For years, any images of two or more models together with an implication of intimacy would end up in the Lovers's gallery. While they seemed to fit aesthetically (being based upon multiple figures in the same frame), with more and more images being made of friends (and later, siblings) it became less and less logical to put these in the same collection as photos of lovers. For me, these images expand intimacy beyond the sexual and challenge our society's assumption that intimacy and closeness are limited to lovers or children. Thus, the friend's gallery was born.
Most of the models in this collection were friends (or related), but a few did not know each other before the session. There is a very different tone to a session between models who are comfortable with intimacy but not in a relationship - as opposed to a focus on touch and caresses, there seems to me more of an emphasis upon comfort and embracing...where lovers hold each other, foreshadowing more intimate moments, the touch between friends and siblings seems to be more about affection and casual relaxation.
From a photographer's perspective, it is sometime more work to produce successful images of friends; with lovers, the images come out of the relationship between the models but with friends, there seems to be a stronger need for direction or feedback on posing, as the images tend to be more about line and shape (although when the friend's images are built around a portrait focus, the need for direction almost totally disappears).
Another interesting difference with the friend's images concerns their generation. Pretty much any time I've photographed couples, I have approached them. With the photographs in this folio, it is usually one or more of the models who approach me and express an interest in working with another model. I am less of an instigator and more of a recorder of the beauty that is spontaneously generated in the session. Just as a familiar landscape will provoke different responses from different models, models respond to each other and this builds a complex dynamic that would be absent in a single model session. It is this interplay I strive to record.