Sunday, November 15, 2015
Geometric Excellence: Will by Gordon Nebeker
Since first featuring his work back in 2011, photographer Gordon Nebeker has become one of my favorite artists to feature. Gordon is not only generous with sharing his images, he is also giving with comments and stories about his process. It is risky to say a particular model or shoot is a favorite. Tastes, ast least mine do, change with time and with what emotionally is going on for me in my life. That being said, Gordon's work with Will is not only currently one of my favorites from Gordon, it also so beautifully what I love most about his work.
I was first introduced to Will this past summer as one of three. Gordon, along with photographers Mike Tossy and Mark Grantham, headed back to the Utah deserts and mountains, taking along with three incredible models, for another world win shoot. Will was one of those three models. I hoping to feature more from Utah in the near future, but until then, Gordon shot Will solo earlier this month in Florida.
As I went through the images Gordon sent on, and these are just one piece, I couldn't help but think, that if I were shooting Will, this is exactly the type of shoot list I would have loved to have completed. Gordon captured so many of the themes I look for within shoots that I really like. I see many great photo series, but whether 10, or 100 shots, if they are all focused on the same thing, they become boring very quickly. Gordon captured so many great looks with Will, so many exceptional captures. Images that focused on his magnificent physique, images that focused on form, pose, his rock hard abs, arms and legs. Images that covered, and uncovered, Will's his back, backside and his impressive front. Images that captured his incredible facial structure, eyes and hair. Will has a touch of Clark Kent within his look, and a whole lot of super... man.
It is not often that Gordon is able to work with a model for more than a single day, but it in Will's case, it worked out that they had the opportunity to do two, multi day shoots within the last month and a half. The first, the Utah shoot, the second, the shoot in Florida. On the Utah shoot, Gordon remembers being impressed with how Will used any extra time he had, quick moments between shoots, or during breaks to keep his muscles pumped up. Even if there were no weights handy, Will found a way. He would drop and do pushups or pick up a tree trunk or anything laying around and do overhead lifts with it.
'All that exercise soon brought my attention to his high metabolism rate which allows him to eat just about anything and not show it on his body. Amazing! And what a body he has! Lean, muscular, great facial structure and perhaps what I appreciate most as a photographer focusing on the geometry in my my work, he is angular in the best way possible. In short, it was a delight to work with him and I hope to have the pleasure of working with him again soon.'
'Shooting in Florida with Gordon was amazing, His 10 years plus of experience definitely shows! This was our second shoot and it was once again a very humbling, comfortable and an enjoyable experience! I learned about negative spacing with my arms which I have used already on a shoot in Chicago, along with chin down. I would definitely love to work with Gordon again, maybe a beach shoot. Also, with my years playing baseball and doing gymnastics, I would love to incorporate more athletics the next time.'
Although Will has quite a bit of experience modeling, every photographer has his or her own style and sometimes it takes a while to create a smooth rhythm. Rhythm wasn't a problem when Will and Gordon began to shoot. Gordon describes Will as a fast learner and shares that he was in 'the groove' within minutes. 'He is comfortable with his body and it shows in the confidence of his poses. And he loves to dance!'
One of Gordon's goals in this shoot was to show a sense of movement in some of the photographs which he admits can sometimes be a challenge with still photography. 'Several times I turned up the music and set him free to dance while I followed him with my camera taking continuous rapid shots which freezes the action mid movement. The mind can see the movement even though it is a still image.'
Will says his comfortability with shooting nudes has grown through his experiences in front of the camera the past couple of years, especially the two shoot he did with Gordon. Part of feeling confident about taking off your clothes, is feeling good about what's under them. To keep his body in top condition, Will works out about three times a week. Will is also blessed with a wonderfully high metabolism, which means he doesn't follow any specific diet, only a healthy one. Will looks forward to where his modeling may lead, his goals include more travel along with commercials and seeing himself in a magazine.
'It is rare to work with someone who looks equally good in clothes and with no clothes. I am usually photographing my models with little or no clothing but we spent an enjoyable couple of hours on this shoot doing clothed lifestyle/fashion shots and Will can pull that off very well.'
'Will has a good sense of humor but he is soft spoken and it took me a while to realize that. But when you are working with someone for two days straight they either become good company or you find yourself wishing it was over before it is. Will is good company and I wouldn't hesitate to do another must-day shoot with him. I would just have to remember to bring a lot of food!'