Skin like Dawn by Kevin Lowery
Words and images by Kevin Lowery
Skin Like Dawn was born from the idea that we live in a culture that rewards men for hyper masculinity and punishes them for being vulnerable. It's my goal through these photos to explore vulnerability - what it looks and feels like for men.
Growing up gay in rural Georgia, I learned in a very personal way how heavy the weight of masculinity can be. I have vivid memories of my father yelling at me to keep my wrists straight, to pronounce words a certain way, to avoid at all costs acting like a sissy. For a long time, I hid who I really was behind this guise of what I thought society needed me to be. Skin Like Dawn's purpose is to see each individual's intrinsic beauty and to document that journey of self love and discovery, regardless of the man's story or situation.
I think the biggest challenges I've had to overcome in shooting my Skin Like Dawn Project is just helping people understand what it is. It takes a lot of mental unpacking for most people to wrap their heads around it being okay for men to put themselves in such an intimate, vulnerable position. We're socialized from such a young age that it's woefully inappropriate for men to do this.
I'm PROUD of this work, and it's not because of the attention it's gotten online. After my last shoot, I got a message from the model that said, "thank you SO much for this shoot. I didn't know what to expect coming into it, but I left loving myself a little bit more. Thank you." This is why I'm proud of the work that I do; it's my goal in every shoot to break down the barriers that men put up for themselves and to help them love themselves a little bit more.
I shoot with a Nikon D750 and 35 and 85mm primes. I also have a 50mm LensBaby that's amazing for this sort of work.