'No mask like open truth to cover lies,
As to go naked is the best disguise.'
William Congreve, The Double Dealer (1694)
Trying new ideas and concepts is essential to the creative process. We have all seen images from photographers who use the same set up colors and poses with every model they shoot. I can't help but think how monotonous that must become. With FH now ten, it is discovering new models and artists, and finding new ways to present their work, that keep me motivated and excited.
This series of images is rooted in the trying of new things. FH know the work of photographer NickS82, whose images I have previously featured many times. I have mostly showcased Nick's work with individual models, but Nick has an extensive portfolio of couples images as well. As you can see, Casey and AR are not your typical couple, and the resulting shots are not your typical couple themed images.
Nick was looking to try a new concept, different than the way he usually captures his couples. This is where Brian from qudosimage comes in. Normally shooting fashion, Brian too, was looking to try something different and had never done a couple shoot before. Brian and Nick had decided a while ago to collaborate on Brian's first duo shoot, and were just waiting for the right time, and the right two models.
Choosing the two models proved a bit different than choosing models for a regular couple shoot. Given the 'theatrical' theme, it was important to find models who could embrace the concept. It was Brian who spotted Casey, a model and dancer from London. Casey (in make-up and Mohawk) had a great look, and had experience shooting both nude, as well as with Goth, Alternative, Fetish and Erotic themes. Like Nick and Brian, Casey was also excited about trying something different and new.
Casey and AR getting some direction from Brian from qudosimage
Nick wanted someone equally 'theatrical' to be matched with Casey for the shoot. That ended up being AR, but AR came with a catch. Theatrical he is, being a professional actor and dancer in London. Being a professional actor however, meant that exposing everything might be a bit risky, hence the disguise. What could be more dramatic though than a theatrical mask. Make-up and masks are important pieces of theatre history, and masks were often used as symbols going back to ancient Greece during the golden age, around 300 BC
Putting two naked and sexy men together would seem made for an erotic shoot. The eroticism captured however, was entirely unintended. The shoot was initially based in pose, body lines and movement and looking for various creative ways to capture the make-up wearing Casey, and the masked AR in various non-sexual poses together. The eroticism that comes through, (and up) in some of the shots is something Nick says wasn't intentional, but simply the result of putting two naked bodies together. 'AR's semi-erection was just an unplanned event, a natural evolution of the shoot I suppose you could say.'
Intentional or not, Casey's make-up, and especially AR's mask have a strong erotic element, similar to the feel of images of a CMNM (clothed male/naked male) themed shoot. There is vulnerability to being the only one naked when the model you're shooting with is clothed. Although in this case, both models are physically naked, AR's mask adds that element of vulnerability, and of mystery to the final images. Although in make-up, and exposed both physically and emotionally, it is Casey that has most the control. AR, behind the mask, is hidden emotionally, creating a level of erotic risk that adds to the enjoyment of the images.