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Keaton - The Dark Shoot Gallery

I began talking to Keaton about a year ago. First on Facebook then via email.  He had seen my images and liked how I was able to get into a more psychological places with my subjects.  He had gone through a terrible ordeal and he was trying to come to terms with it but needed to somehow reconnect to the event.  He had a sort of amnesia and really couldn’t recall what happened but woke up in a hospital after being found in an alley stripped naked and beaten up. I agreed to work on some images where we could explore the possibility of reconnecting to what may have happened.  When I finally met Keaton I could see this amazing guy on the outside but his eyes filled with an eerie nervousness, distrust, fearfulness, and distance.  He couldn’t even connect with me visually.  He came to stay for several days in the spring and slowly began to warm up to me.  We did several shoots over the course of many days, in which we looked at who he was and saw how remarkable he was physically and gaining each others’ trust.  I had been through a similar incident while living in DC in my twenties, a time when the city was filled with violence towards gays, that totally scared me and made me flee back to the safety of Montana.  So I was totally connecting to where he was emotionally.  The morning for this  shoot together we set the studio up to give the space a feeling of confinement, with chains representing the emotional turmoil that bound him for so long in a trapped space.  It was an emotional shoot for a couple of hours and these are some of the images.  These are pretty much the images raw as we created them, not touched up or altered other than to crop in order to refocus the compositions, and very few even needed this much.  I have stayed in contact with Keaton since last spring and he says this experience has changed his life and helped him come to terms with those demons he has struggled with.  We both feel it is now time we can share these images.