Thursday, June 9, 2011

Favorite Pic of the Day for June 9th

It's Thursday and today with the launch of Marlen Boro's new project we get to know a little more about the man behind the lens!
-Read All About it below-

Happy Birthday today June 9th to:

Happy Birthday today to Jean Galfione (above), Andrew W. Walker, and Cameron Bunce, Gildas Verbist, Michael J. Fox and Johnny Depp HERE:

Marlen's Room: Behind the Curtain of Boro's Boudoir

I feel more than blessed to have found the work of photographer Marlen Boro at the beginning of the year. Each week since then, myself and the readers of FH have been granted access to Marlen's work with some of the most incredible shots of some of the hottest models. The Gentlemen of Marlen Boro has not just become a regular and popular part of FH, Marlen has become someone I have grown to truly admire and respect. There is no pretense about Marlen's work. It is, in his own words, sexy, playful, witty, sometimes intense and most of all fun.

This week Marlen shares with FH thoughts on his work, losing models to the big cities, the industry in general and his new project, Male Boudoir. In an industry often based on repetition (much in the form of flattery), finding a new way to present the male form is not an easy task. Having worked closely with Marlen on many features the past six months I am keenly aware of how much work and the immense patience that went into deciding on just the right direction to take his talents. Check out the new site for yourself and I am sure you will agree that he has found that new way!

FH: When I contact a photographer about a feature it is usually because one particular photo grabbed me. With You it was Dominic and his amazing butt standing at the bathroom sink. Curious as if you were surprised at what shot in your port stood out to me?

Of course - but I’ve come to realize and appreciate that we each respond to different images.

FH: Were you familiar with blogs/sites like FH before my email. Had you reached out to any?

Absolutely familiar - but no, I hadn’t contacted anybody yet. I remember excitedly telling Cory (my husband) about your initial email and his response: “Umm... I’ve been bugging you for how long to submit your work??”

FH: Once we began a weekly feature the first person showcased was Moretti. Moretti has such sexuality literally bursting out of the images. Is this ‘energy’ something that is present during the shooting or is it something you bring out?

Cory assures me that it’s something I help my models and clients tap into.

FH: Now when I think of the world of male models and photographers I don’t instantly think of North Dakota. In fact I think you were the first from that area whom I featured on FH. What is the scene like there, is there much competition, model selection, opportunities.

I was raised in North Dakota, but Minnesota is home - and the men here are gorgeous. I’d say there’s a friendly rivalry among the photographers who focus on men - we each have really different styles.

FH: Marlen, I know you invest in those you work with. What is the best and the worst part of being invested in those you work with?

Best #1 - becoming friends with so many interesting (and hot!) guys. Best #2 - the images - it’s not just camera settings and stock poses - my models and clients know that I care about them as people - and I think it shows in the authenticity of the images.

FH: Given you’re in North Dakota I am aware at some point the models you work with obtaining some sort of success eventually move to New York or LA. What is this like for a photographer, especially one involved in some of the crucial beginning stages?

Regardless of whether they find commercial success or not, I love seeing new models grow into their own skin and learn to work their magic with the camera.

FH: It is interesting to me that big agencies often try to erase a models local past and give them a new name and ‘act’ like they discovered them off the bus in NY or Miami. Truth be told it is the work done locally that usually gets their attention. Have you ever had an issue with an agency trying to ‘bury’ a models earlier local work with you?

Of course - but I really don’t care anymore. Modeling agencies have a job to do - and here in Minnesota that’s landing paying gigs for Target and Best Buy. So scrubbing portfolios is part of what they do.

Above: Stefan

FH: So, I know you have another job, one of those jobs which requires a suit, briefcase and tie. How, why and when does the fact you spend much of your time shooting hot guys come up in casual conversation around the photocopier?

My legal clients quickly become friends and my male boudoir work usually comes up when we talk about photography (most of my clients are other photographers). Most folks are pretty shocked - especially considering how unapologetically sexual many of the images are.

FH: Speaking of shooting hot guys, is it hard for your husband when he knows the next 4 or 5 hours of your day is going to be spent with one or even two great looking naked men?

Cory’s my biggest fan and source of encouragement. And as much as I care about photography or any of my clients/models, none of that matters compared to him - and he knows it. Do I get sympathy from him if it’s been a long day of photographing hot guys? Never. ;)

FH: On the subject of naked men (and it is a great subject) curious as to whether there is an unplanned or embarrassing moment that stands out most to you while in the middle of a shoot?

