There are various ways of ending up behind a camera as a profession. One way, though possibly not so common, is to stand in front of a camera for many years until curiosity and interest take over completely. That is what happened to Jack Guy. He had been a model for fifteen years. He was standing in front of a camera in Montana, USA modelling for a shoot for Esquire magazine. When the photographer peeled apart the Polaroid and showed Jack, something clicked. That was the defining moment, quite simply. In 1988 to be precise.
From that day on, interest grew. He took a camera with him on modelling assignments and started to photograph the other models, just for fun and practice. It was a golden opportunity being able to shoot professional models in beautiful locations. He improved his technique and his portfolio grew.
And so it was. He eventually decided to go professional and took the step behind the camera instead on a permanent basis. Fashion was the natural area for him to begin with as that was the world he had been involved with. But he had a certain style that drew attention from entertainment magazine editors. He had been producing a kind of movie portrait and fashion mix that they liked. This style then paved the way for him to become a celebrity photographer, which is what he is today.
| ||He never studied photography at college level, as art and architecture were his subjects. On the other hand he had the great advantage of working alongside very experienced photographers who helped him and showed him how it was done. Today he looks back, is grateful for the help he received, and is now in his turn willing to help young photographers make their way as well.|
He has an attractive outfit at his disposal: a Hasselblad H1 complete with 80mm, 100mm, 120mm, 150mm, and 50-110mm zoom lenses. Efficiency and reliability are the characteristics he chooses to sum up his affection for Hasselblad. He also adds the word freedom though. By this he means the freedom he experiences resulting from superior image quality and autofocus. Time restrictions while shooting actors create a stressful environment. But the H1 can be relied upon to keep up with the rapid action and produce the goods. Jack says. “I need to be able to shoot as much as possible in as little amount of time possible. The H1 is the best camera for the job so far”. He has used other formats of course but he believes the medium format provides the perfect middle ground for his kind of work. He shoots both film and digital pointing out that apart from the usual list of pro’s and con’s for both sides he discerns a difference in overall appearance which he likens to the difference between a movie shot on film and high definition video - a certain visual quality or impression. He likes film but knows that commercially at least, it is a digital solution that will eventually win the race.
He enjoys the work of many photographers but remembers in particular people such as Kurt Markus, Peter Lindbergh, Herb Ritts, Bruce Webber, Paolo Roversi, Richard Avedon. They were the ones that inspired him first. It is that essence of glamour and style that is of course part of his daily life. Celebrities naturally move in a world apart from the norm. As a contrast perhaps his leisure activities reflect another side to life and offer alternative opportunities for photography and relaxation. Apart from skydiving, riding his motorcycle, hiking and his general sports interests he has a few other ideas to try out. Firstly there is a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa followed by going on safari in Tanzania. These escapades will then be finally capped with a trip to the Seychelles. Glamourous, yes, but a different sort of glamour of course from the glitzy world of entertainment. He is hoping to produce a show and a book from these travels. The obvious question remains as to how will he decide which lenses to leave behind when he climbs Mount Kilimanjaro as they can’t all fit into one rucksack.
Log onto Jack Guy´s website for a selection of his recent work.All images: © Jack Guy / Corbis Outline