Perhaps one of the strangest thing about photographing in Portland—with its small community, its absence of professional standards, its dearth in the way of practiced subjects (outside of a narrow commercial aesthetic)—is the way scarcity can create its own sort of intimacy. For me, photographing in Portland often means returning to the same subjects.
Just as shared social networks, in their structured visibility, mean that old fling never really goes away—you can always stalk him on Facebook—so does working here mean seeing, again and again. If you can work through that fact, use it as a structural constraint, I think it can be freeing and even energizing. It has been for me.
This is all to say, really, that I had the opportunity to work with Dylan Crosley again—who I hadn't worked with alone since 2013.
Dylan has often been a staple in my Portland couples- and group-work. He's dizzily enthusiastic, beautiful, and plays so well off other people's energy that he can both ground and enliven whoever sits opposite him. I met him back in 2012, just after moving to Portland, in a bar, and I thought he was drunk: not knowing at the time that that's simply how Dylan is.
Yet this May, Dylan seemed paradoxically just the same and more self-assured. The pendulum swung towards calm. (Perhaps his burgeoning toning at the gym is at fault...) We did some underwear and nudes in the late-morning light, letting Dylan play off the sound of some instrumental movie scores as I directed him to breathe heavy to stay inside his skin. He works best when he can forget himself. There is also something uniquely cozy in working with a familiar friend: you know his angles, his shapes, the way his body fits to light, shapes or presses or envelopes the frame.
There was a placid ease to the day, now breathless, now full, that I hope we captured to come across. It was good working with Dylan again.