Sunday, October 11, 2015

Beauty & Filth by BRYAN RAsHAUN


'Jayk’s shoot was my first nude shoot using strobes. His images are my favorite right now and too be honest, I didn't think they were going to turn out so well. He came in and stripped down right away, which was fine but he kept busy on his phone. Small talk seemed impossible and it wasn't looking good for the shoot. However, when we started shooting…he gave me exactly what I needed. The feedback from his shots has been great!'

The first images I saw from Los Angeles photographer BRYAN RAsHAUN were the images above of Jayk. I didn't initially remember I had featured Jayk on FH once before, (A Taste Of Honey) possibly because the look and style was so radically different than those in the previous piece. I love the feel of erotic glamour BRYAN created through his use of color, lighting, pose and glitter. I grew up in the 80's and the look and sophisticated image styling reminded me of so many images of models and celebrities I used to love as a kid.


BRYAN beautifully blends style with skin and fashion and fetish within so many of his images. When I saw that his tumblr was named Beauty & Filth, the theme all came together. Most images, especially those that focus on the human form, blend the two themes together. Great artists know to skilfully create great beauty, yet at it's core, there is nothing really more raw, natural and magnificently dirty than the completely naked human body.

At one point BRYAN thought for sure he was going to be a fashion designer, clothes were his obsession. You can feel this within his work and images. While he still loves clothing, making them paled in comparison to the idea of photographing them. During BRYAN's time in school for fashion design he began taking pictures of his friends for fun. 'We would put looks together and I would fuck around with my sad digital camera until we got something “cool”. Honestly, the images were only being used on Myspace to get attention. Doing this though, my passion for portrait and fashion photography began to grow.'

Chris #2

BRYAN had always bought magazines for the images, but the idea of being a part of creating those images didn't hit him until he began taking photos of one of his friends. He and an actor/model friend were playing around shooting when BRYAN realized he had eye for it. That brought him to Model Mayhem to seek out other models to shoot and build his book. Although his focus was keep developing his portrait and fashion work, BRYAN shares that the idea to shoot male nudes began to creep into his mind.

Chris #1

'I love the male form and why not capture it my way was my thought. I was nervous about it though. How was I going to get a model willing to pose nude. At that point, I didn’t even have nude work in my portfolio. Plus, I didn't want to be the gay equivalent of those straight male photog’s who take pictures of nude or scantily clad women just to do it. If I did it, there would have to be a purpose behind it.'

'It wasn't until Peter contacted me, expressing that he wanted to shoot, that I decided to try it. He had done nude work before and he felt like the right person for my first nude shoot. Peter’s shoot is a special one to me. I will never forget that experience. It was surreal, exciting, fun and he was easy to work with. The shoot with Peter led to the shoot with Chris #1. The energy around his shoot was totally different from Peter’s. Me being an emotional photographer (a term a past mentor used), energy is major for me.   If the vibe is off… it can throw the whole shoot if I let it. That was almost the case with Chris #1 and I became hesitant with shooting nudes for a while. Ultimately I couldn't shake the need to get back on the horse though and I began again. This time I wanted to add elements of fashion. Chris #2 was one of those shoots in that first attempt. The image of him with the black scarf is the result. I didn't want him to use the scarf in a normal way, so I had him drape it over his head like a hood and let it fall down in front of him. I let him play around with poses and got to capture the pose in the image sent. the way the line of his body followed the curve of his back was perfect.'


'Like always though, I was ready to top that shoot but inspiration was lacking. After a while the idea for a tribal series came about. Rafael was a model I had shot before (clothed) and he responded to a casting call for the tribal shoot. I had the brilliant idea to draw on a Maori face tattoo for the shoot and I underestimated how much work would have to go into it. The design needed to be symmetrical and the lines needed to be clean. I didn't even have a design mapped out. I thought I could just draw a design on the fly. It was a disaster…he laughed at me while I continuously cursed myself every time I messed up. I was glad I’d worked with him before and we were comfortable with each other…I would’ve been embarrassed with someone new. Which is why with Jemar, I decided to just paint the black stripe across his face and not do anything intricate. The result was amazing. I loved how all the components came together to complete the look his wearing. Everything just worked and the light was amazing (all natural fill light). The shots from his shoot were my favorite for a while… until Jayk’s.'


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