Before re-inventing myself as a photographer, I was and still am a pageant coach. Working with both men and women, I have had the privilege of working with talented, dedicated and committed young people in their quest for international success in beauty and modelling competitions. Doing this work you get to know the authentic personalities of the ones you are coaching. Some are truly committed to something greater than themselves, while others pretend to be as they believe that it is expected of them.
I have been extremely fortunate in that the vast majority of my coachees have been genuine and caring human beings. Michael-Rae Formston, Mr. Wales for Mr. World 2014, is definitely the real deal. A caring young man, who works with problem youth and is committed to his craft as a personal trainer and to the general well-being and happiness of others, Michael-Rae fulfils all the requirements to be selected as “The World’s Most Desirable Man”.
Off course, as I am now a photographer as well, my work with Michael-Rae included an impromptu photo-session.
In order to inspire you, something must first move you. To move you, it must first touch you. This unique assignment required me to find inspiration in two different artworks, only one of which could be a photograph. Using these two artworks as starting point, I had to either interpret, subvert or deconstruct to create five original and creative images of my own.
My first inspiration was the song “Lyin’ Eyes” by the The Eagles. This is one of my favourite songs of all time and I was particularly touched by the line “There ain’t no way to hide your lying eyes”.
For a while I struggled to find another source of inspiration. Then we visited the exhibition “About Colour” by Sarah Moon and I found my muse. I was truly moved and inspired by all the images and in particular by the photographic style of the artist. The images are painting-like, grainy and with soft focus. My best way to describe them would be a modern interpretation, in colour, of Pictorialism.
I chose to interpret the line “There ain’t no way to hide your lying eyes” with my own version of Sarah Moon’s photographic style.