Another delightful treat to kick off your week (and Fall) the right way -- an exclusive interview with Texan model DW Chase and the debut of his latest released shoot with HNS Imagery!
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: How did you get teamed up with Nick at HNS Imagery for this shoot?
DW Chase: I had actually listed HNS on my "photographers I want to work with list" on Model Mayhem. When photographer canceled one of my scheduled shoots during a SoCal modeling blitz, I contacted HNS and asked if he could make time available for me. He was excited to work with me, and mutual excitement tends to produce the best photos.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour:What can you tell us about the direction / idea for the shoot?
DW Chase: Typically the work I do with photographers is pre planned for months. This was a unique situation where a cancelation happened and we didn't have as much time as I would have liked for the preplanning. However HNS chose the location in Duarte, CA and had specific concepts on location, lighting, so I worked to bring together the looks and wardrobe. It still ended up being a collaborate effort, just more on the directional side of the photographer.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: You're very hands-on when it comes to working with photographers pre-shoot, can you describe why?
DW Chase: This is probably where you might expect me to recite examples of having bad experiences and feeling the need to take partial control? Nope, that isn't it. I am a creative person... the whole "the getting there is better than being there" motto I suppose. There are 3 stages for a model the pre-conceptualization, the actual shooting, and the post (selection, publishing, advertising, disbursement). I get more joy and excitement out of stages 1 & 3 where I think most models only care and want to be involved with stage 2. I love finding ideas, collaborating to change something we have both seen and make our own spin on it. I like going in to a shoot with a clear goal, not to say that inspiration doesn't happen during the shoot, it does.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: Are photographers always receptive to this?
DW Chase: No, and it's ironic you ask. I was just this month encouraged by two male model friends to work with a very popular and well known photographer. I messaged him about collaborating while I would be in his city and his response was interesting to say the least... "You are an unlikely type, but you have some major charm and perseverance apparently. I don't think you need anything from me, and quite honestly I don't really like to collaborate that much. I've been a working photographer for over 40 years and unless someone has similar credentials, I prefer to work alone."
DW Chase: I think artistic collaboration can be a beautiful thing, clearly I don't or wouldn't want to work with photographers who just wanted me to stand there and do nothing... that's kinda missing the point of the whole DW Chase package, ha.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: What has been the most fun collaboration to work on? The most rewarding?
DW Chase: Collaborating with my buddy David Wagner is always a memorable and unforgettable experience, we recently just shot on Catalina Island. A shoot I did with Paul Boulon also while in Los Angeles was a really wonderful experience. I have done 83 photoshoots as of this publication and it's impossible to pick some of them over others. Not saying all of them have been rewarding, some were duds for sure.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: You say that modeling is a "hobby" -- does being featured so enthusiastically on the web seep into your day-to-day life as well?
DW Chase: Hobby isn't the right work I guess, that implies that I do it effortlessly or in my spare time. It's certainly something I love creatively and almost instinctively. I am amazed every day, every publication that there are people out there that love looking at my images, that photographers even want to work with me. But outside of the web, DW Chase doesn't exist.
DW Chase: The photos of DW Chase are pretty provocative, titillating, some might even saw forward or wild. People see DW Chase and assume a certain think about the person in the photo. But those who actually meet me, meet someone completely different. Someone who has never drank alcohol, someone who has never been to a club, someone who doesn't even curse, doesn't party, but instead can be found at home alone working on one project or another every Friday or Saturday night. Modeling has been sort of an outlet for me to express myself in ways no other part of my life allows. I am a pretty conservative and old school person. Some have said a 60-year-old inside a 30 year old body. There is just a huge disconnect between the real me and DW Chase. He is a fantasy that doesn't really exist except online.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: I vaguely remember reading in an old interview that you didn't like body hair, but in more recent shoots it seems like you've fully embraced it (even quoting Rick Day on your Model Mayhem page) -- why the change of heart?
DW Chase: I was stupid, haha. Long story short... I had very hairy legs and even armpit hair at age 12, I was the first to develop in school, and also the kid everyone picked on, so I hated it. When I started modeling I always shaved my chest (was ashamed of it), trimmed my pics, pubes, and even sometimes my leg hair. It wasn't until two photographers Cory Stierley (whom I just worked with recently again) and Ray John Pila really encouraged me to let my body hair grow naturally or at least more abundantly that I started embracing it. It was like day and night as far as interest in my work, I started getting all kinds of offers, attention, and as I buffed up the body hair just looked so right. The of course body hair became the new trend so I was just ahead of the game.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: Have your supporters been in favor of the switch? Ever get any pressure from them or a photographer to shave again?
DW Chase: Body hair can and should be used like a hair style or an outfit. One of my things as a model is to always change things up. So I will change my body hair style, pattern, length from shoot to shoot just to switch it up. But at this point I would have to be paid lots of money to shave my legs, pubes or pits since that has become one of the main reasons for my longevity and popularity in modeling. The wonderful fans I have get very angry when they see my body hair diminish.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: TRUTH -- what are ya wearing right now?
DW Chase: Nasty Pig workout shots than my buddy Cody Krummel bought me. Blue with navy trim. Thanks Cody!
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: Which models do you think deserve to be crowned "Hunk of the Day" sometime?
DW Chase: I have a few "fav male models" that I consider stands outs in the industry. My buddy Christopher Schram has one of the most stunning looks, amazing body and just unforgettable presence. Zachary Koval is another (Mr. Vegan winner last year) his body hair is ideal. Dorian Reeves and Christian Camacho is the hottest dude on the net right now in front of everyones lens, he is the one to watch!
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: Are there any photographers you're interested in working with and haven't had the chance to yet?
DW Chase: That's a very long list, but I try to narrow it down each year and plan for the next. In 2015 I am hoping to work with Milo800 who is here in Texas, my buddy McKenzie James in Toronto, and maybe (just maybe) a long awaited return to NYC where I would like to work with Kinsfather Photography, Daniel Robinson, Sean P. Watters, Leonardo Corredor (even though I can't seem to get his attention) and Rick Day who I talk to yearly about this one-day future project.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: Which photographers' work do you follow?
DW Chase: So many, I get inspiration everywhere. I obsess a bit about always seeing what the many photographers I follow are doing. Been really interested in the work coming from Rome Grant and Jeffery Beasley out of SoCal.
Chris @ Hunk du Jour: Finally - if you're ever around Seattle or Palm Springs, would you be interested in stepping in front of the lens at Hunk du Jour HQ?
DW Chase: Of course, I am in both locations quite often. I have family in Seattle and am in SoCal at least once a year.
Thanks so much to DW Chase for indulging us in a Q&A, and for sharing this photo set!