Tuesday, February 7, 2012
JJ CATRACHO - THE ART of DANCE
Everybody has their own opinions about what makes a person sexy, be it physique, face, attitude, carriage or style, but the sexiest aspect of a person for me revolves around personality...it's humility. I am in a position, as a photographer, to meet and interact with a variety of people that many would label as "sexy", and in some cases, the individual has no real idea of their own appeal. JJ is one of those people.
JJ Catracho is a dancer. I don't mean one of those Super Hot ones that you see on top of a bar in their underwear, I mean a dancer, whose preferences run toward Latino styles. He is originally from Honduras but now resides in New York City where he is surrounded by talent that can only serve to keep the fires lit under the pot of his creative juices. He came to my attention in the portfolio of Kevin D Hoover, a wonderful and talented photographer who is also based in New York. When I saw the images Kevin had taken, I knew that I wanted to work with this guy. The opportunity came when JJ made his first trip to Washington, DC this January to visit friends and finally see the city. We both wanted to work with each other and we made time in our schedules to ensure that it would happen.
I've shot a large number of models over the past few decades but each one always has something that stands out for me. With JJ, I was taken by how beautiful he was in person, which (spoiler alert) is not always the case with models, but even more so by how incredibly personable he was. It is not always easy to create a sense of familiarity with a model you've never met, and the comfort usually comes as the shoot progresses. JJ, however, is very open and engaging, in addition to genuine and real when it comes to conversation, and you get the sense that you've known each other far longer than the twenty minutes or so that you spend discussing concepts and choosing wardrobe.
One of the themes I wanted to explore this year involves music, which is my other artistic love. My plan was to showcase models among props that visually traced the evolution of how we listen to music, from actual records, to 8-Track, to cassette tapes, CD's and now the computer. I also planned to incorporate the performance aspect of music into the series. Time was limited but I managed to showcase him as a singer/performer and the listener. One set of images featuring him in headphones wearing a belt made of CD's - and yes, he was wearing it rather than having it photoshopped in - is a tribute to one of my favorite photographers, Desi Arnaz of ZEDNERAM.
The photos included are just a few examples of what we shot that day, but JJ already has plans to return soon so we will definitely make time to shoot again.
©2012 - Sean Dibble