Thursday, September 29, 2011

Favorite Pic of the Day for September 30th

The long awaited return of The Gentlemen of Marlen Boro!
-See more below-

Happy Birthday today September 30th to:

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite actors and directors (Eric directed this seasons premier of Glee). Above, Eric in the movie that had me falling, Some Kind Of Wonderful. See more of Eric HERE: & more of today's birthday boys HERE:

Endless Summer

I thought I sucked the last moments out of the summer of 2011 earlier in the month but alas...I am not done sucking! Off for officially my last weekend at the beach before the leaves start to change. See you all on Sunday!

A Warrior's Heart

Above: Chord Overstreet, Kellan Lutz, William Mapother and Aaron Hill

In shock and denial over his Marine father's death in battle, high school lacrosse star Conor Sullivan starts acting out in self destructive ways until he's kicked off the team and sent to a wilderness lacrosse camp run by his dad's Native American combat buddy (Adam Beach). With support from his girlfriend Brooklyn (Ashley Greene), Conor embraces the game's Native American roots and opens his eyes to the true meaning of sportsmanship and life.

Screened to enthusiastic cheers earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, A Warrior's Heart will soon be released in the US and Canada. I love a good drama and with the addition of Kellan Lutz and a shirtless Chord count me in!

The Marlen Boro Experience:

Tyrel by Marlen Boro

Photographer: (from the Greek φωτός (photos), meaning "light", and γράφω (graphos), meaning "written"), one who practices photography, one who makes a business of taking photographs

Model (modèle) sometimes called a mannequin, is a person who is employed for the purpose of displaying and promoting fashion clothing or other products and for advertising or promotional purposes or who poses for works of art

When I visit other sites and blogs which focus on the male form, it often seems the definitions applied to photographer and model featured are generally rather narrowly focused. The photographers are often 'the names'. You know who they are, all are talented for sure, yet...generally grossly overexposed. The models; usually ‘fashion’ models, agency signed, all great looking. Their images however, rarely get much attention until that one shoot with that one 'named' photographer when they show a little skin. Then…and usually only then, their shots get saved, copied and spread across every blog, site and tumblr.

FH is certainly not immune to sharing such shots. Some are so great, so impactful and of course hot, I want to feature them here as well. Yet... the longer I work on FH the less interest I have in sharing what is already being so generously shared by so many others.

For FH, my goal is to feature the entire definition of what photographers and models can be. Although I am sure many photographers featured hope one day their practice of image taking will somehow bring a degree of financial gain, many do it from a core need for creative expression. At one time or another all photographers were amateurs, for many, maybe out of pure need, this can be one of the most creative times in their career.

The magic of a great image is for me not as much what I see, but more what I feel when I see it. The specific reaction is not really important, it might be sexual arousal or as simple as a smile. Joy, excitement and even anger or confusion. It comes down to the combination of concept with the skill and creativity used to create it. With this definition in mind It is easy to choose the photographers I seek out to profile. It is not about their name, or the name of the model. It is about the experience I have when spending time with their images.

It was this past January that I first began profiling the work of Minnesota’s Marlen Boro. I had been in a bit of a blog rut. I actually get in these ruts often, sometimes weekly, sometimes even daily. Usually a particular image, artist or idea can pull me out quickly. There are a few artists I ‘go to’ when needing inspiration. The power of Michael Puff’s work generally pulls me back instantly. It was heading back to Michael’s site at the beginning of the year (which led to his work with Oliviero) which took me again to Model Mayhem. One click then another led me, maybe even pulled me to Marlen's page. There was such variety within his work, subtle beauty, raw sexuality, comedic themed shots, and immense creativity and of course...that window. For some reason the combination of hardwood, door moldings, male skin and that window instantly had obsessing to see more.

Marlen became the perfect partner to work with on regular features. Creative, supportive, a massive catalog of work, and an unending amount of energy and enthusiasm. Marlen was also challenged me, especially on what my definition of beauty. Marlen beautifully shoots traditional fashion and fitness models and loves every second of it. Shooting great looking men is not however where his greatest passion lies.

I love all of the men that Marlen has shot that I have been able to interview and profile. The incredible Sean Patrick Davey, Quinn Danger, Shawn M and others certainly fit one definition of modeling. This is the definition that others seem to be most comfortable with. These three models in particular were the ones most ‘saved’ and ‘shared’ from Marlen’s site and their features on FH. Although Marlen loved his work with each of these wonderful men, he is also protective and passionately supportive of all of his models, especially the ones who don’t get the same degree of attention.

