Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Replenisher: Matt by Donald Chambers

There is a reason that most of the photographers I have profiled describe photography as a passion. We love lots of things, family, friends, partners, puppies and kittens and going to the beach. There are things however that separate passions from being just another love...

We can love many different people and many different things, but we are usually only passionate about one person or one thing. We like to do things we love, but with a passion, it is more of a compulsion. When my body talks to me about red meat, it is more than just a want, it is a need. A compulsion that if not filled, leaves us less than we are than when we give in to it.

Nashville photographer Donald Chambers has thankfully, given in to his passion. Donald's images feel like the result of the completion of an elegant compulsion. Erotic images full of both respect and grace. Donald is doing what he is passionate about and that passion flows beautifully through his all of his work. When my spirit requires replenishing, it is usually a visual and/or emotional burst of stimulation that brings balance to my equilibrium, Donald's images accomplish that in spades.

Donald's primary love had always been landscape photography. Over the years he has photographed pretty much every national park in the United States and most of Canada. Just recently he returned from a trip, and a shoot, in Machu Picchu Peru. About five years ago, Donald was introduced to portrait photography and has not looked back.

'My landscapes now come in the form of the human body. I love the male form and consider it an amazing honor when a model allows me to capture such a private part of their life.'

Over the past several months I have had a few models write me about their images. Some were applying for new jobs and were concerned about the impact the images might have on their prospects. Donald is fully aware of the power of the internet and takes time to meet with every model to assess their comfort level. Donald also cautions them about the eternal life of an image on the net. This respect for the models he shoots speaks again to Donald's passion for his work as well as the professionalism he exhibits.

'One time I apologized to a model about my enthusiasm, he said you should never be sorry about loving your art. That really stuck with me because I really do love my art.'

When I profile an artist, I usually point to the one image that compelled me to contact them about a feature. To be honest, with Donald's work, that first image I saw was not of Matt. When I started putting together my favorite images however, without noticing at first, almost all of the images I had chosen were of Matt. There was just something about Donald's images of the 23 year old that sort of summed up all I felt about his work. Donald's images of Matt simply made a beautiful impression. Great body and an ease in front of the camera, but most of all those incredible hazel eyes. Matt's eyes are hypnotic. When he is staring directly at the camera and even when looking down or away, they are so full of emotion and depth.

'Matt doesn't have conventional model looks but I think that what attracted me to him, he was so expressive and his entire soul is in his eyes. I just loved that aspect of him. He was so beautiful and sensual and it just came so easy to him, you have to admire that and be a little envious of it too. I loved working with Matt, he had the beauty of youth and the beauty of an amazing soul.'

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