Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dress Shirt & Ties: Mark-Eugene Garcia by JK-F7 Studio

'The first time I posed naked was after I started losing weight. I lost 60 lbs. Originally, I wanted to document the process- plus I was beginning to feel super confident about who I am and what I was doing. It was a completely new experience for me to get in front of the camera. I was nervous as all hell, but as the first shoots went on it became fun. It was acting- without all of that line memorization.'

It is always interesting for me to read answers to the questions I throw at models, especially when the model in question is also a writer. The quote above comes from December feature profling model, actor and storyteller Mark-Eugene Garcia. (Teller of the Tales) I think we sometimes assume when seeing images of great looking men, that they have always looked that way, and are confident and self assured in their appearance.

It is always fascinating to exploring transformations. Many of the models I have featured have through a physical change prior to finding the courage to step naked in a front of a camera. Their stories, have also made some of the most interesting stories to share. Losing or gaining weight or muscle are not the only ways to stimulate a metamorphosis, but they often result in biggest changes in strength and self confidence. For many, being vulnerable, both physically and emotional for others to see, and to judge means getting to a point of not actually giving a shit about what others think and feel.

When I was working on choosing images for my first piece on Mark, I knew from all the images that I couldn't fit in, I want to share more. When I was going through Mark's port looking for what images I wanted to share next, some of my favorites were Mark's work with photographer Jerzy Kowalksi (JK-F7 Studio). To be honest, I didn't even notice any differences in Mark's appearance, only that I loved these images, and loved how incredibly hot Mark looked in his dress shirt ad ties.

'Jerzy's shoot was one of my first so I was still getting used to the idea of getting naked in front of a camera. He kept me laughing the whole time, which loosened my nerves and really played with his style of bow ties. This was when I first started losing weight so I was still a little chubby. But I was already starting to feel good.'

When we look at images of others, we look at the surface, what we see, and it makes us feel. When we look at images of ourselves, we generally go instantly to how we felt when the capture was taken. For Mark, his shoot with Jerzy was during the beginning stages of change, and only his second time shooting the nude, the first being with photographer Patrick Mulcahey. Mark was feeling good about his body, and himself, and wanted to document it, originally, only for himself. Mark wasn't sure when these images were taken, anyone would but himself, or Jerzy ,would see them. But the freedom he felt, and the enjoyment that came from the process of shooting, thankfully for us, changed his mind.

'Exhibitionism.... freedom.... honesty. It was really just a breaking down of walls.) But it was the start of something- it's been quite a journey.'

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