I was saddened yesterday to read on Facebook of the passing of Chicago photographer Scott Barnes. Scott led a creative life and generously shared so much of his work with FH. Between 2009 and 2013 I featured Scott's work close a dozen times and loved so many of his images, especially Scott's 'drifter series'.
Many of you may also recognize or have seen the shot above.. Scott describes the image of the hottie in the doorway as not necessarily his favorite shot, but the image he saw copied and tumbled around on the net more than any other image he had shot. At just 50, Scott had a lot of creating still to do. Rest in colorful peace!
Amy Schumer's film Trainwreck, was one of my favorite comedies of 2015. I loved her unique way of story telling and laughed out loud all the way through, especially when Lebron James and Bill Hader were on screen together. I had read the bad reviews for Snatched, but thought with Amy there might still be lots to laugh about. There wasn't. I don't think I actually laughed until the movie was almost over, and they were all near the end, at the brilliant facial expressions of actress Joan Cusack.
Despite favorites like Amy, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes and Ike Barinholtz, the best part of the flick was being introduced to the incredibly hot face of actor Tom Bateman. Tom wasn't in the film for long, but enough to have me googling more about the London born actor. A London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts graduate, Bateman was awarded the Leverhulme Scholarship and even before graduation was hitting the London stages alongside Catherine Tate and David Tennant in 'Much Ado About Nothing.'
After several roles on stage, and a few small roles on television, Bateman scored regular roles on The Tunnel, Da Vinci's Demons and one of the leads in Jekyll & Hyde. Bateman will be seen next on the big screen along side Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer in the remake of Murder on the Orient Express.
'I know the conventional wisdom in modeling seems to lean towards serious facial expressions, but I think some of the best images happen when a model is relaxed and having fun. That mood yields some very appealing smiles.'
We often assume, that we're are at our most bare when completely naked. My experience has been, that clothing isn't the only way to shield. I have seen many shots of models, even featured a few, that even when naked, are not really exposed. Some hide behind props, some merge into background or poses. Many use their faces to remain hidden, giving nothing away with their eyes or expressions. Although their face may be visible, it remains a mask, covering not what, but who we are looking at within the image.
One of the hardest things to capture, is a natural smile. When feeling uncomfortable or insecure, on the first things people do is suppress and minimize our facial expressions. More than the size or shape of any particular body part, nothing exposes more about us than our eyes, nose and mouth. The ability to express a smile naturally, especially when on camera, is a sign of confidence, being comfortable, and a healthy sense of self.
Model JayCee has a great body, tall, lean and fit. It's was his sexy and engaging face and smile however that first grabbed my attention. JayCee's eyelashes, lips, dimples, jawline an smile were the first things I noticed, and the features I most wanted to see more. As you can see from this collection of images, California photographer TCorrigan felt exactly same way, and Tom captured an impressive array of images including many shots which focus on JayCee's face and killer smile.
For Tom, photography has always been one of his artistic outlets, but up until a couple of years ago, his primary focus was on landscapes. Tom's love of the human form, especially of the male variety, made switch his a focus a natural progression of his work. Although a great landscape can be visually breathtaking, they can be limiting creatively. Tom finds working with live, dynamic human subjects allows him more opportunities to use wardrobe, lighting and location to create different moods and emotions, and the opportunity to reveal more about his subject in front of lens.
'When I book a model, I like to do some studio shots and at least one or two location shoots as well. I like to capture a large number of varied shots, so that I can see the model from different perspectives. I enjoy using wardrobe to help develop a feel for a shot, but nudes are even more interesting to me. A successful nude shot can be difficult. It takes a certain skill to help a model look relaxed or sensual in a nude shot. I enjoy that challenge and I always look for ways to improve my next shoot.'
Tom discovered JayCee's images on Model Mayhem, and in addition to noticing his great face, was impressed with many of his interesting poses. Tom's practice is to always talk with models before a shoot, this helps him get a feel for their personalities, and for them to get to know his. It is also a great time to finalize wardrobe, locations discuss what each of their goals are for the shoot.
'JayCee was enthusiastic about the shoot and I knew at that point that we would make some great images. We worked so well together that we scheduled a second shoot a few weeks later. We captured a completely different feel in the second shoot, which yielded several great images.'
In his work with JayCee, it is clear to me that Tom more than accomplished his goals. From both his location shoot, and second studio shoot, Tom captured a full spectrum of looks from fashion to fitness to striking portraits and full nudes. In almost every image, JayCee's face, especially his beautiful eyes, act as sort of an emotional barometer, elevating the enjoyment experienced with each of Tom's shots.