A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to feature Mark of MW Photo MD, and his images of Andrew. (Put Into Practice) I chose the title for that piece for two reasons, the first being Andrew's love of Hockey, and the inclusion of some of Andrew's goalie gear into the shoot. The second reason for using 'Practice' had to do with Mark's comments about his entry into the art of shooting the male form, and the process he undertook to gain both skill and experience.
'I found a photographer David, Images Male and after checking out his port and his website, and reached out to him as I liked his style of photography. I setup my first studio shoot along with him and decided I might as well jump right in and begin by shooting nudes. David was very patient in teaching me about lighting, the various ways to shoot in the studio and I have done most of my shoots since, with him at his studio.'
Utilizing mentors, and on the job teachers, are something many professions have sadly moved away from. For some professions, especially in the arts, when much of creative and prep and post work is alone, having someone to observe and ask questions of, can be an essential resource. Although there is much to be learned from a good photography class, especially about using a camera, and skillfully utilizing light , they can't really always teach an inexperienced photographer how to envision, create, and then execute a create image. Shooting the male form, especially the naked form, requires so much more than skill and knowledge.
There are brilliant painters who skillfully replicate great works of art, yet struggle to create something that's uniquely their own. There are many photographers who take exceptionally well lit, framed and edited photos, yet there is often, little exceptional about them. Working with models, learning how to create ,and as importantly convey, a concept are far more powerfully learned when watching an experience artist at work. After reading Mark's comments about contacting Images Male, I had to investigate his work, and find out what drew Mark to seek out his guidance and support. Heading to David's site, I was immediately captivated the beauty and variety of David's visuals. Images Male is full of galleries featuring David's many years of capturing the male form.
When shooting his first nude, Mark shares that David help make feel at ease in the studio, introducing him to art form with an experienced model, who was fully comfortable with shooting nude. This allowed Mark to focus on learning, and using his skills, especially lighting, to get the most of the images he was taking. Mark had also been wanting to work with two models together, and when he voiced this, David knew exactly who to call. David had worked with both Alex and Ken multiple times, and knew they would be perfect for the shoot. With just a rubber tire for them to work off, the variety of poses, as well as the depth of emotions and passion between the two models is visually outstanding.
'Alexander and Ken, simply placing them together with a tire, results in strong images as they both have a passion for creating images and posing. Between the three of us, we’re bound to end up with some interesting placement of the two models and the tire. Then it’s up to me to make sure I’m lighting it in a way that is complementary to the models and creates some interesting shadows.'
'If it were up to me, I would be naked all the time.'
'There was a forestry station near where I grew up. It was like a playground, and most of my first romantic experiences took place there. I knew of a break in the fence, and I'd take girls and together we'd crawl through the wire. There was an old shed on the compond that was never locked. That's where I got my first kiss.'
Eric begins to strip with confidence and grace. 'Autumn in my favorite season,' he confides, fingering the buttons on his shirt. 'It's warm enough to go nude, but yet cool enough to minimize bug bites!' Eric states, unbuckling his belt and letting his pants slide down his slim hips.