I decided to put Robert in front of the camera. You see, I adore my husband. I find him quite handsome, but not in your traditional sense. He has more of a rugged handsomeness, rather than traditional beauty. He would play a good cowboy, or bodyguard. Robert is also an ex-bodybuilder, he trained all natural for almost ten years. We have a home gym, and I have spotted him a number of times. I am always impressed by muscle memory and how, after just ten minutes, the blood rushes back and his muscles fill out. It’s very exciting to watch his body go from extremely lean to very nicely ripped. But we didn’t want to do a body shoot just yet. We had some other things in mind.
Robert and I are extreme opposites. But we do connect completely, and we share a passion I’ve never known before. We rolled down the black background, he took my hand, asked if I was ready, and gave me a kiss. I took a few test shots to make sure we had the lighting we wanted, and we began.
We started with contemplation shots, Hard Life shots. Robert drinking his coffee, staring off deep in thought. Then we started to roll. The shoot was mostly silent, no words were needed, I was an extension of him. I watched through the lens, and was allowed to document this personal side of my husband, the side that only I saw. The side of him that he hides, the part of Man that exists, but dares not peek out.
I dare not speak of the driving force for the emotions he felt, that is not my story to tell. But it was a great loss, and a heavy heart, that drove the shoot. I peered through the lens, stopping only to wipe the tears off the camera so I could see to focus.
Finally, we had to break from what we were doing, we were both mentally and physically drained. Robert went in to take a shower, and I went back to working on my computer. When he came out of the shower, he shaved down bald. Then we began shooting the Man Series. Completely nude, he twisted and bent his body in emotional poses, crippled from pain and depression.
What may not be evident at first is Robert is a very tall man. He stands at 6’4”. To capture his full height is sometimes impossible to do, me being only 5’7”. But this was magical, emotional, inspiring. I cannot take full credit for the shoot, in fact, Robert was the one who had the ideas, and held the poses so I could shoot them. But I do know that no one else could have done that shoot with him, it was too raw.
We created Man in the barest of all emotions. Grief, loneliness, despair, heartache, sadness, pain, turmoil, depression; we touched them all. And the pain transfers, the images grab at you. You can feel the pleading, the pain, the hurt, the loneliness of Man.
To date, this series is our best seller. I can only credit this to the passion and commitment Robert has to his Art. He is Artist. He is Photographer. He is Man.