I'm sure many of you remember Zach, his shoot with Lights On Studio helped FH get through the dark and cold January days. (Après-Ski) Winter, or more precisely Christmas, was what originally led me to the work of photographer Tom Nakielski. While searching for some holiday images last December, I came upon some shots of model Hansel Wellington, a model whose work I had featured in the past. In Tom's series of festive images, (Cocks and Candy Canes) Hansel was mounting a Christmas wreath, showing off his very impressive, and lickable candy cane.
I knew instantly I found an artistic kindred spirit. Not only do I love holiday themed images, I love fun & sex, fantasy and Gothic themes, and beautiful forms, curves and lines, all characteristics woven into Tom's imagery. After featuring his work with Hansel and Zach, and after joining him in Church for his work with Tony, (Locked Out of Heaven) I asked Tom if he would be up to my featuring his favorites.
Now asking an artist to send me their favorite images might seem like a simple task, but all artists know that this is far from true. Choosing favorite images can be like choosing your favorite child. All come with history, stories and even baggage. Sometimes your favorite shots are not really about the image itself, but the model or experience of shooting it. Tom was up to the task though and sent on his favorite images, and a bit of the story behind them. I will be doing a part 2, but here are some favorites from Lights On Studio!
Spencer is the first model I worked with through Model Mayhem. He was quite new to the modeling world. He has a aurora about him. A quiet dreamy demeanor. He is so graceful and yet so masculine, and what's not to like with a swimmers body like that. I got the idea for this image from a photo I saw that another photographer had created. He used trash can lids. For some reason there were these bicycle wheel contraptions in the studio and I thought they would make an interesting prop. I like graphic images with dramatic lighting and love how the lighting is defining him. Plus his posture is perfect. Especially love the curve of his back and the roundness of his ass. Pure beauty.
#94 Nothing to add about this photo. Just love the sensuous mood.
Above: This was shot at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. it is one of my favorite works of architecture by by favorite architect , Frank Gehry. I have longed to shoot there for years. Luckily my friends from Michigan moved there so I could fly out and have a place to stay. IT was a chance to fulfill one of my dreams and I was in heaven, although we almost got kicked out for setting up reflectors and tripods. A little begging with the security and agreeing not to set up any equipment got me off the hook so I could continue shooting. Orestis was born in Greece. Love his Greek killer eyes. He exudes an abundance of testosterone and his perfect physique shows his dedication to the gym and is a testimony to the California lifestyle.
Above: This session was the result of a last minute booking with Dwight. Since I was going to be at the abandoned church with another mode,l I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.
Above: Wes is an experienced model and this made the session enjoyable and very productive and resulted in some POTD winning images on Model Mayhem. The session was done in Cleveland at a friend's house in Cleveland that had some exquisite settings; everything from living room shots, hot tub and steamy bedroom shots. His good looks great physique and his being very comfortable in front of the camera make this session very, enjoyable.
Ben is friends with Nate (the first bodybuilder I shot) and liked the images and asked to have a his own session with me. I had purchased this tine, a farm tool, and have been wanting to use it in a session. The idea is sort of a take off of the classic Greek sculpture "The Discus Thrower" by Myron 480 - 445 b.c. . It is an example of rhythmos, harmony and balance that Myron is credited to being the first to master the style. This photo won POTD on Model Mayhem. Yet another different pose with this prop. We did quite a few different images with this farm implement.
I had just created this prop from some old doors that I used to make a tall column and was excited to be able to experiment with it with Ben. The lighting was the essence of this shot. I used 5 or 6 lights to create this image.
Much to my delight Ben requested another session. I didn't hesitate for a second to say yes. It was just a week before he was going into a bodybuilding competition and he wanted the session while he was in peak form. And I agree, he was in peak form. I usually like several weeks to brainstorm and to get hyped before a session. But did not want to miss this opportunity . I found this rope at an antique market the next day and knew that we could come up with some great images. This session was even more productive than the first since we had worked together before and were comfortable with each other.
Above: I wanted to created something different with this pose and just kept trying different combinations to finally get a final image that suited the pose. There are about 5 different element used to complete this image.
Tyler is very comfortable doing nude shots. We did some outdoors shots at the risk of neighbors perhaps seeing us and he had no qualms. (Side Note.....Tyler asked if I wanted erection shots and who am I to say no? As he got undressed for the outdoor shots he immediately had a hard on before he was completely undressed. It was the same for the entire session. In fact I had to request that he get rid of the hard on for some of the shots. ) This shot may have been a result of my Catholic upbringing and a bit of a rebellion. Although I like the apparent reverent mood, it is more of a religion vs sexuality.
Above: Here I was aiming to create something artsy and flowing. I wanted Tyler to be flowing down the stairs along with the curves. It was a very difficult and strenuous pose for Tyler since it was hard to keep from slipping down and keep the pose.
Shot in an abandoned church in Detroit. Love the beauty of the church even in its decaying state. Even in it such a state of ruin you can sense the grandour that it once was. Hansel loves to be in front of the camera and is one of the models I have had multiple sessions with. Each session always ends up with some excellent images. Hansel is not inhibited and is comfortable doing nude on location shots. These session always have a feeling of danger and daring. The chance of an intruder coming always keeps the adrenaline pumping.
Below: Done at the farms at Michigan State University. I have always wanted to do a session in a field with the rolls of hay. Hansel was the perfect one for the job. Although there were cars in the distance we was not hesitant and would sometimes have to duck behind a roll of hay when a car came too close. I love the curves of the rolls of hay along with the curves of his body.
'You may notice that I like images that are graphic in nature ie. have angles, curves ,perspective or props. I have just recently been experimenting with creating composite images that combine one or more elements to the original image. Some are created with a preconceived idea and others evolve as I try combining different images and use different techniques. I am learning more each time I attempt it. The composite images are anything from me adding different elements or something simple as adding a ray of light.'
I am now aware that I find a lot of my models from Model Mayhem. A great resource for models and photographers. I was to meet Tony at an abandoned church in Detroit. When I got there it was boarded up. I was in a bit of a panic about what to do. Both Tony and I travel over an hour to do the shoot. Luckily we found that the abandoned school next door did have access and offered many interesting areas to shoot in. Abandoned buildings seem to be the latest craze for photos. They do offer some very interesting scenes and a statement about urban decay. I really like the natural flattering window light and the perspective in this image. Of course adding a beautiful model like Tony made it all the better. This image did win the Model Mayhem POTD
Below: Still in the abandoned school. We found the remains of a piano in the schools auditorium. The curves of the sideboard inspired me to create something that flowed with the curves. Tony was able to get his body to mold with the form. The background was added later.