'I am always looking to find that one model that seems to come along once every couple of years that the camera just loves. The one that when you turn on the modeling lights he's suddenly "on" and you start popping those strobes and the session becomes a dance of creativity as the model instinctively knows what you want and where the first shot you take is incredible and everyone after that is even better!'
They say one of the tricks to a successful career, and a rewarding life, is to always consider yourself a learner. We have all encountered people in our lives, maybe especially at our jobs, who think they know everything they need to know about their vocation. The truth is that things are always changing, growing and progressing, and if you don't position yourself as a student to the changes, you inevitably get left back.
Arizona photographer Dan Nelson shares that he is never satisfied. I used to think that satisfaction was a worthy goal, but the older I get, the more I see that creativity suffers when an artist is satisfied. The consequence of Dan's dissatisfaction is a desire to keep working, keep learning and keep shooting until he gets it right. Given, these shots of Tyler were taken along that journey, I am hoping it is awhile before Dan reaches his goal.
Dan's journey also includes continually searching for that one in a million model to have in front of his lens. It is the nature of photography to have many subjects, often shooting them beautifully. It is rare however, to have a subject that truly inspires, pulling everything together for creative and rhythmic flow.
Visually, Tyler is one of many models in Dan's portfolio that Dan seems to have connected with creatively. I think the skill of a great photographer however, is making the viewer think that every subject is that one in a million. Tyler is incredibly beautiful, with a classic and strong face and a stunning physique. I love how Dan incorporated furniture within the shoot, something he also did in the first piece I did featuring his work last year with Teak. (A Piece of Art) Tyler form and presence would have been strong on their own, but there is an added level of sensuality by putting bare skin on leather.
As part of Halloween week last fall, I devoted a day to the sequel to Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy's Revenge. While researching images and info for that piece, I was fascinated to read some stories surrounding the making of the movie and the lasting impact it had on the film's lead, actor Mark Patton.
I loved Mark in the film, not because his performance was perfect, but because he was portraying a character rarely seen on the big screen, especially in a teen horror flick. There are many examples of tortured teens on television and in movies, but Mark's portrayal of Jesse was both ahead of it's time, and so purposely layered, it wasn't until long after the film's release that people appreciated what a beautifully unique film Freddy's Revenge actually was.
I was surprised recently to catch Mark in his first role in 1982's Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. I had heard of the movie before, mostly because it was Cher's first major acting role, but wasn't until a recent airing on TCM, that I DVR'd and watched. What an incredible film. Like Freddy's Revenge, the movie is flawed for sure, but story and emotions were deep, and maybe even current given the cultural transitions of the past couple of years.
Cher was great, but Sandy Dennis put in the films most powerfully interesting performance. Karen Black and a young and fun Kathy Bates were also solid in their roles. I also loved seeing actress Sudie Bond, who I had not seen in anything other than her memorable role in Silkwood, also made with Cher the following year. Mark Patton's Joe, although only seen in flashbacks, was heartbreaking and core to the unfolding of the story. In just a few small scenes, many just hovering in the background, Mark set a beautiful tone, laying the groundwork, while not revealing where the story, and the character would end up.
I had to do some Goggling and was interested in reading the movie was first a play written by Ed Graczyk, with the films cast, complete and intact from it's short Broadway run. How great to see director Robert Altman, keep the entire cast together, not bringing in any huge stars to replace the talented stage actors in their roles. Altman shares he considered bringing in another actress, but saw quickly the rhythm was off when the any one of of the original actors wasn't in place.
I won't share the movie's secrets, and maybe for many, they weren't that well hidden. But for me, even when I knew, I wasn't sure I knew or whether the audience were being taken somewhere, only to be then taken somewhere else. It was nice to Patton outside of the Nightmare dome that has blanketed so much of his career, especially in a role so worthy of his talent, and his presence.