As you will come to find out Luke is photographer, philosopher and model which at times totally overlap, to great effect … Think of this …. He has elevated the art of selfie to actually translate to self-portraiture and possibly to an art form.
The internet has once again afforded me the pleasure of meeting someone that I consider to be “a person of interest” in the context of fashion, photography, style and modeling in the 21st century. I am one of those people who actually reads hashtags and captions on both Instagram and Facebook. The long story made short is that by actually reading rather than hitting a “like or a heart,” I came upon this devilishly handsome … okay hot ... young man (24) who more than holds up his end of a conversation in words as well as with his visual vocabulary. In other words ... he is smart, sexy, with substance and I sensed that he had a story to tell. The upshot is that you just never know what lies behind an image, proving once again that social media can be much more than just visual stimulation.
In my experience it is exceedingly difficult to engage a stranger in a conversation which will amount to anything more than just idle chit chat but encountering Luke was definitely the exception. He is charming, possibly disarming, handsome in a non-cookie cutter way, and speaks with great presence. This rarity continued to reveal a young man with a story and a history and by that I mean to say he is much more than just the sum of his images and he indeed has that story to tell.
The point is … will you take him at face value and what he exudes through his images or will you read about someone who defies popular norms and will, in my opinion, become a FORCE TO RECKONED WITH in the future.
Jeffrey Felner: Can you give us a brief personal history as to how you arrived at this juncture in your life?
Luke Gardiner: Way back when I was a hockey player which I gave up to start skateboarding; I was also introduced to photography. Shooting photos came to a standstill around 2012 when unfortunate things happened and my alcoholism developed. I had always been curious about modeling, but it wasn’t until I got sober that I started to make things happen. Upon sobering up, I got back into photography full force and finally began my modeling adventure to give it a shot. I couldn’t be more content with how things are which is where I'm at now.
JF: You are both photographer and model... which do you prefer and why?
LG: Honestly, as much as I love doing the modeling. My true love will always be shooting as a photographer and standing behind the camera. The feeling I get when I'm able to capture my ideal photo is rewarding beyond words, and that is what keeps me going.
JF: If you can invite any 5 people to dinner... who would they be and why?
LG: Well that’s kind of a tough question. Being as how I also want to pursue acting, my list would be more actors and directors. When it comes to actors I'd have to say Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins … those three because of their long history of amazing movies and the personalities they capture. Basically I'd be asking them how they got started and what drives and influences them to be the people they are throughout their films. Another actor would be Brad Pitt for essentially the same reasons, not to mention I feel like I see some of my qualities when I see him acting. Finally would have to be Martin Scorsese, he's just incredibly brilliant, and I'd want to talk to him about how he gets his visions.
JF: In the course of your conversations, I sense that you are a warrior in your pursuits can you explain some of the battles that you have fought and continue to fight and why they are so important to you?
LG: Man ... So much to say when it comes to this … really. Between becoming a drug dealer in my earlier years and the problems and violence that I dealt with and overcoming that, to becoming an alcoholic and the situations I got myself into, a fair amount of fights occurring throughout all this time including being gang beaten in an alley way. Not to mention the battles those come with being a skateboarder including all the injuries. What I learned from all of it, is that no matter what, I have the ability to overcome and rise up, that no matter how hard I get taken down I can always stand back up, that I'd rather fail from trying rather than to never have tried at all. Life does things to you to test your strength and will power, and every obstacle you conquer makes you even more a warrior, I've been told I'm a "different breed of human", and that’s because of all of this. I wouldn’t have it any other way with the outcome of who I have been molded into.
JF: Now let’s talk about the future and where do you see yourself in 5 years and what do you hope to accomplish with your talents?
LG: I see myself with a residence on the West Coast, but traveling all over the world; Pursuing acting, modeling, and being a photographer always. I want to show the world what I can do, showing how I can portray so many qualities and personae of people in films, showing how even a straight male can bring such passion, beauty, sensuality, and eroticism into photos, and being a photographer who can capture anything and everything bringing to life true essence in any genre or subject of photo. I want to do it all, and in the crazy way of thinking being someone who thinks they can make difference and change the way people look at film and imagery and even the world, well I guess you can call me crazy or maybe just a man with high expectations and dreams.