Today I’m going to introduce you to one of the most interesting people I have had the joy of meeting, Dylan. Not only did I have the pleasure of meeting Dylan, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend several weeks photographing him a couple of summers ago. I had gone to a Nashville Fashion Week runway show with…who else?…Arnold. This incredible looking model came down the runway with so much confidence and raw power that I was taken aback. Arnold leaned over to me and said, “That’s a dude.” Arnold told me that Dylan frequently models as a female. He certainly has the frame for it. And the face. I had to meet this person, and I did that very night. I was very pleased by how easy it was to pursue photographing him.
We agreed to meet before our first photoshoot for a Sunday lunch at blvd, and my friend Andrew Pentecost was way into doing the makeup for our first shoot. Dylan was great and I loved the photos. Between that time and the time he left around the first of July for Los Angeles to pursue his modeling career, we shot dozens (probably hundreds) of photos. I have many more to show you. But, this first one is from our last session during that time period. I had been working hard on dramatic black and whites. I got some help from Dylan’s friend, Bralyn Stokes, whose photos I greatly admire. I loved so many of the photos I took of Dylan. And, I also loved spending time with him. After our first photo session, I ended up doing all of Dylan’s makeup. Andrew got very busy with his own work and became harder to schedule. And, to be honest, the challenge of doing the makeup really excited me. I had been watching Andrew work for a couple of years and was itching to get my hands into it. Andrew gave me detailed instructions, and I went for it. You’ll see what I did as we progress….the photos got more interesting as we moved from spring to summer.
Dylan is a person who simply won’t fit into any box that anyone tries to put him in. He is a true one-of-a-kind, comfortable in his own skin and very sensitive to the world around him. Beautiful no matter how he presents himself to the world. His favorite outfit that summer was cut off jeans (his # isn’t “Hooker Legs” for nothing), really tall heels (he’s about 6’2″ in his bare feet) and a little makeup. He doesn’t try to fulfill anyone’s idea of what gender identity should be. He is simply Dylan. And he really doesn’t care if you stare.
Another shot from this same session