Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ahead of the Shadows: Alexis by macpics

It is often said, that many of us live in the shadows. This sometimes refers to the unseen, the unthought-of. The homeless, the poor, those suffering in other places far enough away for us to ignore. There are others, who choose to hover in the background. Many are more comfortable behind the scenes, interacting and creating, but without feeling the need for a spotlight always on them. That doesn't mean they don't want, or even crave recognition, it just means they don't need fed to them on a constant intravenous stream.

Man of they artists I profile on FH, particularly photographers, are for the most part, content to remain in the shadows. They are passionate about their work and enjoy the joy their images bring to others. They like feedback, but many understand that most of the attention will end up going to the person in front of the camera, not behind.

I am always interested in those men who although live within the shadows, are striving towards the light. So many models have interesting stories of growing up overweight or overly thin, without body definition or physical attributes that cause them to stand out. Many of them work tirelessly to change their appearance, to change their attitude and level of confidence to feel justified in stepping out in front of the shadow that both protected and restrained them.

Hans Christian Andersen's story of the ugly ducking is well known to most. Like most fairy tales however, it is a metaphor or than reality, and speaks to our fears and emotions. The ugly duckling was actually a beautiful swan long before he could see or accept it. It just took the right reflection, in this case a pond, not to change his appearance, but the way in which he was able to view it.

Sometimes, the camera, held by just the right photographer, can create that same reflection the duck saw within the water. Sometimes, it takes seeing ourselves from another view to see the beauty that is actually there. There have been many models I have interviewed and profiled on FH who didn't see certain things about themselves until captured by a skilled and perceptive photographer.

I love that Ian from macpics chose to shoot Alexis with, beside, and in front of his shadow. Ian describes Alexis as very polite and cooperative but also a little conflicted about taking the risk of stepping in front of the camera. The young models nerves are understandable. Originally from France, Alexis had only been in Australia for about a month before this shoot, his very first time in front of a professional camera.

Despite this being his first shoot, and despite his reservations, Ian describes Alexis as ambitious, wanting to move beyond the shadows and often asked Ian to retake certain shots because he felt he could give more, or do the pose and look much better. His goal is to study, and eventually use his body and hard work to assist others as teacher or fitness trainer.

It is fantastic to witness the transformation in Alexis throughout the shoot. Although not initially entirely comfortable taking it all off, one naked he enjoyed the freedom and confidence the experience brought on. Alexis has an incredible body, beautiful skin and toned physique highlighted by his amazing chest and abs. His eyes also grew more confident as the shoot progressed and by the time he entered the shower for the final part of the shoot, his smiles were impossible to contain.

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