Photography Focus : Joe Lewis Fine Arts – Feb ’17

I am beyond excited to share the images below, because many of them have not been shared publicly yet, for website restrictions. Now that I have completed all of my artist “Thank you” blogs (for use of their incredible work on my website) I am excited to unveil this breathtaking photography session of never before seen images. NOTE: ALL PHOTOS BELOW COPYRIGHT JOE LEWIS FINE ARTS – NOT FOR COPY OR DISTRIBUTION.

All photos are incredibly beautifully shot and lit, and Joe Lewis from Joe Lewis Fine Arts did a phenomenal job capturing me and making me look so amazing in them.I consider myself a life model at this point in time, and my focus is on posing for artists who use the medium of painting or drawing, not photography.I started out as a photography model however, and that is how Joe found me.I used to have an account on Model Mayhem and Joe messaged me through that website.Finding paint and charcoal to be more forgiving at my age, I basically shooed him off in my messages back, but in a polite way.Joe is also an artist, and he happened to by chance show up at Maitland Art Center one day while I was posing for a gesture pose session. “Full disclosure … we spoke before on Model Mayhem …” Joe confessed when we met. I immediately felt bad, as I had many bad (but a few good) experiences when I used to use that website to book photography sessions – and I apologized to him if I was rude with my messages back to him. Thankfully, he claims I was not. Since I struggle with keeping in shape at times, I figured after Joe saw me in person at the drawing session, he’d never want to shoot with me. Thankfully, I was wrong. He said I would be perfect for the type of shoot he wanted to do. I kept in contact with Joe, and he again attended another life drawing figure session at Maitland Art Center. In the meantime, as photography shoots I’ve found can either go really well or very poorly, depending on the shape I’m in, I was committed to training intensely for our shoot. The images below were a bit unsettling the first time I viewed them, but now I see they are the most “body builder” type of poses I did at the session. I was strong, solid … powerful.

Our shoot took place on Sunday February 26, 2017. Joe found one amazing location – a secret alley which served as a stunning backdrop with paintings and various textured walls – and the second location was nondescript. How Joe created such stunning images from that second location – considering how basic it was at our shoot – is still something I marvel at.

I was in the best shape yet of my life for my shoot with Joe. I have had other “fitness” type of shoots, but I just wasn’t ready for the time of the shoot, and the photos – despite the photographers incredible talent – suffered as a result. This shoot will serve as a time capsule in my life. I’m fortunate to have met such a talented photographer and equally fortunate that he has approved the sharing of these images on my website.This shoot was unlike any other shoots, as I treated it like a life modeling session. Instead of 2, 5 or 10 minute gesture poses, I held each of the poses very briefly – until I heard that shutter click.  This was incredibly freeing, as I have often wondered what some of my poses look like, and with life modeling sessions, the outcome of the pose is determined by the artists talent level and the time allotted to capture that brief moment in time. The pose below I doubt I could hold for 5 minutes, but in just a few seconds, it’s a pretty intense, strong pose. With a camera, things are more exact on film or digital. This can be a good or bad thing.It was also incredibly exhausting, because during our 2 hour shoot, there was pretty much continual movement, sans a car ride to the 2nd venue, and some brief water/restroom breaks. In the past, I have pretty much had guidance on how to pose, how to look, express with my face, etc. In this session however, except for maybe a “Do that again … the lighting was really cool … “ from Joe (so he could capture the pose below, for example … and I believe he also requested the body builder poses above … ) I did not take any direction. It’s ironic to me that life modeling FINALLY gave me the ability to pose as a photography model – and feel comfortable while doing it.I’m incredibly proud of this work, because of the many 5am workouts it took to get in this shape, the pretty strict eating plan I was on at the time, and most of all – I am proud of the fact that this shoot has made me finally accept my body.We all have our flaws and things we do not like about ourselves, and I am not going to go on about what things I like and do not like about my body, but I am proud that Joe used scant amounts of Photoshop on these images. This was a figure session, it was not a beauty/glamour shoot, and you can see that in my skin from the photos. At first, it was a bit surprising, but then I realized I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. With so many models being Photoshopped to the hilt in magazines and online, I am here with all my flaws … and they are beautiful. I am not perfect, and that is perfectly fine. Joe is an incredible photographer. I cannot recommend him enough. If I can get into this shape again – which I plan to do – I would not hesitate to shoot with him again. He’s also a true professional, and – truth be told – a bit of my cheerleader as some images came back and I wasn’t sure at first if I liked them. Joe pointed out things I did not see before. He let me see the images with new eyes. He opened my mind to focus my eyes on things I had not clearly viewed before in the images.

You can find out more about Joe and contact him here, through his Facebook page. 🙂

Below – my all time FAV image from our shoot …

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