On February 20, 2011, I discovered the work of David Wagner and spent nearly 45 minutes going through the images in his portfolio and studying his style. There is warmth in each shot and a sense that the photographer is connecting with his models and not merely trying to capture a moment. His work became recognizable to me in much the same way that Rick Day has created familiar settings, lighting, styling and staging that render any similar photos by other artists as mere interpretations.
On February 21, 2011, I contacted David about doing a feature for BLISS and was surprised by his humility. He is polite, gracious and complimentary when it comes to the work of others, but seemingly unaware of the fact that his own style could provide inspiration for another artist. He is a man who has accomplished much in the short time that he has been seriously pursuing photography as more than a hobby, and yet focused on the fact that he doesn’t feel that his abilities are where they could be. It is easy to let the flattery take over in a moment such as that, but what it said to me was that he is not content to rest on his accomplishments, but instead choose a path where he can continue to grow as an artist.
It has been sheer delight to watch as his portfolio has expanded since our initial contact, and we continued to communicate, trying to find the right time to bring his art to the BLISS audience. It was not an easy road since David is not just a talent – he is a man of his word who despite model releases or the quest to have his work seen will put the wishes of his models first and make sure that all avenues of publication are in line with the direction that they want to take with their own careers. It is this type of integrity that sets him apart in a business that is often “me-centric”.
We have chosen a small but fantastic selection of a few models that shows some of what it is about David’s work that I find so endearing. To see a full selection of his incredible images, including some of my favorite models, please visit his Model Mayhem page, as well as his website.
©2011 – Sean Dibble