Saturday, October 8, 2016

Top of the Cove: Matt by Cooks Photography

It's interesting to me, how many times there's a nexus between art, and some of the artists and shoots, that I feature on FH. One of the themes of Friday's story with photographer Dominick Avellino, was how big an influence fashion has played with my love of so many images I have featured of the nude male form. In that piece, I mentioned how much I enjoyed the way Dominick incorporated many types of fashion, but especially long johns, into his work. Oddly enough, it was also long johns, that initially drew me to the work of Cooks Photography.

I actually began this piece long before Friday's piece on Dominick's work, shortly after profiling model Ivan Bohman last August. One of the shots in his port that I especially liked, was a image of Ivan looking mighty fine in a pair of long johns from Hal Cooks from Cooks Photography. Since then, I have been fortunate to have seen much more of Hal's work, so much that it was difficult to narrow down a model, shoot or theme to feature.

Ultimately, I asked Hal about featuring his work with Matt. Matt is obviously gorgeous, young, hot with an incredible body. Most of the models I feature however, are hot with incredible bodies, but it was the choices Hal made, with fashion, prop and location that me wanting to feature this shoot. I love how Matt looks in his trapper hat and boots, especially hanging on the rocks holding his long staff. I also love Hal's shots with red fabric, the deep red visually contrasts beautifully with Matt's skin and muted color of the rocks that surround him.

One of the reason I believe so many artists feel the compelled to create is that they have a vision they haven't seen in the work of others.  If your only goal is to duplicate something that has already been created, what would really be the point....   Hal started shooting in 2007 after searching for a greeting card, featuring a great images of a black and a white model together. Hal didn't find much selection so began creating and shooting his own greeting cards. Although he stopped making his cards awhile ago, he never stopped shooting hot sexy men.

One of those men was Matt.  Hal connected with the 20 year old model on Model Mayhem and has worked with him twice.  The first shoot produced the set of image shown here shot top of the Cove, outside behind the houses in Cathedral City California.  The next day, they went inside to shoot in the studio.

Hal likes to ask a few simple questions before meeting and setting up a shoot with a model. Questions to ensure that  they're comfortable with the direction of the shoot.  One of the questions is about limitations, and if there is anything they don't want to show on camera.  I loved Matt's response, a response I think possibly typical for many models shooting nudes. ' I don't like shots of my asshole haha. I think they're weird, but outside of that not really.'   Matt's not really, gave Hal plenty of ideas and options for their trip up to the top of the cove.

'Matt was great to work with, so comfortable in underwear or fully nude. He was funny and very genuine,  I was so impressed with him.  I have used this location before it's private, with usually no one around. As far as the theme, all I did was to pick out a variety of my props and went with the flow. I always have ideas before the shoot, however; I'm not confined by them.'

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