A couple of years ago I wrote a piece on the turbulent life of the late Terry Lester. (Jack In A Box) This week, the piece must have been linked somewhere as although I could trace the source, (looks like a Twitter link) but the post exploded with hits. I have saved a couple of more images of the young actor since posting the first time, and added them this week. Thanks to whomever linked to the story.
Last week, PBS's Frontline aired it's incredible documentary, Growing Up Trans. If you did not see it, hurry on over to PBS HERE: as they are airing it in's entity!
I don't wish to push shade on anyone, but watching Growing Up Trans had me even more uncomfortable with the reality show inspired trajectory of Caitlyn Jenner's transition. It's not that I don't emphasise with her journey, but we all know almost everything that Bravo and the E! Network present are exaggerated and dramatically tweaked slices of reality. Caitlyn and the E! have a huge responsibility on their shoulders, and they have the ability to both drastically help, as well as irreparably harm the Trans community. I hope they take their role seriously.
Seeing Caitlyn Jenner 'Joan Collins' her way through New York, camera's at every turn is a sharp contrast to the presentation of teens, their families, friends and doctors presented in Growing Up Trans. The pain, the isolation and confusion was painful to watch, but it was also so beautifully, and respectfully depicted in the families that were followed. In the end, there was such hope. The struggles, both emotional and physical were not shown as easy, but with such changes in the medical options, there is an entirely new generation of teens growing up with options never available to anyone before them. The kids in the documentary, and so many like them deserve to have their stories told and shared. It is not that Caitlyn's journey is any less worthy, but a Kardashian connected E! version should not be the dominate front main story, it belongs somewhere in the middle with Arts & Leisure and the comics.
For those of you who live in area's blanketed by snow and ice much of the year, swimming outside is something only possible for shorts amount of time. Where I live, that time gap is a short window of about 7 or 8 weeks each year, leaving 10 long months in-between plunges.
There is an incredible freedom, an almost sensual and explosive energy the first time I jump into a body of water each summer. It is usually for me, in a lake or the ocean, and you can feel the cool water as it rushes over your skin and caresses every inch of your body. Usually in late June or early July the water, although warmer, is still holding on to just enough of winter's chill to spring alive every organ in your body as you plunge in.
There are several artists whose imagery provides me a with similar rush. Their work provides the artistic nourishment that I crave on a regular basis, especially at different times of the year. Like diving into that water, it has been a long 10 months since I have had the pleasure of featuring Gordon Nebeker's work on FH.
It was last September that Gordon invited myself and readers of FH to join him, along with 3 models, and 3 other photographers, on a Road Trip in Utah. Tomorrow, we get to dive back in to Gordon's images with his recent work with Mr. Herzog who Gordon photographed jumping into this beautiful body of water this past May.
'Another theme I have been photographing for the past several years is the model underwater, with and without the white cloth. I am underwater as well and we both stay down for about 30 seconds before coming up for air. It seems to be taking forever to complete, but my next book will feature my underwater work with the models and should be out this Fall.'
Sometimes change is painstakingly slow, other times it moves at lightning speed. Over the last few months, I have been noticing subtle changes in the way some models and photographers discuss their work. I remember when I began FH, I was intent on keeping things professional and respectful. My questions were geared toward process, lighting, locations and pose. I remember thinking it odd that several artists and photographers who shared images, some incredibly hot images of naked models, talked about their images as if they had sent on pictures of sunflowers and kittens.
There seemed a clear intent to talk about their work as if there wasn't a penis front and center in the images being discussed. It was like the 'Ken-doll' approach to talking about masculinity and nudity. In many ways I understood where this came from; I don't think it was so much about public perception as a need for artists to remain separated and detached from what they were shooting. I can see that this could make some models feel more comfortable about shooting nudes and therefore for some it was easier to beat around that bush, than to discuss it directly.
I have attempted to maintain my respect and professionalism with my presentation and writing. But... as the years slide by, I have weaved more fun and directness into my profiles. I loved that on Sunday's piece, photographer Sergei K describe shooting nudes as sexual, but not physical. Although the relationship between model and photographer may remain completely professional, their minds cannot help but drift to something more sensuous. Not about each other necessarily, but about the process that is going on around them.
For the model, there is exposure, and exhibitionism that can be on one hand terrifying and risky. It can also however, be empowering and exhilarating. It can also be incredibly sexual for some, not just with what is going on during the shoot, but the thought of the response from those who view their images and the response the images may illicit. For the photographer, they are the C in the CMNM scenario, both the voyeur and director of what is in front of him and how he will use his model to complete the creative ideas running through his head.
That is why it refreshing when photographers, especially in 'about me' sections, simply, and obviously really, say they love men. They love the male form and have devoted their time and artistic skills to capture it well, and capture it often. Stating the obvious may seem like an easy decision, but it doesn't come without risks. When you spend time with the work of Finexposure, you can't help but notice right away he loves men, naked men and especially... naked black men. Although he shoots men of all races and body types, photographer Allen Beauvisage states clearly that he has a particular love the black male physique.
It's not really that Allen could hide his passion for the black male form, since of the close to 400 images on his ModelMayhem page, all but of handful of images of are fitness and nudes featuring black models. Still, I find it impressive that he states it outright, no dancing around his passion, nor talk of flowers or kitty cats required. Allen says that his goal is to get the pictures which show the beauty of his models, unencumbered by lots of props, and even by clothing where the model is happy to go nude. 'I love using the lighting to show the definition of these great physiques.' I couldn't think of a better model than Amadeus to introduce Allen's imagery, and his passion and focus on form and physique.
Amadeus is a theophoric given name derived from the Latin words ama – the imperative of the word amare ('to love') – and deus (god). (To Love God) As a linguistic compound in the form of a phereoikos, it means "Love God!
Allen's focus on the black male form came from another passion, that for travel. He had always done a lot of travelling and combining photography with new and interesting locations and landscapes was always something Allen loved, particularly when it came to all things African. 'There is often, an altogether more defined muscularity, which as someone with an interest in anatomy, was very attractive. The black body, especially when lightly oiled, seems to display a great energy and beauty, which I like to capture, using the lighting set up to accentuate the various muscular groups'
Even with his passion for lighting and fitness, shooting nudes professionally wasn't something Allen initially pursued. He began shooting pictures for dating and hook up sites, where many guys wanted hot images for their profiles. Many of the guys asked for naked images to put on their pages and to send out and many stripped down to have their picture taken without the slightest bit of hesitation.
Following all the positive responses to his images he had taken, Allen set up a page on MM and now connects with most of his models through the site. Although some of the men Allen shot for the dating site dropped their pants with ease, shooting professionally means respecting the comfort level of the men he is shooting and gearing shoots and poses for whomever he is shooting, whether it be an experienced nude model like Amadeus, or a model wanting to 'have a go' at modelling nude for the first time.
'The aim of my work is not to be smutty or pornographic, but to portray the beauty and energy of the male body as seen in my models. Most of them are very happy with the results, and often return for more shoots. In fact the quality of the pictures tends to improve over successive shoots, presumably as photographer and model develop a rapport, and mutual respect.'
It was MM that introduced to Allen to Amadeus, and although he presents a confident and impressive physical presence, Allen says during shoots he is very quiet a reserved. He also has an amazing physique that Allen loves to capture and the two have worked together several times. As you can see by some of the slight differences in Amadeus's hair length, facial structure and body size, the images presented here are some of my favorite images of their times working together. 'He is a very experienced model, but ready to try new ideas I might suggest. As he was very experienced as a nude model, there was no problem with him getting naked for the shoot, possibly because he has a fantastic body, in every department.'