Saturday, November 12, 2011

Constant Motion: Russ by Gordon Nebeker

I fell in love with the work of Pennsylvania photographer Gordon Nebeker earlier this year. Unfortunately, I could not find a way to connect with him about a post at that time. I was instantly drawn to Gordon's work. There was something about his images, his models, that I not only loved but respected. I say respect with intent as I picked up immense respect in his work for both his models as well as their surrounding. Gordon's studio work, especially his use of black for a backdrop, is beautiful, classic and wonderfully dramatic. Thankfully, I was recently able to find away to contact him. I would have hated missing out on using some of his incredible shots of Russ.

'The best advice I ever got was to shoot what you are passionate about and to me the human body is unendingly fascinating and beautiful. It is a constant challenge to photograph it creatively and well.'

After a career in Finance which involved long assignments overseas, Gordon picked up his camera, dusted it off, and began shooting primarily nudes. Gordon has had several one-man photo exhibitions as well as pieces in group shows. His most current book, Men to Match My Mountains places the male figure in the magnificent scenery of Southern Utah. The book is available and can be previewed on blurb HERE: Gordon is in the final stages of a new book featuring Russell and other models as they work with a twelve foot long piece of white cloth. Gordon says he hopes to have it completed in time for Christmas!

When I first met Russ, he had broken his leg and we agreed to wait until it was healed to do our photo shoot. But, as I came to know him better, it is hard to imagine a guy like Russ waiting calmly and patiently for something to heal. Russ IS constant motion and to be out of commission was torture for him.

The very best photo shoots are the ones where the model is actively involved in the creative process and not just simply taking directions. Russ always has ideas for poses and moves and is very easy to work with. He is an actor, a dancer, an excellent musician and has training in circus type acrobatics. There is almost nothing he cannot do or at least be willing to try!

I remember when we were discussing his first shoot with me. I told him that my work is principally male fine art nudes and he took some time to get comfortable with the idea of shooting nudes as he had never done that before and was concerned about what some people he knew might think. He finally agreed and I had to smile during the first shoot as he rather quickly took to nude modeling like a duck to water. It is this utter self confidence that shows through in the photographs and keeps both he and the viewer from feeling uncomfortable. He is a true natural and his work is the better for it.

Thank You Gordon!

Be sure to view more Gordon's images on ModelMayhem!