'Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.'
Although it was Alice who first went down that rabbit hole, it has since become a phrase or metaphor ussed to describe someone entering unknown or unexpected territory. The unknown however, doesn't have to be scary...sometimes it can be deliciously fun and sexy. That is certainly how I felt after contacting, and entering into the world of photographer Jude Cooper.
Before we get to that, we can't ignore the obvious... Kaden, and those incredibly beautiful blue eyes. Kaden is part boy next door, blonde and blue eyes and those gorgeous lips of his. When Kaden arrives for his shoot, he looks pleasant and happy, and excited in anticipation for stepping in front of the camera.
'Kaden has always been a favorite of mine. I shot him many times over a 5 year period while he was in the Navy and stationed in San Diego.'
As the shoot progresses, the hat comes off, then the shirt. Then... to relax a bit, the water bottle is put away, replaced by a beer, maybe two before getting down to business. Being in the Navy can be a bit of grind, long, hard days and nights with little to no time off. It also doesn't pay a hell of a lot. To add a little spice into his routine, not to mention a bit of cash, Kaden was eager to shoot with Jude on a rare day off.
When the remainder of his clothing hits the floor, you can almost feel Kaden take a deep breath, exhale, then just enjoy the shoot and the experience of being naked and free, even for just a few hours. The boy next door may look innocent, but when he is totally naked, and you look back into those beautiful baby blues, you can tell he enjoys, the enjoyment that he creates, for all who happen upon his images.
It is a temporary euphoria however. Sadly, Kaden must soon put his clothes back on, say good bye to Jude and back to the early mornings and long hard days of life on the base. While stationed in San Diego, Kaden returned to shoot with Jude, and to relive the experience several times. Today, Kaden is out of the service, and out of California, back home in Texas, now married with a new baby.
So that rabbit hole. When I contacted Jude, it was after seeing a handful of images on his Model Mayhem page. There were a few sexy images, but many portraits and fitness images. Jude replied positively and shared the link to his tumblr, a site he said would show me some 'meatier' shots. Thank goodness I'm not a vegetarian...
While Kaden's blue eyes and ball cap shots attracted my interest, it was not until the tumblr that I saw they were just the surface of what Jude had to offer. I was away on the weekend, but once down the rabbit hole of Jude's tumblr, it was a couple of hours before I returned to the surface. Once I caught my breath, I shot him back a few of my favorites, Kaden being, near the top of that list.
Like most unexpected surprises, most rabbit holes are never exactly what they seem, and have additional layers if people want to go deeper, want to continue to explore. As soon as I chose a selection of sexy images of Kaden, Jude had another surprise.
It wasn't a coincidence that Kaden was in the Navy and living on that San Diego base. Having spent years shooting, Jude was looking for ways to find models and to make some money from his passion and hard work. Given his proximity to the base, and his knowledge that that the men on it were always looking for a bit of excitement, and extra money on their days off, Jude found his niche in the realm of imagery of the male form.
Jude started photographing men off the base for military themed images for sites focused on the male form, specifically, the military male form. Recently, Jude decided it was time to start his own site, and pull together the years of shoots, and amazing men that he had shot. If you want to go down that rabbit hole, you can start with The Over-Flow and Jude's straight off base tumblr HERE: Don't forgot to come up for air, and to look for clues if you want to go even a little bit deeper.