When women in my layouts are decked out in leather, vinyl and spikes many assume that I am a Fetish photographer. These things are what my subjects brought with them, I rarely add any accessories at all to a shoot .. I shot what walked in the door.
These are not models in the traditional sense, most of these women are shooting nude for the first time. They are friends, friends of friends and mothers of friends - women we all know - they are their beauty. Many women have walked away from my studio or show and asked Would he use me as a model ? Well the first criteria has just been met - willingness, the next is a down to earth personality (genuine, honest, unpretentious) I have yet to turn down a volunteer that met the first two criteria.
Some women think that their skin flaws limit them as models - not true at all. I have yet to meet a model with no flaws at all, black and white is very forgiving and makes what I call the first level of flaws disappear. Gone are stretch marks, light scars and cellulite. More major marks go away with a change in position or lighting that can be so subtle that it isnt apparent that something is being hidden. I try to keep makeup at the everyday level - what would normally be worn to the office.
My subjects come from varied backgrounds and situations but normally carry some similar traits, in most senses they have power and are in charge of their lives. Overall they have an attitude, one in which they are comfortable with who they are and either have or are in the process of accepting their bodies. Their shoots are an integral part of this - they get to see a new perspective of themselves where they are not criticized for what they may consider to be body flaws. One of the most important things that I have learned in this pursuit is that no matter what your shape and size - there is someone out there that finds that shape the most beautiful thing on earth.
This is what really is the highlight of my work - helping to change perceptions.In America we seem to have set a standard of beauty that is simply unattainable - our models are heavily coated in makeup including their bodies, surgically altered,. and then digitally enhanced. A fantasy that will never appear before your eyes. My real work is that I need to extract and set up a comfortable environment in which their true personality and beauty can come out. That is the art that is the beauty.