'The gentle pose is in such contrast to the powerful body...'
John's quote above is core to the reason I so love the work of JGH Photography. Pose is central to power elicited from his images, especially when that power is derived from the blend and contras between gentle and strong. Not all artists are able to take a model with a strong and muscled physique and capture quietly beautiful and thoughtful images the way John does.
'I’ve shot both men and women. I can appreciate the lines and curves of the female nude but I'm captivated by the strength, breadth, and power of the male glutes, legs, chest and back. As I studied drawings and photographs of male nudes I was always trying to figure out what made this pose work so much better than that pose. Why did one pose trigger an emotional response, while another pose—just a shade different—fell flat?'
I think the key to John's images is the pose is secondary to the emotion that emerges from it. John is as focused on his models eyes and facial expression and they become as important as the rest of their body to the impact of the over all image. This is especially evident in this beautiful series with Brock.
John connected with Brock after the model responded to one of his casting calls about 3 years ago. John says that Brock has become one of his favorite models to shoot. 'I've always loved his Clark Kent hair which is a nice match for his Superman physique. He's won "Photo of the Day" for me on Model Mayhem several times.'
'Two of my favorite shots of Brock are the weight bench shot and what I call his contemplative shot. For the weight bench shot (above), he was actually hesitant to shoot until he had lost some weight. I promised to pose him in such a way that any weight gain wouldn't be apparent. So he took a free weight and lay across the weight bench. I positioned both his feet and gave him a 1-2-3 count, and on "3" had him give a lift off his toes. This stretched him right out and the image turned out great. I often use this shot as an intro example when talking with other photographers about my male figure photography.'
'Brock's contemplative shot (above) was taken while I was setting up for a different pose. We had gotten into a deep conversation - - - I don't remember what - - - but he must have been processing something because he stopped talking. I turned and saw how reflective he looked and I snapped a shot quickly. I'm so glad I did; this has become one of my favorite images ever. I've used it as an example of full-frontal male nudity where the facial expression is so compelling, the gentle pose is in such contrast to the powerful body, that the frontal nudity is one of the last things viewers notice.'
Brock's incredible body flows beautifully from pose to pose and although clearly powerful, appears light, almost weightless, in many of John's shots. Brock also has such beautiful eyes that express a vulnerability that enhances the strength of his images. Over the years John and Brock have collaborated on many new concepts and John has shot Brock in many of the themes he loves so much including his mirror and cube poses. John hopes to get Brock in front of the camera again soon for an urban decay shoot.