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Men in Monochrome – with Nick

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I’ve been unable to create new work recently with COVID-19 lurking around every corner. Over the last three months I’ve been able to do a lot of self reflection and personal growth at my day job, but my artistic self has suffered. I’ve been having to do without. I’m terrible at most photography that doesn’t have to do with other human beings, but that’s exactly who I’ve had to avoid. For better or for worse, I feel like many of us are moving into a stage as a society of figuring out how to live with COVID as a part of our lives. 

For me, that means wearing a mask everywhere I go. It means washing my hands more frequently. It means having my temperature taken when I get my haircut. It means sanitizer wipes on my belongings when I get home and my counters if and when company leaves. And with that, I feel more secure in my knowledge of how to manage social interactions responsibly now than I did 3 months ago. 

Yesterday, I created my first new work since March! Nick contacted me on a social app about wanting to do a session. He’s in Seattle for the summer and exploring, and he enjoyed my work. As he’s trying to add to a modelling portfolio and I’m looking for new subjects, our paths crossing was serendipitous. 

We decided to shoot for both my classic men in monochrome style as well as for my masculinity and body image project. This is the first all digital photography shoot I’ve done for my masculinity and body image project. Perhaps in another post I’ll talk about what drove me to part ways with film cameras, but now isn’t the time. 

Nick is a sweet and kind person with an infectious laugh, broad smile, and warm energy. I didn’t know he was a dancer as we were setting up the session, but as soon as I saw his legs in his shorts, it was obvious. I normally begin sessions just sitting down and having a conversation with the person I’m shooting, and this time was no exception. What was fascinating though is we talked for almost 90 minutes before I even got out my camera. I think it’s because we just had great conversation together, and I was a little nervous. I was afraid of wasting his time because I hadn’t really tapped into this part of my creativity in 3 months. Even writing this blog post feels klunky and less eloquent than my normal writing. Fortunately, after the first few images things started coming right back to me. It felt so good to be creating again… though I obviously need to do some creative writing work. 

While I won’t dive into Nick’s answers to my masculinity and body image questions right now, I’ll definitely be including some of the images. I’ve invited him back for another shoot before he leaves at the end of the summer, and I hope we can make it happen. 

I really enjoy these images, and I hope you do too. 

With Love, 

William