skin in shadows
Exactly 1 year and 1 month ago, Asha and I created Skin in Shadows. It was a project that was the first of many things for me. It was my first time shooting nudes. It was my first time working with Asha - and our relationship would be the first time I broke my rule of not having a personal equation with any of my muses.
By the late months of 2017, I was already moving towards shooting more fine art content. I was ready to challenge myself and went online to read up on articles by other more well-known fine art photographers to find out what were some of the more difficult concepts for them. The answer was always the same, Fine Art Nudes. I, then, went on Instagram in search of art models and it was there I found Asha.
It was while working on this project that I had developed my preferred composition devises: 1) Story-telling; 2) Shadows; 3) Details; 4) Limited color palette. By typical photography standards, each one of these images are badly edited but it worked for me and that was all that mattered. In this project, I wanted to present the female body as a masterpiece. I knew for a fact that I would not have been able to do that had I stuck to typical rules in photography.
I had also wanted to present my version of what I thought beauty was. I had visualized a series of images that were dark by value of light; expressive and powerful; and, natural and raw. I relied on my heart for this project and therefore everything from my placement of the light-strobes to the posing of Asha was not done based on thinking as a photographer but rather by feeling as an artist. It did not need to look good, but it had to feel right.
In 2017, what everyone saw was that I had done a photo shoot of a naked woman for the first time. My social media started to grow and so did my confidence in pursuing the more artistic genres of photography. The one thing, however, that remains like an emblem burnt into my mind was that I have never been able to re-create the captivating enchantment of this project. Most of my original photo series have gone on to have sequels and unlike The Canvas and Intentions, neither did Skin in Shadows win awards nor was it featured anywhere. Yet, it felt (still does) like the best work I have ever done. Perhaps, the first of anything is quite possibly the best of everything. In addition to that, it does not come as a surprise that the significance of Asha, my first muse, has grown to surpass the process of creating art work. She is the partner of my business and one of the most important people in my life and that in itself gave me a new definition of what Art means to me.
Skin in Shadows was the birth of Jasbir the Artist.
Location: The Macpherson Studio
Model/ Muse: Asha Jacob
Photography by Jasbir John Singh
The Harlem Dancer
(click on images for better viewing experience)
The Harlem Dancer photo series is inspired by the poem of the same name written by Claude Mckay in 1922.
"Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway; Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes Blown by black players upon a picnic day. She sang and danced on gracefully and calm, The light gauze hanging loose about her form; To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm Grown lovelier for passing through a storm. Upon her swarthy neck black shiny curls Luxuriant fell; and tossing coins in praise, The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys, and even the girls, Devoured her shape with eager, passionate gaze; But looking at her falsely-smiling face, I knew her self was not in that strange place."
Location: Bedtime Tales Studio
Model/ Muse: Sophie Apsara
Concept: Asha Jacob
Photography by Jasbir John Singh.