Sunday, September 11, 2016

Turning Tables: Austin by Gordon Nebeker

'I know it is not very PC to “objectify” women or men but when you spend your life photographing the male form, one has to applaud perfection when it appears.'
Gordon Nebeker

It was back near the end of 2013 that I stumbled upon the model mayhem page of then 22 year old Austin Wild.  I knew right away from his images that Austin had something special and was thrilled he gave me the go ahead to put together a feature on his work. (Wild About Austin) Photographer Gordon Nebeker noticed that same magic,  Gordon got together with Austin for a series of shoots that he generously shared with FH in 2014.  When Gordon sent on images from their most recent shoot, this past spring, I again in awe of how incredible Austin looked in front of Gordon's lens.

I began to put together thoughts about the shoot, and jotted down a few notes of points I wanted to cover.  I had to start with the changes in Austin's look, from his hair to the impressive changes in his body, especially his magnificently sculpted butt.  When Gordon followed up with his notes from the shoot, he pretty much covered, with my more finesse, most of the points I wanted to cover.

Before sharing his thoughts on the shoot, I did want to make a comment or two about Gordon's work. Over the past several years, I have been fortunate to have been able to feature a great variety of Gordon's shoots.  They are always visually impressive captured every change, and every inch of Austin's body by putting them beautifully on display.

I use the word 'display' with intention.  I am guessing when Gordon was a kid, his family didn't harp about him 'playing on the furniture'.  Or... maybe they did.  Regardless, some of my favorite images from this set are the ones in which Austin is posed, like a statue, an award or valued piece of art that you want everyone who enter's the room, to be sure not to miss.

'We were working in my townhouse and I decided to shake things up by doing an ‘on the furniture’ shoot so we moved him from table to table and sofas to chairs and countertops. Austin is a very capable model and he quickly found an interesting pose no matter where I placed him in the house. It was a fun shoot!'
Gordon Nebeker

This isn't the first time I have noted Gordon's pleasurable practice of having models pose on furniture. In several of my earlier pieces featuring Gordon's work, there are beautiful shots of models draped over Gordon's coffee table. I really think Gordon needs to put together a coffee table book dedicated to the many models he has shot on his tables, and the other pieces of furniture around his home.

Gordon's furniture provides more than just a base for Austin to pose on.  These shots blend in beautiful lines and curves and aspects of both design and architecture.   The image of Austin on the round table is one of my favorites.  Austin takes on the appearance of a sensuous sundial.  According to Austin, it must have been around eleven o'clock...

by Gordon Nebeker, April 2016

One of the things I remember about arranging our 2014 shoots was how difficult it was to find a time to shoot that worked for both of us. Austin was far more busy than I was. He was working pretty much full time and also going to school which didn’t leave much time for modeling even though he enjoyed it. When I tried to set another photo shoot with him the following year, his schedule seemed to be more impossible than before and 2015 went by without a chance to shoot. But patience and persistence eventually won out and I was able to set a photo shoot with him for late April this year and the photos here are from that shoot. 

Austin arrived quite late as traffic in South Florida was worse than usual and he also arrived with a surprise, but more about that later.  Even though we hadn’t worked together for close to two years, we quickly fell into photographic synchronicity and it was as if we work together all the time. It is like those friendships where you don’t see someone for years but when you meet up, the conversation picks up right where you last left off.  Austin’s ’severe high fashion model’ look works well for him and more often than not, he defaults to that. But I was determined to get some ’smiling Austin’ photos as well and am happy to report we had some success.

I mentioned earlier that Austin arrived at the shoot with a surprise but I should say there were a couple of surprises. One was the result of some dedicated gym work over the past couple of years which added some muscle to his tall and lanky frame and filled him out in all the right places. It is hard to single out any single part of his body as the whole represents well the sum of his parts, but it has to be mentioned that his butt is nothing short of perfect. Perfect size, perfect shape and perfectly beautiful to photograph.

I mentioned at the beginning that Austin arrived at the shoot with a surprise. In this case the surprise was a husband as, unbeknownst to me, Austin had married about a year ago. I don’t normally like surprises in the form of friends or family coming along to my photo shoots, but Austin’s husband was as pleasant and good natured as can be. He never tried to ‘direct’ the shoot and was full of compliments for Austin’s work and mine.

Finally, when we we got to the last part of the shoot where I was photographing Austin in the shower, I teased him about having to follow us around all afternoon without being in any of the photographs. “ Now it is time for you to be part of this”, I said, and with his husband's encouragement, he doffed his clothes and got into the shower with Austin and that is the last photograph you see here. A perfect ending for a fun day of shooting!

1 comment:

Michael A. Deer / Pride of Paradise Photography said...

I do enjoy viewing your views.