B. JOHNSON. When we first chatted, you mentioned that the decision to shoot with Paul Boulon was thought through. Why and how did this come about?
DWC. Originally I had been discussing a shoot with Sasha Olsen. I had planned to use all my savings to fly to wherever he might be and do this, big reveal shoot. Dancer turned model turned photographer Paul Boulon and I became friends in the latter part of my time in Texas. During the pandemic era we collaborated a lot, and I enjoyed our work together and my fans really seem to love it. We both had a very rough time in 2022 in our personal lives. After I moved to Hawaii, we hadn’t spoken much until one day he asked if he could come stay a month to figure some things out. That’s when I had the idea, that is collaborating on this project might be good for both of us. I think he envisioned us shooting for a couple of days, but we traversed the island, taking advantage of the hard to reach spots and the idea of showing a side to Hawaii that most won’t recognized excites me. We both risked our lives and were injured multiple times on the shoot, but hopefully the photos will have all been worth it. The time spent working together on this shoot brought us closer as friends and in many ways is a photographic diary of our adventures.
B. JOHNSON. The images, and your social media, show a real appreciation and celebration of your body as the mechanism that it is. What is your relationship with your body? Has it always been a celebration?
DWC. No, it wasn’t always that way. Growing up I was the scrawny kid that was smaller than all my classmates. Even more awkward then than now, I was bullied from grade school to high school. So much so that I would hold my pee, for fear of having to deal with school restrooms. I was the journalism nerd who hid in the communications lab just so I could stay away from everyone. College wasn’t much different, staying away from people because I never fit in. But it was college that I discovered fitness. My brother had a big role in inspiring me to get in shape. It wasn’t until my time in Texas that I started taking nutrition and health as serious as fitness. Each year I got older I would give up some vice that would help make me stronger. modelling and fitness just became intertwined. Now going to the gym is like therapy for me. I have an addictive personality, which is why I’ve never touched alcohol or drugs. I’ve tried to turn what obtuse addictions I have into beneficial things.
B. JOHNSON. In that same regard, your followers are incredibly vocal and supportive of the way that you place emphasis on your body's freedom. How does it feel to have such support from them?
DWC. The fact that I have followers, fans and supporters, still shocks me. I don’t see myself as anyone special. I’m humbled daily by those who subscribe to my work or reach out to me. I see so many more beautiful people than me and I just can’t understand why I’ve been blessed with all the opportunities I’ve had.