I am however, never satisfied. Consequently, I will continue shooting nude men (and wilderness) until I get it right!'
Last week I had the pleasure of featuring Arizona photographer Dan Nelson (MaleVisionS) and his work with the incredible Teak (A Piece Of Art) It was after seeing one of Dan's black and white nudes of Teak that I was inspired to contact him about about a piece on FH. Teak and Dan actually had another shoot scheduled for that week and the resulting images made up of the majority of the images I featured.
Dan says he is always on the hunt to find that one model that the camera just loves. 'The one that when you turn on the modeling lights he's suddenly "on" and you start popping those strobes and the session becomes a dance of creativity as the model instinctively knows what you want and where the first shot you take is incredible and everyone after that is even better!' I am not entirely convinced there is necessarily a one, or one's. In the hands of a skilled artist, the right artist, I think magic can occur even if the model is not quite the one.
I definitely saw that magic in his work with Teak, and I saw it again over and over when spending time with Dan's extensive portfolio. When I was working on the story with Teak, Dan invited me to view more of his work and let him know if there were other models I was interested in featuring. There were, many in fact. But... if you scroll down to the end of this piece, (and you should) there was this black and white image of a model naked on a bed. What made me want to feature Cody, the model in the bed, was not just his great body, but that incredible smile. That smile is pure magic and had me certain that as far as who to choose to feature next, Cody was the one.
One of the reasons I love learning about the shooting process is that added level of enjoyment when viewing an artists images. Unlike Teak, whose body moved elegantly and naturally in front of Dan's lens, with Cody, Dan found himself needing to provide a bit more direction. Dan shot the 19 year old model on two occasions, the first was more of an opportunity for Cody and Dan to get comfortable working together. Although new to modeling, Cody didn't seem to have any issues with getting naked in front of the camera, but for the first shoot, Dan chose not to shoot Cody fully naked and instead focused on form and pose. 'This is not unusual for me as my creative process kind of feeds off of the model and it sometimes doesn't include total nudity and that's okay with me.'
Like any job, some models have a passion and an instinct for the artistic piece. How to move their bodies naturally to help the photographer create memorable images. Dan says that although Cody relaxed and comfortable, Dan worked a bit harder coming up with poses and shots to maximize Cody's obvious assets and that incredible smile. Cody worked hard, putting in great effort to help Dan in getting the shots he wanted and I think the results speak to the fortitude and determination Dan and Cody demonstrated. Dan kept his focus on Cody's incredible body, (that butt!) his beautiful face and lips. He also wisely kept those beautiful baby blue eyes front and center in practically every shot.
'I would shoot Cody again in a heartbeat and be happy with his effort. I truly believe all of my models are "stars" and I'm proud to have worked with them.'