I think some people rebuff the inclusion of religion in certain parts of their lives. I understand this fully. Religion, and religious zealots have taken over and caused a great deal of damage and pain into the lives of others. Religion and state although meant to be separated, often blend into policies which impact the lives of others. They are also so often based on judgement, something far too many Christians missed when reading the bible.
'You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.'
Certain Christian holidays however, especially Christmas and Easter, are rooted in religion. I love when I find images and shoots which illuminate this theme. Although for many, the holidays have evolved to hold other meanings, it doesn't diminish the source material. It's not really about whether you believe or not, I don't believe in the Easter Bunny, but I enjoy the rabbits inclusion in Easter themed shoots.
I didn't initially set out to find a Faith based piece to feature this Easter, but when I stumped upon this shoot, I really wanted to include it. Last weekend, I saw and voted for a beautiful nude in the Model Mayhem pic of the day contest. I was taken with the model, Bas_1984, the pose and his beautiful, but serious, facial expression. It wasn't an Easter themed shot, just a great body shot. When I went to see more of the models work, it was this series I was immediately drawn to.
I reached out to both Bas, and the photographer Jan Deuzeman. Both were very supportive about my featuring the shoot, and the story behind it. Although Easter was always the theme, it didn't start out as a religious based theme. Jan lives and works in Vroomshoop Holland and when Bas visited for the shoot, it was bunnies that were on the brain. If you check out Bas' Model Mayhem, you'll see that they shoot an some bunny themed images, with a bit of a leather fetish edge. But Jan had recently purchased some props and thought Bas would be the perfect model to don the crown of thrones.
I had the Jesus theme in my mind for a long time. I already bought a cross and made the crown of thorns. We shot the 'Jesus' theme and in the right setting and natural lights. Bas is one of my favorite models and I loved the results.
Jan only began shooting a few years ago after his dad was diagnosed with asbestos cancer. He was given only a few months left to live. Jan knew that father had always wanted to be a photographer, so he chose to honor this dream by buying a camera and began shooting. He began like so many photographers, shooting something close, in Jan's case, it was his cat. He completed his series of images on a Thursday, and on the following Sunday, his father unfortunately died.
After that, however I was addicted to my camera. At first I tried out everything that I saw on Youtube. Soon after in 2017, I shot my first model. It was later that year I got contact with Bas. He is always up for something different and loves things out of the box. When I get an idea, I run it by him, and if he likes it, (mostly he does) we plan a visit to Holland to do the shoot. While we're shooting, the ideas sometime change, but its always a great collaboration.
Bas, who by day is a Dutch neuroscientist has always been fascinated with the classic civilizations and their depiction of the human form. Despite his passion for history and the classics, Bas did have some initial reservations about the concept. His experience and history with Jan however, sealed the deal. Bas has worked with Jan since his early days starting out and shares that over the last few years, Jan's developed into a phenomenal talent.
'I will say that I was slightly hesitant at first as I feared it would be too Madonnaesque or controversial but the response to them has been largely very supportive and I absolutely adore them now. There's a range of emotions in the series from a very ethereal quality in some and just raw defiance in others.'