Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Lens: BrothaLove Images

Photos © BrothaLove Images

For your consideration: the above photo of Damien by BrothaLove Images.

The model is striking. But even more complementary is the near-flawless execution of natural light and shadow. Notice his eyes are aligned with the angles along the boxcar. Then, over his left shoulder, see the shadow line along the boxcar which begins at the model's pec level. The image is an exquisite synergy of nature and media.

Malik M. L. Williams is the eye behind the lens at BrothaLove Images. "Black men are beautiful," he says, and his photographic mission is to "present positive images of black men." Williams' specialty is manipulating natural light and shadow for dramatic results.

There's no substitute for the way the sun brings life to skin, eyes, etc. Shooting outdoors also gives me so much more to work with in the environment.

Much of the beauty in Williams' portfolio is subtle, rather than overtly erotic. Here's an example, a photo of Damien from the same series. The model is very masculine and muscular; but the dramatic, industrial environment force him into vulnerability and complacence. He stands exposing a tattooed muscular back, uncertain as to what's next. It's very subversive:

I live for the reaction i get from so many brothas who look at their images and say, "You showed me a side of myself i'd never seen."

BrothaLove Images offers a variety of services: editorial, fashion and artistic photography, as well as headshots, and commercial and design projects.

Like many creative types, Williams' is a renaissance man. Besides his love affair with the aperture and darkroom, he is also a writer and activist. Williams is a founding member of Adodi Muse, Atlanta's only black gay male performance poets collective. The other two members are Duncan E. Teague and Anthony Antoine. They describe their works as "an in-your-face collection of performance poetry, singing, rapping, and more that is fierce, funny, confrontational, dangerous and entertaining."

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