'For David Gray, elemental simply means natural. Men who are not overly primped and chiseled, hair is a must, both on the body and the face.'
I wrote the above quote, just over two years ago, when first profiling the work of photographer David Gray from YogaBear Studio. When I saw these images, featuring his recent work with Samuel, I eagerly contacted David about another post.
In many ways David's images of Samuel represent exactly whey I started, and continue, to work on FH. Every time I profile an artist or a shoot, I try to share with readers of the blog exactly what inspired me to want to feature them. One of the main things I strive to find, is something I have not yet seen. A model, a location, a concept or shot that is either new, or looked at through new eyes. Scrolling through model and male image sites, finding images like this, with a model like Samuel is a rare treat.
It is not just Samuel's look that is unique, it is also that David didn't try to change or manipulate it. Instead, David did what he does so skillfully, he took what was just organically so beautiful, so sexy and so appealing about his model, and captured it.
Besides his appearance, Samuel also seems comfortable in his own skin and clearly knows how to move, and pose, in front of the camera. In each shot of this series, Samuel creates an entirely different feel and look with expression and pose.
The second factor propelling me to feature these images was my love of the blending of model and environment. I have seen images of the male form with trains, and train tracks before, but in this set of images, the location, the train, becomes as central to each photo as Samuel. David captures not just the personality of the model, but of the train and locaton as well.
The magic in this series is not just location, but addionally how both model and photographer seem to respect it, and know how to utilize it's beauty. Samuel is not just on the train, while David is shooting, he is interacting with it. In almost every shot, there is physical touch between human skin and rusted metal and steel. I have written many times before of my love of images in which models don' just pose within, or in front of a location, but become part of it. If I ever came upon this train, I would fully expect that through any door, behind any seat and inside every window, would be Samuel.