It is this passionate support that aided Marlen's decision to refocus his work this year with the launch of Male Boudoir photography. Although I have described my thoughts on Marlen’s work many times the past 10 months I am not sure that I fully understood it until the past month or so. With the re-launching today of The Gentleman of Marlen Boro, my goal is to put it into words.

At the end of 12 or 13 years of school, your diploma, your baseball trophy, your ribbon for the science fair are symbols of your accomplishments. They do not however, speak to the experience. The experience of school is emotion filled, for man it involved huge struggles, happy times, friendships, learning, growing and for some...powerfully painful. A photographers completed image is in some ways that diploma. A final product which although beautiful, does not always speak to the experience and emotion involved in putting it together.

For a photographer, working for an ad agency in New York, talking about the experience might be almost laughable. There are time lines, pressures and money issues which means basically, you have to hurry up and get it done. For Marlen Boro, although not immune to time lines and money issues, living and working in Minnesota has given him the luxury of not having them dominate his intentions or his process. With Male Boudoir, Marlen’s intention is to create an experience for those who step in front of his lens.

You know when you watched Oprah and you see a make-over, the rather plain looking woman who is plucked out of line and transformed with a little, well ok a lot of make-up, hair product and clothes that actually fit. Sometimes these transformations can be quite powerful. The emotion is not so much how they end up looking (if they walked in looking like that there would be no emotion). The power comes out of the transformation, the changes the person may not have ever thought possible. Consider Marlen’s Male Boudoir an sensual make over or awakening. Instead of picking out clothes you remove them. Stripping away the image you have so carefully created, your protection and your shield. Although exposed and vulnerable, with Marlen your also completely safe. Safe to tap into parts of yourself you may not have had a chance to explore.

Men who have never seen themselves as attractive experience feeling sexy and desirable, bankers, usually stuck in suits all day experience a rarely felt freedom. Husbands and fathers who have felt forced to leave their maleness in their past can remind themselves it is time to bring get it back. Bodies, some covered in shame, become covered in light. With each shot, each pose, confidence rises. Like the make over’s on the Oprah show transformations occur. For the men who shoot with Male Boudoir, it is not important if they ever get a contract with Major or Elite, whether or not they shoot for Calvin Klein, whether or not their shots end up in GQ. But... for the time they spend shooting with Marlen, and hopefully for long after they feel like they could.

Even if they never get a campaign, even if they never make a penny in front of the camera, they are, by the pure definition above, as much a model as anyone walking the runways of Milan and Paris. There are thousands of men who actually fit the general look of a fashion model who never make a dime, so why should the experience be restricted to just the stereotype.

You can see by the pure joy on Tyrel's face he is enjoying the experience. His first shoot, his first time naked in front of the camera made for an empowering afternoon.

The images are the diploma, a symbol of the accomplishment, a bonus, a reminder of the experience. They can be shared with a partner, a wife, husband, lover, maybe even a creative blog... The images can also be tucked away, shared with no one. Maybe they will be pulled out years in the future, or maybe they will be forgotten. Many of us have no clue where our high school diploma is, but those years, they still effect almost every aspect of our life.

Male Boudoir Photography by Marlen Boro

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Favorite Pic of the Day for September 28th

For reasons (which I will expand upon when I profile more of the artists work) I am especially pleased to share this beautiful shot of G.P by Manuscript Photography.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Happy Birthday today September 28th to:

Happy 35th to Lenny Krayzelburg! More of Lenny HERE:
Check out more birthdays for September 28th HERE:

Favorite Yoga Instructor of the Day: Gianni

One To Watch:

So, I am not really a viewer of Mike & Molly but I did record and watch the season premier last night after Melissa McCarthy's fun EMMY win. I have loved Melissa since her time on Gilmore Girls and given all the attention she has been getting (including hosting SNL this week) I decided to give the show ago.

Standard sit-com fare is elevated by a talented likable cast led by Melissa and the incredible Katy Mixon. The highlight of last nights episode was the appearance of yoga instructor Gianni. At first glance I thought the incredible face belonged to Alex O'loughlin who I thought might have been making a guest appearance. Further inspection had me googling until I found that although the actor did have a 'ghlin' in his last name, the letters belonged at the end of the oh so hot actor Coby Ryan McLaughlin. Coby has been a regular on several tv shows including The Game, Women's Murder Club and Undressed and is without a doubt, one to watch!

