BE, Hannah, and Working with Friends
The thought of photographing nude models is idyllic to many. It's not uncommon to receive a proverbial high five within a grin among certain substrates of the population. This has thankfully become less and less common, but as a human that likes sex I can sympathize with the general notion. The thought of hanging out with a bunch of naked people all day naturally appeals to a certain part of our instinct. The truth is, if you were to place someone with that fantasy in the middle of a shoot they'd probably be disappointed. Not because there isn't a romance that exists in all of it, but because it wouldn't live up to the adolescent fantasy most people seem to have towards nudity to begin with. For most nudity equals sex, but what happens when the person without clothes on in front of you is someone you genuinely care about? Society doesn't contain the language necessary to communicate this reality in an efficient way as the lines between sex, sexuality, nudity, eros, and the various aspects of love are all blurred into one vague concept. How do you express to someone that it isn't about sex, but it's not because you don't have a sex drive. Or, that you can hang out with a friend and do a bunch of weird naked photos and then afterwards they can give you advice on your taxes. What do you call that and how do you express that mentality efficiently? Some people seem to get it, but most don't to be honest.
When you work with friends this all becomes more clear. You care about their reputation and well being as something that is indelible. Selfishness is harder to succumb to when you are tied up in their life as it comes back around. If you don't approach your relationships in this manner then you probably aren't that good of a friend. Most people would think this is naive, but there's a difference between naivety and innocence. I would argue it's the latter.
These photos of BE were taken about a month after Hannah and I had our first kid. I've been lucky enough to have had friends that have trusted and supported me in my artistic endeavors and BE was the first one besides girlfriends. With this came a significant learning process, technically, artistically and psychologically, which continues to this day. That's what it's all about though. Hopefully I'll have something in the end worth showing for all of it.
All these photos are low res scans of either Fuji Neopan 1600 or Ilford Pan F Plus