Did you know that 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetimes? We didn’t know that either, and that’s why we jumped at the chance to speak to Mark Lister who is creating awareness with Project Soaked.
“I studied photography at college, as I had always loved the art form. When I left college, I ended up working for the council (nothing to do with photography!). I started the photography in my spare time and my hobby grew and grew. I have shot weddings and fashion shoots, products and landscapes.
“As I have always worked full-time, now working for the NHS as a Procurement Specialist, I have never needed to make a living from photography. What little I got from it, I put back into equipment. I did that for over 10 years, collaborating with many, many models helping them build their portfolios and mine with both model and myself working for free. I started entering competitions and won a couple of cameras, vouchers and was a finalist in Practical Photography Magazine’s Photographer of the Year.
After my initial concerns about getting 12 models, I ended up shooting over 50!
“During my time working with models to build portfolios, I always liked to try out water shots. I think there is something quite fascinating about water photography. You will never be able to capture the exact same shot when shooting it, especially when you add a model into the mix.
“As I had been shooting for other people and building portfolios for over a decade, I thought it was time I shot a project of my own! Whilst sitting in the gym hot tub after a workout session the brain wave hit – nothing to do with the hot tub being opposite the shower and a muscly man being in it at the time! I thought I would create a project based on shower shots, but in a bright, colourful form that I had never seen before. I wanted to make it fun and cheeky whilst staying on the tasteful side. All so often shower photos can turn sleazy (not that there is anything wrong with that at all!). The aim was to create a calendar (if I could get 12 models willing to shoot) and hopefully turn it into a photo book as well. Who doesn’t want to see men soaked?! Ha ha.
“In doing this project I wanted to raise awareness and funds for a charity. The difficult bit is how do you pick a charity to support with so many great causes out there?
“As this is a series of images all about men, I thought it would make sense to support a men’s charity. I then started researching. I came across Prostate Cancer UK; when I started reading some statistics on prostate cancer I was honestly shocked. For one, I realised I knew very little indeed about the prostate let alone prostate cancer. I was shocked to find out that 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetimes and what’s even more shocking to see is that 1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer. I was very saddened to see that 1 man every hour dies from the cancer in the UK. This was a charity that I needed to support.
“After my initial concerns about getting 12 models, I ended up shooting over 50! When I use the word model, I don’t mean professional models. These guys are like you and me. They have everyday jobs. I have had builders, retail workers, an HR manager, bankers and even a neuroscientist!”
Want to read the rest? Grab issue 43!
Words copyright VanityHype magazine 2015