Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Building upon the success, momentum and positive feedback received, I continued my method of reaching out to young homosexual men (18 - 29) of interest on the social media platform Instagram. Exploring the concept of perception online. Are we the version of themselves we choose to present to others?
For this shoot I approached the British-Brazilian Henry Brook. After correspondence online we arranged to meet in Huddersfield, UK face-to-face to discuss the project more in-depth, this was essential to validate I wasn't some random opportunist reaching out with questionable ulterior motives.
After our face-to-face discussion Henry ultimately agreed to sit for the project and felt the idea of online perception needed to be explored just as I did, the following week it was arranged to shoot at Henry's family home in Huddersfield, UK. Where we and talked candidly to build not only a trusting relationship between model and photographer but a genuine friendship.
This is a crucial part of the working process for the project in-order to get beyond the surface image of the sitter and the online persona we all present online. Forming a friendship in this manner is essential for establishing mutual respect and trust, therefore Henry felt safe and comfortable enough to drop his guard so I could glimpse the man behind the social media persona.
The photoshoot was captured on Pentax K1000 (35mm film), Polaroid 363 Close-Up and Instax Mini 9. Shooting polaroids predominantly so the sitter has a memento from the time together as a way of making the experience more personal, building a friendship opposed to simply a stereotypical model and photographer relationship. The decision to shoot using film is due to the nostalgic and intimate aesthetic associate with this method.
A conscious decision as film is a much slower process of working. A stark contrast to the digital and fast paced culture of social media in the 21st century. By shooting film the sitter has to wait and trust me with the final result thus, taking a sense of authorship over not only the images but the sitters own personal authorship of their own image. Choosing to photograph the way I see them opposed to the way they wish to be seen.
Models Instagram - @henryjcb