'Tonight Christopher is getting cocky in the kitchen as he prepares for his high fashion themed night which comes complete with custom made placemats. Starting things off first is his appetizer, glitterati gnocchi. Up next on the runway of food dishes is the main, luxurious lamb meatballs served with a side of eggplant parmesan. The tensions start rising and things get a little awkward but that doesn’t stop Christopher from serving his dessert, blissful orange cheesecake.'
Earlier this year I shared my love of the reality show Come Dine With Me, (Eating In). I cannot figure out why the show hasn't yet made it to the States but there are hilarious versions I have been able to watch from Australia, Canada and The UK.
Above: Prepping a model backstage at World MasterCard Fashion Week
On a recent edition of the Canadian edition, Toronto showed a better side than the recent news stories of Mayor Rob Ford with an episode featuring one of my newest crushes, well known Canadian fashion designer and artist Christopher Bates. Christopher had it all, great looks, intelligence and a great sense of humour. His succulent meat balls only sealed the deal.
The producers wisely got the fashion designer out of his shirt for several great shots, sadly I have yet to master capping off of a DVR recording, but I shall save it until I master the skill.
Whenever I contact an artist about being featured on FH, part of the process is often introducing them to the blog and how I go about putting together a profile or story. Pretty much every photographer and model who has used the Internet as a form of promotion has ended up at one time, or many times, seeing their images splattered on blogs, tumblrs, dating and adult sites, most not bothering to give credit, let alone a comment about the image or the artists behind it.
Last month, I had an especially nasty photographer decide to go on the attack. It was particularly disheartening because of how vile he got, especially since I have never actually featured his work on the blog. I debated whether to respond on the blog as he seemed the type to feed off of it. I am glad that I did however as the resulting positive occurance was being introduced to the work of Daniel Allen. I had recognized Daniel's name as he has been a frequent source of support with the positive comments he leaves on the blog. I have whined about the meager amounts of comments left before, especially because I know how important it is to not just me, but the artists and models, and every comment Daniel and others have left helped motivate me to continue the blog for another day.
When I contacted Daniel to thank him for the support and suggest a piece on the blog he gave me several additional positive comments about the blog from a photographers perspective which is always great to hear. My purpose for including this piece is not to pat myself on the back (well not just...) but it was yet another lesson I needed to hear yet again how not to let life's negative experiences to bring me down and most times, if you wait just a little, a positive will follow. Daniel's images of Rico are definitely a positive.
Daniel's images are incredibly sexy, maybe even more so because of what is left to the imagination. Part of the story within the images also resonated with me as beautifully melancholy. As I head through my thirties, I find the end of a workday, let alone the end of a work week a time to do what I can to get home, kick off my shoes and work clothes and just relax. Not so long ago however, the end of any day meant the beginning of an evening and night. Nights, all of them, especially in my twenties were always filled with going out, playing pool, eating and drinking, pubs and movies, anything to mean that a day was more than just work and sleep, that somewhere in the middle was an actual life.
I am not sure if it is just my age, or if people actually go out less but it seems that with almost every age group, entertainment has become far more home based. Daniel's images of Rico out on the town remind me how there was a time when during the evening, I would rather have been anywhere than at home.
When going through Daniel's images, my first choice for a piece was Rico and it only made it better when Daniel shared that Rico was the first erotic shoot, prior to that, he had shot mostly family, friends and landscapes. To find a model to begin, Daniel headed online when he came upon Rico, quickly connected with him about posing to get started on building his portfolio. Daniel's timing was just about perfect as Rico was just a few days from being deployed and an erotic shoot sounded a great way to deal with the stress and a fun way of passing the time until then.
I can't think of a better model to begin with than Rico. Incredibly hot, able to look at times like the boy next door with his handsome face and grin, at the same time he is able to display a bit of an edge and together the mix is incredibly smouldering and sexy.
Daniel's shoot with Rico more than tells a story, it sort of became one. Daniel had originally planned on having the shoot outdoors by the waterfront on the bay, but it began raining an hour before he was supposed to meet up with Rico. He was then forced to come up with another concept on the spot but thankfully had earlier already approached Randy, the manager of a great nearby bar. The first part of the shoot was there as Randy had agreed to section off half the bar for part of the evening to let him shoot.
'I had two of those metal half-dome fixtures you see mechanics using to fix cars (which, in truth, was what I originally used them for as well) with 1000 watt incandescent bulbs in them. I referred to them as my "hot lights", because that just sounded more professional, but I joked with Rico during the shoot about my ghetto-fabulous lighting.'
'Rico was probably one of the best subjects I could hope for in my first erotic shoot! Handsome face, beautiful, naturally-toned physique, and extremely patient, open to direction, and willing to try just about anything. (I surprised him a few months later with a shot I'd taken of him at my apartment door in full uniform, smiling and holding up a fistful of daisies pulled from the front yard--roots, dirt and all. I told him that picture wasn't for me, it was for him to send his boyfriend while he was deployed overseas to remind him of him while he was away. He loved it and thought it was a really thoughtful gesture.) Rico may not be a professional model, but his beautiful masculine features, friendly demeanor, and confidence would, I think, translate very well in this industry. I'd love to do another shoot with Rico in the future!'