Monday, May 8, 2017

Out of Tune: Tomas by Dennis Nauert

What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key
The Beatles

Many FH readers I am sure recognize Tomas. I featured his images fro Reyj Photography in two shoots, one in 2013 (The Rules of Attraction) and in a follow-up last year. (Devoutly Christzen) Reyj's work with Tomas produced some incredible shots that are some of my favorite images that I have featured over the years.

I remembered Reyj sharing his work with Tomas had taken place during a photography group event, so when I saw Austin photographer Dennis Nauert recently posting a few shots of Tomas, I knew he must have been part of the shoot. I have loved Dennis' work since first seeing his images of Michael, another guitar playing hottie who I featured back in 2012. (Precise) I loved how Dennis had so beautifully captured not just Michael, but Michael's passion for music within his images.

The last couple of times I have featured his work, I have done story hat-tricks, featuring three different models each time. I am glad to again focus on one model and shoot, especially given that the model is Tomas. Given my previous posts featuring Reyj's shots, Dennis was a bit worried that his images of Tomas wouldn't be unique, but after he sent on his shots, I was more determined than before to share their work together.

Tomas has a incredibly sexy look, distinct and certainly memorable. I also find his images intriguingly complicated. Tomas I often describe models, especially those posing naked, as appearing comfortable in front of the camera, but Tomas goes even a bit beyond, as if almost ambivalent about it. Although he has an tight hot body, it's Tomas' puppy dog eyes and a face whose expression don't try to hide the sadness, the experiences and the life struggles that he's been though.

Dennis describes Tomas a great guy to work with and someone he had hoped to schedule another shoot with. Unfortunately, Tomas's life was in upheaval, and he didn't have a fixed address, was living on the streets for a time so finding a way to reach him was impossible. Dennis remembers one of his favorite parts of the shoot was the music. 'Tomas has a great voice and I would have enjoyed listening to more of his music.'

When I contacted Dennis about Tomas, he shared that he hasn't been shooting that much lately, and was finding himself in a bit of a creative slump. For the first time in seven years, Dennis found himself cancelling a shoot, just not feeling any ideas that he wanted to follow through with. I found myself relating with Dennis completely. We all go through creative up's and down's and for an artists, the highs and lows can be especially demanding, as the pressure to create when you're not feeling it can be overwhelming.

With FH in it's 10th year, there are at least three or four times a year that I am not not feeling it and consider ending the site. With the time it takes to put together 5 pieces for a day's posting, I hate spending time on work or subjects that I am not passionate about. I know when my heart isn't in it, and often it seems easier to just stop. Sometimes routine and obstacles can bring on a slump. For awhile, I was using a particular photographer/model site to find, and connect with artists that I like. I would check the site out once or twice and week and it became the place I found, and contacted new artists whose work inspired me.

Unfortunately, this site, that had the purpose I thought was to connect, decided to make connecting harder for it's community members. I thought that was a sign that it was time for FH to start winding down. But as the Beatles sing, (although I prefer the Joe Cocker version) 'You get by with a little help from your friends.' Just as I was struggling to find ways of contacting new subjects, I was contacted by a couple of artists, whose work I have previously featured, about new work they were hoping I might share. Many of the artists that I have worked with over the last decade have become regular contributors, and the relationships I have formed have led to a more personalized way of both understanding, and presenting their work.

Dennis is one of those artists who always responds positively to my questions and requests. He also helped me to remember that my creative slumps always end. Just when I want to give up, I will see an image, discover an artist, a model or story that I can't imagine not being able to cover on the site. I trust Dennis will be soon back in tune creatively. When he is, Dennis has promised to let me know when he finds that new idea, or that new model that inspires him to schedule a new shoot.


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

Very cool images... good job by all.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful artwork created by Tomas and Dennis. Creates a conversation with the observer. Like you are sitting in the same room with Tomas, talking about life. Its ups and downs, joys and challenges. And sharing some tunes...maybe even collaborating on writing a new song. This isn't fantasy. Or Greek god mythology. This art is about life. Reality. Living. Now.

Thanks so very much - Steven