Monday, December 27, 2010

Ryan Scott by Michael Puff

-Private Moments Made Public-

It has been interesting over the years to hear the many different perspectives that artists have to explain their work. What I used to believe 'makes a great shot' I could have stated simply as the use of light, space and mood. After getting a glimpse into what inspires some of the photographers and artists I most admire, that once limited description would now take a couple of pages to fully describe.

When model and photographer Ryan Scott responded to my questions about his shoot with photographer Michael Puff he included a brief bio that said;

'I studied fine Art, Literature, and French. I'm obsessed with with white walls, little dogs, Paris, and private moments made public.'

From some reason his last four words 'Private Moments made Public' jumped out at me. (I also loved his inclusion of white walls). Now maybe to some making what is usually private, public might be a 'duh' when the photographing the male form, but I am not sure that I looked at it that way until spending time staring at Michael Puff's shots along with Ryan's quote floating around in my head.

All you have to do is scroll through a few pages of FH to see that not all photographers have this floating in their heads when snapping their lens. Many photographers have their models interact with the camera, making it clear they are posing for a picture, and have the viewer and model interacting, the photographer, almost acting as the liaison.

For most of us (well some of us...) being naked, especially indoors, is usually something private, shared generally with one other, or with oneself. What Michael does so well is to find these moments and then to capture them. In order to keep the illusion of privacy though, Michael's true skill is to capture the moment as if he was not even in the room. In again viewing the shots of Michael's I have profiled (Ryan and previously with Damon Mahoney) there were countless private moments his lens turned public yet...they remain amazingly private.

'I met Ryan when he sent an introductory email because we had both been invited to contribute images to Try State Magazine Issue 3 and we are both located in the SF Bay Area. I went to take a look at Ryan's Direct Desire blog and was intrigued by his accomplished nude self-portraits. His concepts and poses are a delightful artistic mix. After an exchange of several emails, I told Ryan that if he'd ever consider shooting with another photographer that I'd be delighted to work with him.

I loved the natural light images I saw on Ryan's blog and we agreed to shoot at his location. The day of our shoot arrived. It was foggy, overcast, and rainy. The natural light was soft, yet dramatic as it dropped off quickly inside his windows. I think it gave a very moody look to our shoot.

Ryan was a first for me on two counts. First, I'd never shot another photographer as model. Ryan easily understood the light and played to it so very well. Second, when I asked about what wardrobe Ryan wanted to use to start, he said none. He was only interested in nudes and ready to go to work.'

Michael Puff

Check out more of Michael's work at his website HERE:

Ryan says that Michael was fantastic to work with.

'It can be very difficult as a photographer to give up creative control to another person, but Michael was very inclusive. He took the time to explain his process and created an atmosphere that was very comfortable.'

As I stated Ryan is also a photographer and I love that he describes himself as an eternal voyeur. It is fascinating to me to that while most voyeurs seem look 'out', Ryan's focus is on 'in'. The thinking of 'self' is an ignored field of study. Thinking out oneself is often seen as vain or selfish but thinking 'self' is not about running through your mind how great you are. Thinking 'self' is simply knowing yourself and spending time figuring out why you feel and act the way you do. Ultimately self is one of the most unselfish things to focus on as those without a sense of self usually end up inflicting their pain and confusion on those around them.

Be sure to spend some time on Ryan's blog Direct Desire HERE: I love 'reversal of lens' and my favorite shots are his Window sequence in Paris, his shots by and on the stairs and the shot 'Eucalyptus' used as pic of the day. Ryan also has a blog about public nudity SFNude found HERE:

Thanks as always to the wonderful Michael Puff and to Ryan Scott for sharing their shoot with FH!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did i miss this one.
would love to get a print of the last shot with the books, is this possible?