I can still remember the response when I first posted the first teaser from the shoot with Travis. The ladies were eating it up. You would have thought that I did the shoot as a gift to all of them as several of them were openly express their gratitude for photographing such a magnificent specimen. Not that I mean to objectify him with that type of description, but let's be honest...folks often think that sexy pictures of women are doing the same thing so I think they are most grateful that maybe the tables are turned for a change.
You're probably getting tired of hearing this same description, but once again here is a model that I had been trying to work with for a while. It reminds me that I should mention the reason why that is even the case. Back when I first started doing my photography thing I knew I had to build up a fairly impressive portfolio if I wanted to get some first-rate models. No way they were just going to go to some guy who had no significant captures under his belt. So I had to grind to get to that point. My guess is that some of these folks were watching the results of that grind and that's when we were finally able to get together to do a shoot. Pretty sure Travis was one of those.
Travis is the classic example of yet another ISU alum done good. He played football for the Cyclones then made the transition to modeling. Much of his work was local at first; however, it wasn't long before he was discovered nationally. Then he was jetsetting across the country doing shoots from coast to coast, fashion shows, magazine work and whatnot. It's just a matter of time before we end up seeing him doing national spots on television. Maybe even movies eventually. So I figured I better try to connect with him before he blows up even bigger. Then there would be someone else I could say I worked with before they became a superstar.
There were a couple of things that made Travis's shoot significant to me. The first was the location of where we shot part of it. I have a good friend of mine from high school named Mike W. who has a place just south of the outskirts of Des Moines. It's a large spacious property that has quite the country look to it. He offered to let me use it if I was looking for that type of scenery. I knew that type of contrast was perfect for the ideas I had with Travis. One of my favorite photos from the session with Travis came while we were at that location. It really pays to maintain those high school relationships.
The other thing was I wanted to get a different look of Travis that he hadn't done before. Don't get me wrong...I still did some of the traditional poses and looks that you would envision of a male model of his caliber. Those were probably the ones that evoked the most responses from everyone. But I also wanted something like this where it departed from the usual looks he had done. I always like capturing a different version of people that either they weren't used to or their friends weren't accustomed to. Or maybe both.
I wasn't sure if Travis would be down at first. Some folks can be very anal about their brand. They don't want to deviate even a little from what they have already established. So for Travis to do something like this where his dreads are completely covering some of his best features showed how diverse he can be. I'm sure there are some ladies out there that would say that there is still enough of his assets revealed to still make this a great shot. Well that's the beneift of working with someone who has the total package.