Monday, May 23, 2016

Texture & Contrast: Kristoffer Brown by Dark Shadow Sydney

'I’m still learning and at most self taught, so I approach most shoots with no rules. I want the image to convey some form of emotion, so I don’t like to over think the shoot and make it spontaneous. I like texture and contrast, so I like to find locations that are out of the ordinary or unusual.'

I think DSS's words above are exactly what motivated me to contact him about his work with model Kristoffer Brown. The images of Kristoffer went beyond just good lighting and lots of skin. The Australian artist uses texture and contrast to create a depth of emotion that is felt both on the surface, in Kristoff's facial expressions and soulful blue eyes, and in atmosphere created by DSS's use of dark and light.

Dark Shadow Sydney's passion for photography began in 2009 after buying his first digital camera, a Nikon D90. Like many new photographers, his main focus was initially landscape photography. This gave him the opportunity to learn the basic techniques and becoming comfortable with the camera.

'I also had an interest of painting the human form, which led my interest to photographing people. I also wanted an edge to the image, where there were no rules and the image was raw.  This lead to me working mainly with the male form - no make up or glamour with a strong male appeal and slightly naughty.'

Although 26 year old Kristoffer Brown isn't interested in being just a 'nude model', he was certainly up for 'slightly naughty'. Kristoffer did some modeling as a child and decided to give it another chance now that he is more mature and a bit older. Of course as an adult, being asked to shoot naked is a new part of the job, but Kristoffer didn't want to limit his chances for shoots or work, so taking it off became a normal part of the job.

Given he had worked with DSS before, Kristoffer said the nude work was without complications, both professionals, when he heard DSS had an interesting location to shoot, they both showed up and got the job done!  ' I was completely comfortable with the setting and taking my clothes off was just an extra opportunity to get quality pictures.'  What drives Kristofffer  is the excitement and adventure modeling brings.  Travelling, meeting new people and being apart of someone's creative passion and pushing himself to new limits!

Having worked together was key to the comfortability of both Kristoffer and Kerwin, so much so, they have shot 4 times within the last 6 months. Kerwin generally shoots with new models, many of him have never done a photo shoot, let alone posed nude. Kerwin generally starts out with a clothed shoot, something easy and casual.  If the model is comfortable in their skin, he may suggest a future shoot, involving nudity if they're comfortable. It is also important the photographer be comfortable, something Kerwin remembers from his first time shooting a naked model.

'My first experience shooting a nude model was in my garage with a simple black drop, I was so nervous that it made me sick with worry. I was a total mess trying to make sure the model is comfortable, working out camera settings and getting the lighting correct.  I now look back back on my previous work and missed opportunities of what I could have asked and have learnt from my mistakes. Now, I do my homework on the poses and clothing to match the theme. I try to push myself with experimenting with new things and now comfortable asking the model to do things outside there comfort zone to produce something fantastic.'

'Kristoffer is extremely keen and always requesting me when we are doing the next shoot. Our first shoot was in my garage on a low key concept, where I found Kris very comfortable in his skin and had no problem posing nude. We then followed a shoot in a car park, at his own apartment and our last shoot was in a motel room. The images I like best of Kris where the car park shoot against a cement wall and the low key shoot in my garage'

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