Creating this image with Thomas was quite moving for me. Itâ€™s about his relationship with his father who lives in Germany. In contrast to Thomas, he is a very buttoned-down, abide by the rules fellow. Thomas is different: he lives in the U.S., goes to Burning Man (as does the bike in the photo!), and hasnâ€™t â€œsettled down.â€ Despite their differences, his father is there for him and they share a strong, unspoken bond. When they talk on the phone they talk about cars and finances, like many men. But Thomas feels their relationship runs deeper, in a way that doesnâ€™t have to be spoken. He can feel it. And even though a great distance separates them there will always be that connection.
Thomas has created a faux telegram for this shoot. Like his father before him, Thomas was drafted into the German Army against his will, and his job was communication and telegraphy. So this is a very realistic reproduction. Even when all infrastructure is broken, telegrams will still come through; tiny bits of information going through thick and thin. It’s a nice metaphor for Thomas’ invisible connection with his father. I like that it represents communication over great distances, yet not “modern” communications like email or phone.
As I shoot more of these there is something special for me in connecting with men who are able to open up and share their love about others. I strongly feel we need more men who can speak on this level, who arenâ€™t afraid of expressing themselves and showing vulnerable sides. That, to me, is a proof of a changing definition of what it means to be a truly mature man.
Click here to see a portrait of Thomas.