Sunday, 12 June 2011


This is hard. Now is the time for me to choose my Jesus. This is serious, this will affect the whole outcome of the project. I have narrowed it down to two, each with good points and bad. I've done a test shot with a flash gun, and I analyse them everyday in natural light, but now has come the time to test them under studio light. I will give them each a plain white top and an ivy crown, and see whose face speaks to me the most. I will also take into account personality and ability to work together, and just instinct.

JOE. I was instinctively drawn towards Joe at the beginning of this project, I felt that he was a natural Jesus. He seemed to have leader-like qualities and a bizarre attractive aura. His face was highly unconventional, yet spoke softly of clouds and ornamental fish. I think he has an incredible profile, the shape of his head is really pleasing, but I worry about photographing straight on. In shots like this, I think the plains of his face really showcase the light well, he looks mysterious, interesting and classical, but I really need Jesus to be more than a profile boy. There are issues when it comes to direction and practicality as well. It's hard to pin him down to arrive at certain times, and it's hard to direct him when it comes to partial nudity. He has a perfectly charming slender body, but he does not necessarily want to display it in my highly publicised photos. My instincts say him, but I shall reserve judgement.

EMILE. Oh my, HE'S SO BEAUTIFUL. Those lips, that nose, those eye brows. The chin dimple. His face reminds me of the famous Caravaggio portrait of a boy holding bunches of fruit, and that really speaks to me. At first I was hesitant because I didn't know Em as well as I knew Joe, and also I was wary of his odd head shape, but I think he is just incredible looking. I also think that there is something perhaps more natural about him. With Joe, I was constantly thinking about stylish lighting tricks to play with the dimensions of his face. With Em, I didn't think at all, he was just there, ready to be taken. Also, perhaps Joe, as a photographer felt perhaps more self concious than Em, who isn't. Em is also completely open with his body, totally relaxed in his own skin and has a strange aura of calm and serenity to him. In life, he is manic and excitable, but when I asked him to sit for me, that all ebbed away. Perhaps another reason he is more relaxed in front of the camera is because he is often shot by Joe, and whilst our styles are completely different, he knows he need not fear the camera.

In the nature of my promise to go against instinct with casting for this project, I have selected my Jesus. I fought my initial ideas on casting and have gone for my previously second choice; Emile. I really think that this will prove to be the right choice, as I shoot more and more. Joe is a wonderful subject, and I know I can create powerful shots with him as St Peter, but Em is definitely my Jesus. He doesn't seem to be playing a role, he doesn't need to pretend TO BE, he just IS.

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