially if that first time includes shooting without any clothes on. Jonathan's shoot with Donald was indeed his very first photo session and as you can see, the clothes came off. Donald considers part of his job to make the models he shoots feel comfortable and at ease, so although Jonathan was naturally a bit nervous at the beginning, Donald spent time talking him through the process. Showing genuine interest in what his model is thinking and feeling is of importance to Donald in order to earn the trust of those he works with.
I was initially taken with Jonathan's great face and especially his beautiful eyes. Very expressive, they were sometimes sad and serious, other times playful and always commanding. Although just his first shoot, through his eyes, Jonathan made an instant connection with the Donald through the camera, and therefore also with the viewer. Donald describes Jonathan as a joy to work with, sweet and definitely a charmer. I also love that Donald shared that Jonathan had a bit of voyeuristic streak which would make things a bit easier and a lot more fun for any shoot, especially one's first.
Donald Chambers on FH: