Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The Rules of Attraction: Tomas by Reyj Photography
'The seeds of love have taken hold, and if we won't burn together, I'll burn alone.'
(Sean Bateman, The Rules Of Attraction, 2002)
The overarching theme of the 1987 Bret Easton Ellis novel The Rules Of Attraction is misplaced love. Love that is given but sadly not returned. I think part of the reason this occurs is because so many people have such a narrow scope of what qualities they consider attractive, that often even when the right person actually does come along, blinders prevent them from seeing it.
We all have a mental type. The visual person we have created in our minds. We cultivate this image over years, fine tuning their appearance and personality. We determine their race, height, body type, degree of head and body hair, face, eyes and even smell. We grab onto this visual when needing sexual motivation and especially inspiration. What is most interesting is that when you talk to people who have been with the same partner for a long time, those qualities they once held onto to tightly, became irrelevant.
The advertising and fashion industry think they have tapped into the qualities people want, it is why many models look so similar to one another. In reality, we may fantasize about them, but understand, it is just that, a fantasy. They don't seem to understand that at the end of the day, most of us abandon wanting those qualities and that paint by the number products, although easy to put together, really have little to no substance.
Model Tomas Christzen has few of the qualities normally on my list, yet when I spotted his images, I could not get his images out of my mind. Austin photographer RJ Velazquez, of Reyj Photography has many incredible images and models in his port, but with Thomas, he captured a quality, something organic, that blew my rules of attraction out the window. Although it can be argued that it is almost impossible to capture a natural moment when a camera is present, Reyj manages to evoke through his images of Tomas, a ease and natural quality that give them an honesty and realness reflected in the work. The first image of Thomas I saw was him with a guitar. I love images of model, especially naked with guitars. It takes me back to the hours I, and many other teenage wannabe rock star, spent playing Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water in my bedroom was a teen.
'While I loved working with the other models, the images that I got with Tomas have been my favorite set so far due to the emotions captured throughout the shoot.'
Reyj hit on the truth, not the rule, of why we are drawn to someone. In his images of Tomas, there is not a focus on what parts of the body might attract attention,instead, he uses the body, and as importantly the man inside it, to create both a visual and emotional connection with me. There is a carefree, almost 'I don't give a shit' attitude coming from Tomas that through Reyj's images, is incredibly attractive both visually and sexually. Reyj's lens picks up the beautiful color nuances with both head and facial hair, skin tone and Thomas' beautiful blue puppy dog eyes. My two favorite images, are the two side body shots, with Tomas wearing the hat, directly above and below. They almost appear as if almost 'behind the scene' shots and further the theme that Tomas is just relaxing, hanging out with his guitar in his basement with the music, the only really important thing on his mind.