I have never been much of a fan of The Osbournes. Never really listened to Black Sabbath, therefore my only real knowledge of Ozzy was all those chicken and rat rumours. Never watched their reality show and always felt that Sharon could be a nightmare. Sharon is one of those mothers you might think cool if she was the mother as a friend, but also someone capable of getting nasty and cruel when she felt it required. Never gave Jack or Kelly much thought at all, Kelly seems to try hard to be edgy, only to really seem quite retro and Jack was well... just Jack.
That's why it was pleasantly surprising to me how attractive he came off on DWTS. Not only smooth on the dance floor, Jack showed grace and humanity and regardless of any pre-conceived ideas, he was incredibly sweet and endearing. I would not say my feelings moved to an actual crush, but they were getting close. Given at the end of the competition, Jack's came in third, I am obviously not the only one who taken aback by the surprise appeal of Jack.
I have had the privilege of working with DZmitry three times over the course of the past year. We started corresponding shortly after he arrived in the United States and I soon realized that I would probably be one of the first photographers he worked with in the U.S. I'd seen the pictures in his portfolio and knew he had already had the start of a promising modeling and acting career in Europe and his home of Belarus. Still, two things caught me by surprise: DZmitry's English and his physique.
A couple of days before our shoot I got an email from "Andrew," writing from DZmitry's email address. He was writing to explain that DZmitry spoke little English and that he would be accompanying the model as his translator. Unknowingly, I had been corresponding with Andrew all along.
On the day of the shoot the two of them arrived a few minutes early. I was struck by how good looking both the men were. Andrew was not just DZmitry's translator, agent and friend; he was also a talent manager who brought European singers to America for concert engagements and had once been a model himself.
It was a bit awkward at first, working through a translator. I would be staring at DZmitry but talking to Andrew. But soon enough the model and the photographer developed a working rapport and were communicating with subtle gestures and movements.
I generally work my way into a shoot by starting with headshots; it's my creative warm-up. When I feel that the model and I have started "clicking," I move on. After 20 or 30 minutes I asked DZmitry to remove his shirt. Clearly, I wasn't prepared for what I saw. It's embarrassing to admit, but I must have gasped because Andrew asked me if something was wrong. All I could sputter was, "Those are the most incredible abs I have ever seen!"
And to this day, they may still be. I have shot many models over the years, but DZmitry probably has the most impressive, ripped physique of any man I've worked with. I can only imagine how many hours he must spend in the gym! But it sure has paid off. Big time!
Despite his extremely limited command of English, DZmitry’s amazingly vibrant personality came shining through. He has a charm that transcends the language barrier and it’s clear that anyone who meets him is going to like him and remember him.
I was aware that DZmitry did not do art nudes and the focus of the day was on fashion-oriented shots for our respective portfolios. But rarely have I worked with a model more suited to the type of art nudes that I take than DZmitry. I do, nonetheless, respect the professional and personal limitations of my models and was content to work within his boundaries.
We devoted a follow up fitness session in the studio to documenting and celebrating DZmitry's incredible physique. A few months later I captured him in casual, natural poses in a home setting. Along the way the model and I developed a trust of each other and built a good working (if silent) rapport. And over the course of the three sessions we created an impressive body of work that span the gamut from fashion to physique work. To this day, DZmitry remains one of my favorite models and I look forward to working with him again.
Work from all three sessions is offered here and more than two dozen of the best shots have been compiled in a new book, Cortlandt Manor. The art photography book features fashion, fitness and uncensored art nude studies of DZmitry and five other professional models working in New York. Readers of Favorite Hunks can see free video presentations of work from each of DZmitry’s photo sessions as well as a gallery of DZmitry's photos that is only accessible to readers of Favorite Hunks. This gallery is not open to the general public and you must use the link below to access it.