'Ladies and gentlemen - I fear that what I am going to say will spoil your appetites; but the truth is beautiful at all times, and I have to state that Mrs. Lovett's pies are made of human flesh!'
Most people know the murderous barber Sweeney Todd from the 1979 musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street or the 2007 film adaptation featuring Johnny Depp. You may recall, Todd's victims begin their transformation into meat pie ingredients by the pulling of a lever as they sat, for their very last haircut, in Sweeney's barber chair.
What some of you may not know, is that the character of Sweeney Todd was actually first introduced over 100 years earlier in the 1840's in a British serial novelization, The String of Pearls. Since strings are used to hold things together, often precious gems, Sweeney's introduction in String of Pearls seemed the perfect title to help pull together these images of 23 year old model Trevor Werner.
Indiana's Trevor Werner has the perfect look, not to mention story, to bring Sweeney Todd to life. Incredibly stunning, the combination of his striking blonde hair, blue eyes and smooth skin create dramatic results when captured by Jay's lens. Never content with just being 'hot' or 'cute', Trevor prefers edgier types of shoots so the Sweeney Todd theme was right up his alley. Another, more obvious reason reason why Sweeney Todd fit Trevor so perfectly was he is actually a hairstylist and just inherited his families barber shop. If in the Indiana area you may, or may not, want to chance a trim at Trevor's shop. Just be wary of asking for a snack.
'I love working with Jay! We are talking about doing another shoot for the summer. This shoot was in December and it was freaking cold as hell... Was scared at first, how it would turn out with that wig, but it all came together! Sweeney Todd was an inspiration for the barbershop that I own and run. I love it to pieces. A Midwest barber at his best! I have gained and toned a lot since that shoot as well. Jay has incredible talent and makes me feel so comfortable when we are creating these pieces of art... I cannot wait till out next shoot!!!'
Some of you may recognize Trevor from his first appearance on FH back in 2011. (Trevor Werner by Scott Barnes) Coincidentally, it was also in 2011 that I last featured the work of Jay Rickard from LightWeaver. I featured Jay's work frequently between 2010 and 2011. Shooting the male form can sometimes be a complicated endeavor, there are hoops to jump through, egos, politics and often little financial reward. Even if it is your passion, with all the highs and lows, sometimes a break now and then is required.
I love how Jay described it as a bit like Hotel California. The work, much like the luxury resort, is both inviting and tempting and although you can check out anytime you like, but you can never really leave. Like that string of pearls, you go round and round and although always beautiful, when you reach the end, it is actually just the beginning. I feel this way myself about FH sometimes. As much as I love it, I often want to check out, only to have an image or an artists work, inspire me to stay, a least for a bit longer...
Jay's passions go well beyond shooting only the human form so his time away was still filled with beauty and creativity. In addition to photography, Jay has always had a passion for all things exquisite. I remember vividly the stories Jay shared while I was putting together a feature about his work with model Michael Hargis. (Rejuvenated) Jay wanted Michael adorned in an outfit entirely made of jewelry. Jay spent weeks preparing the pieces, which would cover Michael's pieces, meticulously working on every detail to ensure it matched his vision for the look of the shoot. The string of jewels draping Michael's incredible body may not have been pearls, but when I discovered Sweeney Todd first appeared in a novel connected to jewelery, it sort of completed the circle. You can see the results of Jay's jewelery making with Michael at the link above, or see more at his site Exquisite Elements.
Jay reports his hiatus from shooting the male form might soon be coming to an end, so hopefully we will see more new work in the future! I also encourage you all to check out Jay's new page on Facebook, The erotic male in photography which he calls an interactive place, inspirational, informative and thought provoking.