Fun has definitely risen as a theme in several of my most recent model and photographer features. Thank goodness! We seemed to go through a period where images of the naked male form became so serious. Photographers appeared to want 'justify' their nude work by using exaggerated themes and overly edited images. Models often looked angry, almost pained. It was if there instruction was to reassure the viewer that they didn't want to be standing there naked, and were not having the leas bit of fun.
Some of my favorite shoots are based on fun. Bringing forth the sense of imaginative play we all experienced when we were young. A time before life got tough, when everything was new, exciting and an adventure. Times when we put a towel around are neck as a cape, and we ran around our backyard saving the world. In the run of one afternoon, we morphed back and forth into being a superhero, a spaceship captain, monster, pirate or cowboy.
Playing a cowboy was a favorite for most young boys, and many young girls. Riding a horse, shooting a gun, using the lasso and gathering up the bad guys in the wild wild west. This sense of fun and play is certain beautifully at the core of takeapic4u's images of 22 year old model Kent Clark. Both artist and model embraced the fun, and the play, especially when Kent dove into the mud!. I certainly saw, and felt this strongly while enjoying the resulting images.
'I have pretty much had a camera in my hand since I could hold one. I started taking serious photos of wildlife and landscapes and when people that looked through my shots liked them, I started getting requests for portraits, engagement photos, family shots and lots of senior pictures'
Dave choose the perfect model, and cowboy to deconstruct. Kent has an engaging look that captivated me from the get go. Kent clearly has a great body, but his strength is his commitment to the process and the theme. Kent also has the most beautiful face and lips and a killer smile that when you see it, (in the last pic below) confirms he was having a blast on the farm morphing into a cowboy. Dave also beautifully captures both Kent's maturity and sensuality, along with that fun and Kent's youthful sense of play.
Whenever I profile a model, I usually like to ask them about shooting naked, especially their experience taking it all off for the first time. Kent shares that people were always telling him he had a great body, so he thought why not see if he could get paid for it! For this shoot, it was Kent's second time shooting nude, and only his second professional shoot. It is truly amazing, the level of comfort he exudes in front of the camera. This may be partly because this wasn't Dave's first, or second time shooting nudes.
Down & Dirty
In addition to wanting to know about a model's first experience, I also am fascinated to learn about a photographer's first time shooting a naked model. I used to assume all the nerves are with the model, but photographers also often experience similar feeling when starting out shooting the nude male for. Dave didn't really get those 'night before nerves', nor did the naked model he shot. Although the shoot was planned, the naked part wasn't exactly on the shoot list for the day.
A few years after shooting his high school graduation shot, one of the seniors Davd shot, now in college, contacted him about doing an starter model portfolio. Dave agreed, without really knowing much about what he was going to do. Dave researched some ideas, and came up with his shoot list he felt would cover a variety of looks. Formal clothes, some casual looks and several styles of underwear to get some body and fitness shots.
'After getting all the clothed shots behind us, we went down to a river and he just tossed his trunks on the water's edge and let it fly. He started posing and I have to say looked quite impressive. He was 22, 6-2, blond and clean cut. He had a full 6-pack and well developed arms, pecs and legs. You could also say that God gifted him in other ways as well. Although I am a straight photographer, I could see why there is an audience to see him au natural. He was very good looking.
It was during this first nude shoot, that one of Dave's themes, Dirty Nature was born. The model that Dave was shooting accidentally stepped into the mud, almost to his knees. Dave figured he would step out and wash it off. Nope... instead, he began spreading it all over his abs, chest and eventually even his face. I can see the appeal and Kent beautifully jumped into the theme, and the mud creating some of my favorite shots from his day on the farm.
Kent's day on the farm, and naked bath in the mud, began with he and Dave connecting on Model Mayhem. Dave was on the site looking for another model when he happened across Kent's MM portfolio. Dave noticed that Kent was looking to shoot nudes, and felt the photos Kent had didn't capture him at his best. Dave shot him an e-mail and a shoot was set. 'I asked him what it was about my portfolio made him want to shoot with me and he said it was the "black model fishing with the spear" that he really liked the best. I said, well, that guy isn't black, he is 100% covered in mud and that will be you very soon.'
'Kent has an amazing body, is good looking, but more importantly he is a free spirit that is fearless and super easy to work with. I liked him a lot and hoped we would have another opportunity to work together.'
A couple of weeks after their first shoot, Dave received a request for some cowboy themed shots, he instantly thought of Kent, remembering that Kent had shared he loved to sing Western karaoke. Kent was game, and another shot was scheduled, this time, with Cowboy Kent. Initially another model was also invited, but they were a no show, changing the some of the ideas Dave had come up with for the shoot.
'Kent made up for being the only mode in spades. He delivered shot after shot. We didn't know exactly how far to take the collection of photos, so we discussed what he thought about having an erection for some of the shots. He said, sure, let's see what we can get! He was so comfortable at one point I even caught him doing a windmill move....I just shook my head and laughed.'
The shots turned out so well, Dave is considering Deconstructing more characters and professions in addition to Kent's sexy cowboy. It is pushing Dave to think differently creatively, and hopes it might attract new models who might want to dive into themes they love and are passionate about. Oh, about that windmill move.... no shots of that, but you may be interested in checking out a few more of Dave's images of the ultra hot and free spirited Kent on THE OVER-FLOW HERE: