'I especially cherish my sessions working with dancers. The years of training give them an innate body awareness that I rarely see elsewhere. The sculptural shapes dancers create with their body are, for me, a sight of great beauty.'
It was an act of generosity that first brought photographer Michael Puff to FH. I had worked on a couple of stories featuring the work of photographer Bill McClaren. When writing to me about a piece on a model he had shot, Bill strongly suggested I check out images of the same model shot by his friend Michael Puff. It was Michael who set up the shoot, using Bill's studio for the day. Bill hung around and took a few shots himself which had initiated my contact. This started one of my favorite series on FH, Creative Alliance in which I was able to share images of the same model shot by both Bill and Michael.
Michael's work is truly magnificent. Each image breath taking with Michael a master at capturing bodies in motion. What I love so much about his work is that even when shooting men, many whom are dancers, flying through the air or in moments requiring brutal strength and energy there is always a quiet beauty. It is as if Michael, through his images, is able to press pause during an extraordinary moment, allowing the viewer to savour the calm and beauty of that split second of motion.
I think every word, every thought, that I have written about Michael Puff's work can be illustrated by simply enjoying this incredible series of images with Chad. The most difficult task, choosing images and leaving so many beautiful moments unshared in a desktop folder.
The San Francisco dancer says that he has recently become more interested in modeling and he appears to flow effortlessly by in front of Michael's lens. With the amount of movement captured, this shoot must have been as much of a work out for photographer as it was for model. Chad says that it was a pleasure working with Michael.
'We shot for about 4 hours, mostly me just playing around with different things. He had some instruction, but mostly we just bounced back and forth with putting ideas out there. He has a great eye for movement and I think the images came out wonderful.'
'Chad told me that he preferred to move rather than striking a pose. Not a surprising statement from a dancer. Most of our shoot was spent with Chad in motion, filled with strength and grace. I found Chad particularly enjoyable to watch because he moves not only with dance technique, but with soul as well. Many times I just wanted to put down the camera and watch.'