Saturday, May 23, 2015
Lyrical / Beautiful: Sunel Molina by TR Pics
'To say that Sunel Molina is a powerhouse is liking saying the sky is blue, or that fire burns. Stating the obvious here, but once you meet Sunel you realize there are very few people in this world with such passion, drive, creativity, heart, and looks just cute as can be.'
I could feel the energy, creativity and passion Tom described the first moment I saw Sunel Moina's work in front of the camera. First impressions often prove to be crucial, and this was certainly the case when Tom Rubeck (TR PICS) and Sunel first met. Tom recalls that Sunel was someone who immediately made a presence in the Dallas area when he moved there a few years ago. Tom was first introduced to him when he was commissioned to shoot the cover for a (now defunct) State-wide gay magazine, This Week in Texas', or the TWIT.
'The editor had arranged for a group of club dancers to come in for the shoot. All these guys were young, some hung over, some just plain tired...but Sunel stood out as not only the cutest but by far the most professional. I liked the end product okay enough, but I knew I wanted to work with him again, and... as soon as possible.'
Sadly, it did not happen as quickly as Tom would have liked. Flash-forward three years, after countless requests from Tom that went no where, he noticed Sunel's image popping up again around town. Tom tried contacting him once again. Tom shares that Sunel seemed a bit reluctant at first, but agreed to shoot some images with the theme of masculine men wearing female-like clothing. Although this would be a new area for Tom, he wanted to shoot with Sunel so thought 'why not!' The rest as they say, is history.
'We hit it off pretty much once we jumped out of my car and into the streets of downtown Dallas, Texas. He was fearless, and glamorous, and sexy, and funny...and knew how to "work it". This was the start of a fantastic relationship which has now turned into a really solid friendship.'
Sunel says that although a small guy, he knows how to 'work it!' Originally from Havana, Sunel moved to the United States at the age or 7 and grew up in Los Angeles until the age of 19. After a short move to Dallas, Sunel moved to Puerto Rico and it was there he discovered his love of acting, modeling and being in front of the camera. 4 years ago, Sunel returned to Dallas to be closer to his family and take care of his mother who was suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia. When back in Dallas, Sunel returned to modeling and the arts with a focus on singing, the performance choice he hopes to eventually make his career. Given the light and energy Sunel channels within his work, I was curious as to if Sunel was a stage name he created form himself. Not so, Sunel's name originates from combining the beginning of 'Susana', his mother's name, with the beginning of 'Nelson', the name of his father.
'Tom and I kept talking about doing stuff together so when it finally happened it was awesome! We hit it off right away with how we work. He's amazing and very open minded. Tom was not afraid to grab his camera and head out onto the street with me bringing out my outfits, high heels and see through clothes. There we were, shooting out on the streets, in the middle of winter with me in a one piece bikini!'
The connection and trust between model and photographers is evident their work, especially when shooting out on the streets of Dallas and when back in the studio when another model was brought into their work. Sunel says it is great working with someone who knows what you're wanting to achieve. Tom loved that Sunel had very specific ideas but was flexible to tweak them during the shooting process when necessary. Sunel hopes he and Tom continue to keep shooting, and they even have a few ideas for future themes including a possible Beauty and the Beast inspired shoot
In there last collaborations, Tom shot Sunel with two other male models. Saul and Michael Todd. Many readers of FH might recognize Saul, one of the two models who joined Sunel for the shoots. Saul has been a favorite of mine and I have profiled his work a few times on the blog, including a piece from 2013, (HERE:) featuring Saul's work with Tom.
Tom loved the results of shooting Sunel with the another models. Although the shoots were impromptu, Tom recalls that although they had a very brief talk about what they were going to do, when they got together, the guys stripped down and moved in and out of pose so beautifully and naturally together. 'The end results were amazing. Lyrical and beautiful. Well, actually, just like Sunel.'
'Sunel doesn't like and doesn't shoot boring. His pushing his limits and ideas, in turn, pushed me and my creativity.'