Gymbunny - Cover Story Part 1

I met Richard through a mutual friend, when we first started talking he was a little unsure about having photos taking. It took a little bit of work, as Richard had never even thought of modelling before, and didn't think he would be good at it. You know me though, I managed to persuade him and I'm really glad I did.

He's so much fun to work with, and is really open to ideas.

We get on really well, Richard and I are now good friends, and this is our fourth shoot together. I love Richard's attitude, he works hard on set and has a very natural ability to model. He's also really expressive, and gives a great range of emotions.

With a handsome face, and muscular physique, he's very good at pulling off sexy looks.

With our previous shoots, there has been a lot less clothing than in these images. I purposefully wanted to focus more on the facial expressions than the obvious.

One of the things that inspires me is Richard can sometimes be very humble and a bit shy, not realising that he has such a great look, so I wanted to show him the stunning man that I see. As an artist, his openness to ideas or styling, means that we can really play with imagery and try different things. Like with the mask and sword, or our take on Harley Quinn.

Having known since September last year, I've got to know a fantastic guy and been lucky enough to now call him one of my closest friends and favourite guys to work with. It's been amazing to see how he has changed as well, our first shoot to now, seeing him become more confident, it's nice to think I played a part in giving him a different view of himself and helping him find the courage to do something new.

ImmortalMag : So tell us a bit about yourself

Richard Dixon : My name is Richard, I'm 30 and I'm still a big kid at heart, total gamer geek and I adore dogs. The newest members of my family are my parents whippet puppies, they're truly adorable. I grew up and still live in Cumbria in Northwest England. I have an honours degree in mechanical engineering and currently work in that field.

IM : You have a great physique, how did you get started ?

RD : My boyfriend first introduced me to the gym when I went with him while he signed up, it was July 2016 and I'd never even set foot inside a gym before, no idea how I'd managed to avoid them until that point but I had. I had a panic that first day sat in the cafe waiting for him to register, by the time he came back down around a half hour later I had decided, I was going to confront this fear head on. I wasn't going to let it get the better of me, I was going to sign up. I hated the idea of being there, but I decided I wanted to overcome the fear I had to really push myself and as a way of learning about the gym I chose to sign up with a personal trainer. At which point I instantly got addicted to the gym, I go regularly now.

IM : How did you meet Nige ?

RD : About a year later I was introduced to Nige by a friend and quickly discovered that he was a photographer. We started chatting and in the course of getting to know each other Nige realised that I had a severe lack of self confidence. I was so full of self doubt about how I looked. I could see changes in my body after training at the gym, but I didn't feel attractive. The solution was offered and I nervously accepted, a photoshoot, for Nige to have the opportunity to prove to me how others perceive me. I've always been a very private person, I'm actually very shy, I don't find it easy to talk to people, but when it clicks it clicks.

IM : So what was it like on your first shoot ?

RD : I had no idea what to take with me to the first shoot so I took a suitcase full of stuff, I had everything with me! I was so nervous attending our first shoot so I brought my boyfriend with me, any nerves I had prior to the meet quickly disappeared when we first met in person, Nige's personality quickly put me at ease. Nige was so professional and easy to trust, he knew exactly what he was doing and gave me little pointers like "move that hand up", "tilt your head". The whole thing was made so much easier by the fact he knew exactly how to work with a beginner. One of the first shots he did was on a bed in a white t-shirt and briefs. After each set he turned the camera to me so I could look at them. When I saw that pic I smiled so much. I've never seen myself that way before. I had a lot of fun doing our shots in my singlet, they were so appreciated by both of us that one of them features in Nige's calendar. At some point during the shoot I asked if I could make naked a thing, the result of which created one of my favourites pics but that's NSFW!

IM : It sounds like you’ve built a really close friendship ?

RD : At the end of the shoot saying goodbye I was absolutely beaming with excitement to see the edits. But he proved that I had no reason to feel doubt anymore and that just made me feel so different inside. I didn't need to see the edits to realise that my confidence and self esteem had gone up massively. The whole experience had changed my outlook on life and the world around me. Nige helped me see the world through different eyes. He gave me the confidence to be a better version of the man I am. My family, my friends and most of all my boyfriend have always stood by me and I owe them all so much. They've been there with me through the hard times and helped me to see the light on the darkest days. I'm glad that I can now count Nige as one of those friends.

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