Just Because: Commercials

With the invention of the DVR television commercials are basically a thing of the past for me. I love being able to fly through an hour long show in 18 minutes (sometimes less...). I do have fond memories of commercials as a child however, sometimes more the shows themselves, certain commercials remind me of certain times of our lives. There are two commercials currently running that both have made an impact on me, and I am sure of few of you.

Dairy Queen

Actor, writer and trapezer (yes trapezer) John Behlmann is so damned adorable and engaging I get a hard on every time I drive by a Dairy Queen. I am not even an ice cream guy but thoughts of blizzards and dipped cones have all now weaved together with thoughts of John. This talented actor has a long resume of television and stage work and the as the Dairy Queen guy, I could watch his commercials over and over! Join John on Facebook HERE:

And, on the flip side...

Weight Watchers
Every time the Jennifer Hudson weight watchers commercial comes on I, the most non violent person on the planet, want to find a gun and pull an Elvis on the television screen. I like Hudson, her talent is beyond, but this commercial seems to be on a loop playing to the point even the most dedicated of weight watchers members must be grabbing for the ruffles.

Raymond Meza: 'I sell SEX!'

Collaboration is essential in almost any job, any task and most certainly any art form. Visions however, although created and completed by many, always begin with just one person. within his work, Raymond Meza is that person. The photographer believes that a models job is to be the canvas and the great models are able to take on any form of art.

'I sell SEX... its pretty much in all my work. whether i have you dripping in tar or wrapped in freezing water.'

Below: Austin Uku

At just 23, Raymond is clear what his vision is but instead of long explanations as to what that is, he prefers to let the work speak for himself. To me, Ray's work taps into something the best chroniclers of erotica and sensuality instinctively know. Without a penis in sight, Raymond uses his creativity, his imagination to tap into small moments, ones we call can identify with, to create the sexual energy within his images.

Below: Cameron Brett

Check out more of Raymond's work on MM HERE: & see more of his work on his Facebook Page HERE:

Below: Charles Montreuil

Below: Christopher Perry & Nick William Taylor

Below: Mike Jessie

Below: John Castelo

Monday, September 26, 2011

Favorite Pic of the Day for September 27th


Happy Birthday today September 27th

Happy 43rd Patrick Muldoon!
More Birthday's HERE: HERE & HERE:

Just Because: Allan Hyde

Transformation is central to each of the characters on True Blood. Going from being alive to being a member of the undead, turning into a animal then back to human form is par for the course. Sadly, actor Allan Hyde transformed himself right off the series when his character Godric left to meet the sun on his own terms.

Hyde has gone through his own transformation, working non stop last year, six days a week, building his muscle mass. Although hot then, Allan is looking pretty incredible these days.

Winner for best treasure trail goes to...

Alan's talent, not to mention his new body is on display in the new web series Alla Salute! Alla Salute features best friends Claudio ( Aleksandar Antonijevic) and Patrik (Hyde). Check out the entire series on YOUTUBE HERE:

Male Beauty Captured by Leigh Carter

Above: Samuel

With all my lists of favorites (photographers, actors, links) I worry some who deserve to be spotlighted get lost now and then. I have a fond place for those photographers who worked on posts with me early on, long before the blog was established and built an audience. Photographer Leigh Carter was one of the artists who worked with FH on several posts as the site developed.

Above: Eros

Revisiting Leigh's site boy:gender last week reminded me what drew me to Leigh's work to begin with. Leigh's work may not have some of the razzel and flash of some of his contemporaries but his skill at capturing some of the UK's hottest men, especially with his black and whites, is undeniable. Leigh's images don't scream at you, they whisper softly and beautifully. When I was profiling Leigh's work with Nick Wolanski his focus on sensuality was how I was best able to put Leigh's work into words.

'What seems to streamline through all of his work is sensuality. Sensuality is, in essence, how in tune you are with your senses. Through Leigh's lens his models all seem be tuned in with their senses and their emotions.'

Check out more of the latest additions to Leigh site; Samual, Eros and Daniel on boy:gender HERE:
Check out more of Leigh's work on MM HERE:
More of Leigh on FH HERE:

Below: Daniel