Male image photographers love discovering new talent, especially when it is a model like Jeff Rieber who has such presence in front of the camera, as well as the willingness to step outside of a perceived comfort zone in order to create images that are dynamic and sensual. A dancer since his childhood, Jeff pretty much fell into modeling and discovered he enjoyed posing, in spite of the fact that his usual mode of performance involves far more movement.
KJ Heath is the man behind one of the most popular BLISS covers which features David Davila in the shower. His photos of Jeff are just as sensual, but incorporate a bit of the dancer side with poses accentuating his limber physique. I asked KJ what it was that made him want to work with Jeff, and a few other questions, and this is what he had to say about the experience.
“I wanted to shoot with Jeff because 1. I think he is extremely good looking 2. I thought he could add something to my portfolio and I could add something to his and 3. I LOVE shooting dancers because they usually have such amazing body awareness and know how to move. I met Jeff a year or so ago and over the past year I've seen his body transform. He is so much muscular. It was wonderful to see the transformation and I loved that when he felt he was ready, he asked to shoot with me. I really was honored.”
Working with a new model can be rewarding, but also daunting in that they are not always immediately comfortable in front of the camera. Any doubts about what Jeff could produce were immediately eliminated.
“Jeff was slightly nervous when we first started shooting. While he has worked with dance photographers, I really am his first fitness photographer. He wasn't sure what to expect. Jeff is a perfectionist so he really wanted to make sure he was meeting expectations.
“As a dancer Jeff is trained to perform and he brings a performer's energy to the shoot. He wanted direction and feedback and really took it well. He and I have another shoot scheduled in a couple weeks and I really look forward to the result.”
It is easy for the viewer to look at a photo of a beautiful model and immediately understand what the appeal is, but photographers are seeing mostly through the lens which provides a completely different viewpoint. When asked about his view of Jeff’s best features, KJ attributed much of it to his body.
“I think Jeff's best physical attribute is his symmetry. He has beautiful legs, shoulders, pecs, glutes... and it all is in beautiful proportion.”
KJ Heath has a talent not only for shooting but for finding incredible models, and Jeff Rieber is one more example of his incredible eye. Keep an eye out for KJ’s work in future issues of BLISS including a special feature in February. To see more of his portfolio now, head over to his blog.
©2011 – Sean Dibble