I am a little sad that I am missing the Glee tour this summer. This of course led to feeling a little pathetic as I am in my thirties. This...again turned into a little sadness. This...was nothing a little Chord Overstreet cannot fix!
I have this little rule I try to follow that when I profile a model, a photographer an artist, I try to limit the shots I use to about 10 or 12. Often I will push it to 15 but it is rare I go much beyond that. I do this as I try to make FH more than just a 'picture posting' blog so try to ensure I maintain somewhat of a balance between photos and text. When putting together my profile today of model Aaron Lee Smith that was pretty much impossible. My 34 initial shots became 30, then 25 then I thought screw it. I figured since Aaron was nice enough to take my favorites questionnaire I could simply cheat and separate the post into two parts. The shots in this first section are my favorites of Aaron by Chris Gosses from Gosses Photography.
Favorites: Aaron Lee Smith:
Nickname: Big A Pet as a kid: German shepherd named Poochie TV Show: I don't watch television Favorite movie: 9 to 5 Favorite Actress: Reese Witherspoon Cartoon character: Tom & Jerry Halloween Costume:Punk rocker Singer: Madonna Food: Pizza! Restaurant: Little mom & pop place called, Lola's Pizza in Charleston, WV Drink: I love beer but also a weakness for dirty martini's Subject in school: show choir under the direction of David Legg Celebrity twin: That guy from the biggest loser, the trainer, so I am told. Celebrity crush: Linda Carter Moment in High School: When I realized that not being popular really wasn't so bad...
Besides incredible mountains (it is the Mountain State), the coal industry and white water rafting, West Virginia has a rich political history. On June 20th, 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared the northwestern portion of Virginia to be returned to the Union, and West Virginia became the 35th state. I think at some point in the future West Virginia might also be known as the home of Aaron Lee Smith.
On the surface 34 year old Aaron Lee Smith fits the country boy stereotype to a T. This first series of shots (from Hunter Shelton) showcases more than just Aaron's amazing chest. Fields, hay, ripped jeans, t-shirt, no shirt at all, in this series of shots, Hunter captures the 'country boy' look to perfection. But like with most stereotypes, there is much more to Aaron Lee Smith.
Aaron keeps in shape by lifting weights and usually keeps working out until they kick him out of the gym. Aaron always tries his best and says he would give almost anybody in need the shirt off his back. Although he loves his home State, Aaron is looking to view new horizons beyond those West Virginia mountains, This creative soul says a future move might be coming down the road.
'I love music, writing and learning something new. I practice positive affirmations and maintain an open mind and keep an open heart.' Aaron Lee Smith
Aaron is a person who believes that anything is possible. This positive attitude has served Aaron well. While some modelling agencies seem for some reason to have an affinity for 16 year olds with mannequin type bodies, Aaron, at 33 recently signed his first 2 year contract with a Modeling Agency. (Directions USA). I am not sure what took so long as Aaron's great face, amazing body and attitude certainly command attention. I respect Aaron sticking with it and am sure positive things will follow with the right exposure.
'This experience came to fruition through the power of positive thinking and the separation from a negative past. If you believe in yourself....so will everyone else.'
You can check out more of Aaron's work on ModelMayhem HERE:
Sometimes what draws me to a model, to a photo, to an artist can be as just one split second. I was flicking quickly through the pages of a site a couple of weeks ago when an image got stuck in my mind. I did not smartly stop and take note of the shot right away. Instead I continued to flick through more pages before realizing it was inevitable that I would go back and take a closer look. As usual though, (I know you have been there too) the image,that just a few minutes ago leaped directly onto my radar...now seemed to be hiding...
The image (seen further below) was of an adorable guy, laying on his stomach, naked. Arms over a pillow, glasses in hand, one arm of the glasses gently sitting between his lips. There was something about the shot, his looking to the side, the light on his skin, and especially those glasses that had me wanting to see more.
The model turned out to be 28 year old science student Matt Shawshank (and yes FH readers, I did attempt to weave Matt's name into a clever title for the post, The Shawshank Extension came to mind but. decided I would be going for the easy joke).
'I hopes to display my thoughts and feelings through outward expression, and to help others do the same through their photos of me.' Matt Shawshank
I can think of no one better collaborator of outward expression than Kentucky photographer JC Norton. JC Norton specializes in portfolio development for fitness models and bodybuilders. You can see some of the models, and more of his work, at his website, Musclehead Graphics. He does fairly frequent shoots at competitions and competition shots are posted on his Facebook page as well as on competition websites. JC also produces limited edition fine art prints and has had work in exhibitions. His prints are in collections throughout the US and overseas and many can be found on his page at My Art Space found Here:
Directly below: That one split second shot that initially captured my eye:
'I worked with Matt Shawshank quite a while ago, in 2006, in fact. He is a wonderful model -- takes direction well and brings ideas to the shoot, something I like quite a lot, as I really enjoy working with models who have ideas they want to explore visually. For this shoot, we did a bit of edgy fashion and some fitness work, but focused primarily on the fine art side of things. We got some wonderful figure studies, but spent most of the time, working on two conceptual projects. The first was a group of images depicting the Seven Deadly Sins. It's an idea I'd done before with other models and one to which I will return, but the group done with Matt is a favorite. The second was a concept piece I'd been thinking about for quite a while, a group of images based on the myth of the Minotaur. For this, I needed two adventurous and very patient models as the process was protracted, both in the shoot itself and in the post production. The result was a limited edition portfolio, several pieces of which are presented here. One image from the group was exhibited at the Nude International in 2007. I hope to work with him again sometime.'
THE MINOTAUROS (or Minotaur) was a bull-headed monster born to Queen Pasiphae of Krete after she had coupled with a bull. The creature resided in the twisting maze of the labyrinth, where he was offfered a regular sacrifice of youths and maids to satisfy his cannibalistic hunger. He was eventually destroyed by the hero Theseus. The Minotauros' proper name Asterion, "the starry one,"