Inspired by the most recent installment of the long-running “Live In Levi’s” campaign, I decided to celebrate a different kind of dancer for a new personal project. I spent an entire Sunday afternoon in the desert with a professional dancer who specializes in bone breaking, contortion, flexing, and tutting.
I met Matthew "ET" Gibbs at a circus-themed birthday party the weekend before this shoot. As I watched him in action, the wheels started turning. By the end of his performance I knew what I wanted to do and approached him to set up a shoot. Shooting outdoors in the desert in direct overhead sunlight can be challenging, and is a little outside my comfort zone as I am used to shooting in studio in a much more controlled environment, but I knew the upside would be that the light would “get into his skin” and produce some really beautiful results. I chose to isolate him against the bright blue sky and neutral tones of the desert rocks to provide a nice contrast with his dark skin and white Levi's T-shirt and jeans. I also made a creative decision not to retouch this shoot. The images are straight out of camera as I wanted to keep them as raw and natural as possible in keeping with the environment. Lastly, I designed and printed a Blurb book of the entire shoot which I sent out to a select few clients.
Images were shot with a Nikon D5 and available light. The story also fit perfectly with the new GIFs feature which I added to my website recently. Please visit the refreshed website to see the GIFs and view the entire story. You can also click here to see a behind the scenes video of Matthew in action.