In my favorite Jeff Cloutier photograph, a model flies naked through the woods. She glides, arms outstretched, her expression blank, as if she's passing a stranger on a busy city street.
When he's outside, Cloutier thinks of the sun as a stage light. For this photo, he and the model, a friend, walked through Black Forest until they found a spot he liked at a fallen tree. She took off her clothes, climbed onto the tree and jumped. Cloutier crouched to snap the photograph with the sun behind him. The result is that the model appears to jump from one branch to another, 20 feet off the ground.
This photo, along with others of entirely different subject matter, will appear in Voil, Cloutier's first solo show in Colorado.
Cloutier, 29, creates a miniature set for each of his photos. Working on television shows taught the photographer how to use light to create a scene. In his other life as a technician, Cloutier did video and light support on PBS' Soundstage.
"I can create an atmosphere from scratch in a studio," he says.
Cloutier's first private photo shoot two years ago earned him a job in a Chicago boutique, covering runway shows and photographing celebrities like Liz Phair. Just more than a year ago, Cloutier brought his penchant for orchestration to the Springs.
Although he likes composing his photographs, Cloutier is a Luddite when it comes to Photoshop. Because he spends time orchestrating each scene, his photos don't need technological enhancement.
"Ultimately," he says, "I can set up the entire shot exactly how I like it."
Voil: Photography by Jeff Cloutier
Heebee Jeebees Gallery, 318 E. Colorado Ave., Suite A
Runs June 1 through July 28. Opening reception with music by DJ Prominent and DJ Arills, Friday, June 1, 5-8 p.m.
For more information, visit
jeffcloutier.com or call 635-0620.
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