So... when everything just magically comes together - the light, the pose, the expression - sometimes I laugh with glee. The first time I caught myself laughing, the model was buck naked - understandably, he didn’t realize that my laughter was a compliment. (so now I mention it before each shoot)

FH: Some photographers use digital magic to make pecs look harder, penis’ look longer and thighs look leaner. How do you feel about using this technology to change the appearance of a shot or a model?

I use it - but hopefully you can’t tell when/where - it’s not integral to my style, but it can be tremendously helpful to an image - especially with my boudoir clients -not everybody has a perfectly flat stomach.

FH: Speaking of other photographers, who are your inspirations and why?

Apart from the obvious (Maplethorpe, Tom Bianchi, Rick Day, [insert 30+ other amazing photographers that you frequently feature and I follow them all], it’s Anna Kuperberg - she’s an amazing wedding photographer (and adorable lesbian!) from the Bay Area - she has this rare ability to capture both architectural beauty and genuine emotion. And John Waters - he’s not really a photographer, but I love his unapologetic uniqueness and his naughty sense of humor.

FH: When I profile a shoot from Marlen Boro I usually end up with a wee crush on the model by the time the profile is ready to post. Even if the photos don’t instantly jump out at me, communicating with the model, getting to know them beyond the photos often has me looking at the shots differently. Has this happened with you?

Of course - most of the guys I work with are amazing, interesting individuals - and I always appreciate how your blog postings help introduce these guys more fully!

Above: Trench

FH: Has there ever been a model you really loved, who was very hot who was just not able to transfer that ‘in person’ heat onto film?

Thankfully no - although there are models who have a difficult time believing they are hot. Jesse, for example, still can’t accept/believe that he’s stunning.
That said, I think this goes back to your Moretti question - and it’s a function of my philosophy background. I don’t believe there’s some metaphysical, ultimate beauty that we as artists should strive to replicate. I work to find each man’s unique sexiness - the poses and facial expressions that work best for him - and help him learn how to show that to the camera (and hopefully also in life).

FH: Do you have a favorite shoot? A favorite idea that turned out better than you had envisioned?

My favorite shoot is the Swan Song - the goodbye to my old condo - an amazing day spent with two of my favorite collaborators - creating and capturing these moments of raw sexuality. Happiest surprise? It’s a tie between the pink panties that Moretti wore and the red rhinestones which crowned Max Dennis’s penis.

Above: Andy and Trench from Swan Song

FH: Most of the famous photographers of the male form make their living with books, calendars, the odd selling of a print. In NY and LA they can make money shooting headshots for agencies. How does one in ND make sure they are not going to go broke following their passion? Gentlemen of Marlen Boro was really meant to be an 18 month calendar BTW!

By practicing law part-time. In all seriousness, I love being a lawyer and I have amazing clients - so now I have the best of both worlds with my hybrid career.

Above and Below: Jack & Jesse

FH: Tell me about your new focus and your new site. Where did the idea come from?

My new site is and my focus is on custom “boudoir” photoshoots for men. Women have been doing these boudoir shoots for years - frequently as a wedding present for a fiance or a “I’m still sexy at 40” shoot of self-celebration. I provide these shoots for men - so whether it’s a gift for a partner/spouse, a reward to celebrate a fitness milestone, or a “I won’t be in my early-40s forever” - that’s where I come in.

My mentor, Verna, and Cory have each been bugging me for years to explore this idea more fully - but things gelled this spring when I attended a workshop by Critsey Rowe of - she’s amazing - she flies around the US (and Europe!) doing these stunning boudoir photoshoots with lovely ladies.

Critsey looked through my work and told me I was thinking too narrowly by focusing on Minnesota - that I needed to think bigger - go national.

And in reworking my site, it also led to a realization - I don’t want to be a fashion photographer - I no longer want to be “the Rick Day of the Midwest” (even though I do adore his work) - I don’t care if I ever get published in DNA magazine. My strength lies in relishing the diversity of men and tailoring each shoot to my client’s physique and his personality - and then capture images of remarkable candor and sexiness - and that’s what I intend to be known for.

I explain it more on - you’ve worked out for years and spent how much money and time to create this body - and then what? Hire a local photographer who usually shoots women, uses soft lighting and teasing/forced poses? Look back in 20 years at all these keen iPhone photos of you posing in front of the bathroom mirror? You deserve better.

FH: Where are you hoping the site might take you?

Frankly, everywhere across the country (and Europe!), working with men who realize that it’s time to celebrate themselves.

FH: So the phone rings and it’s an agency requesting you do some nudes of three of their hottest models. Which 3 models you have never shot would you hope they might be?

Mark Wahlberg, Francois Sagat and either Mark Salling (Puckerman) or Darren Criss (Blaine) from Glee (better yet, both of them together...)