Colby Kern

Project Description

Colby Kern

“We live in a society where everyone is racing to be first – to be the strongest, richest, fastest, and most liked. Men especially have this pressure to maintain a certain image, to constantly prove their masculinity to the world. Women have societal expectations too, but it is never a big deal if a woman exhibits masculine characteristics. However, if a man exhibits feminine characteristics, he’s subjected to endless ridicule. It’s ok for girl to look like a boy, but not ok for a boy to look like a girl? Why is that?

I have always been interested in the image of the young man. What are his motivations, fears, and desires? How does what he perceives society expects of him alter his behavior? My goal is to illuminate the vulnerability of the men I shoot. In doing so, my subject and I create an honest exploration of the vulnerabilities of being a man. I discovered that this vulnerable feeling also carries over to me, the photographer. I call it an “impressive instant” – A moment when two people candidly let down their guard and strip away societal norms. It allows an honest and instant connection between me and the subject.

I want the people viewing my work to share that impressive instant.”

—Colby Kern