Friday, July 6, 2018
The 'Wow' Factor: Yorgen by Gordon Nebeker
'The best part about working with Gordon is how easy and friendly he is to work with. For me, I had never shot nude in front of a camera, so I had been very nervous and uncomfortable at first. Gordon made it so comfortable to be nude in front of a camera. Honestly, I’ve had so much joyful and happy times working with him and am so glad I’ve had the opportunity to be apart of his beautiful work. The way he captures the male physique is so natural and amazing. He obviously has incredible talent. Looking forward to many more shoots with him.'
So are we Yorgen, so are we! FH readers were first introduced to Yorgen last June when he was soaping himself up, and washing a truck in the hot sun... completely naked of course! The shots (HERE: & HERE:) Thankfully, photographers Mike Tossy and StudioMGPhotography were on hand to supervise and capture the Ford F-250's cleaning, and the soap suds and water making their way down Yorgen's sponge worthy physique.
We next got to savor Yorgen's ample assets in November, when Yorgen, along with Devin Franco, joined Mike, Mark and Gordon Nebeker in Lake Powell (HERE:) for the artist's annual Utah shoot. Gordon not only put his work with Yorgen and Devin into a book, (Muscles & Mountains: Lake Powell II) Gordon also showcased many prints from the Utah shoot in a Photo Exhibition last January in Fort Lauderdale. To help celebrate the exhibition, Gordon invited Yorgen to join him at the exhibition to meet, greet and treat, all of the attendees of the event.
While in Florida, Gordon couldn't pass up shooting the Alaskan Adonis, this time, on his home turf. Instead of scaling mountains and diving into Lake Powell in the SouthWest, Yorgen was wresting with fabric, lounging on furniture and diving into Gordon's swimming pool in the SouthEast. Yorgen has become one of my favorite models to feature over the last year for many reasons, his enticing assets being just the tip of the iceberg. Despite his natural allure and power to attract on camera, Yorgen remains an Everyman. A man aware of his appeal, yet not affected it by it. This... only adds to his to charm.
When I was thinking of the best way to present Gordon's images of Yorgen I was thinking how supportive and generous Gordon has been over the years. Sharing not just his work, but his stories, his kindness and generosity. Shooting in the woods with Mr. Herzog, even on warm late Autumn day, Gordon dragged Christmas ornaments into the woods to ensure to get a few Holiday shots for FH. I thought it was time to turn the lens and the focus Gordon's way. Vanity Fair has it's Proust Questionnaire and FH has it's Briggs inquisition. Gordon answered all of my annoying questions, in in flight by the way, on his way to visit family. So, just as Yorgen looks forward to many more shoots with Gordon, I look forward to many more FH features showcasing Gordon's kindness talent and creativity.
On a scale from 1-10, how nervous were you the first time you shot a nude model?
Probably an 8. The model was more nervous than I was.
Has it ever gotten old, or does it remaining exciting?
Not old but sometimes repetitive which forces me to always try a different twist to keep it fresh which is a good thing.
Do you have an all time favorite image or shoot?
Single favorite, no, but a short list of favorites, yes. HERE: is one of them
Have you ever had a shoot that went badly that produced amazing images?
Yes, I fell very ill while shooting out in the wilderness once and had to hand my car keys to the model and ask him to drive us home (I ended up in the hospital for 3 days). When I finally looked at my photos later, they weren't half bad!
Have you ever had a shoot that went amazing that produced images that were 'blah'
Well, there are always some images that turn out blah no matter how good the model is but far more disastrous is accidentally erasing a whole shoot of wonderful duo work which, yes, I have done!
Have you ever cut a shoot short due to things not working out?
I had a model arrive for a shoot once and it didn’t take a minute to realize he was hopelessly high on some drug or another. He started to rearrange my lighting to suit his tastes and that’s when I showed him the door. That was the first and last time I worked with him.
What is the best quality a model can possess?
I would say trust. Most photographers are trying to make the model look as good as possible and a model should learn to trust that.
What is the worst?
Being unprofessional (arriving late, not reading/following the instructions, and the list goes on)
Is there a model that got away, or one you're still trying to get to shoot?
Yes, a couple of them but I’ll keep trying!
What other artists most inspires you?
There are so many! Once of my greatest inspirations is the photographer, Duane Michals, a wonderful artist.
If you could only shoot in studio or on location for the rest of life, which would you choose?
Have you dealt with 'model regret'? A model who got into an erotic shoot, then later didn't want them published?
It has happened but a lot less now than when I first started.
What is the funniest story on location with someone 'walking by' while you're shooting a nude model?
It hasn’t happened as often as you might think! One time we were working with several models and several young couples were coming up the path towards us. Fortunately, we heard them coming and the models quickly covered up but the girls very quickly figured out what was going on and wanted to stay and watch. I told them we could agree to that IF their boyfriends got undressed and joined the models in the shoot. Despite the girls’ pleadings to join in, their boyfriends immediately turned tail and ran in the opposite direction! Crisis averted!
How do you deal with a model who can't 'keep down' their excitement?
I have a feeling I must live in an alternate universe because this only happens rarely in my experience. When it does, I just keep shooting unless they ask me to stop (they almost never do!)
What model, image or theme has brought you the most positive feedback or comments?
I guess my underwater work generates the most comments. I’ve been doing them for over six years now and it is still seems to be unusual.
Any incidents while shooting underwater that had you wishing there was a lifeguard?
When I am underwater photographing, I am wearing a 40 pound weight vest to keep myself at the bottom. It works, but sometimes I can drift into deeper water and have a difficult time getting back up to the surface to get air. It would be nice to have a lifeguard around on those occasions!
Have you had a pool shoot with a model who couldn't swim?
Yes but I am revealing no names!
What word or emotion would use to describe the reaction you seek from viewers of your work?
A “wow!” Is always appreciated. 😊
How did you and Yorgen first connect?
I first worked with Yorgen at Lake Powell last Fall. He had worked with my friends, StudioMGPhotography and Mike Tossy before that shoot and they recommended him for Lake Powell. Both models at that shoot were terrific!
Is Yorgen aware of the impact of his assets?
LOL. Yes, I think so but he is still a wonderfully humble guy!
You have shot with Yorgen a few times now, what is the best thing about working with him?
His enthusiasm! It’s infectious