Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Winter Sunset: Pete by Paul Smollen
At 7:09PM today, summer officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere of the planet. South of the equator, in Sydney Australia, June means the beginning of winter which runs through until the end of August. Although for most of the world, winter means the lowering of temperatures, in Australia the fluctuation is usually less severe than for in America, especially for those of us in the North East.
I have bee following the work of Australian photographer Paul Smollen for awhile now, but it was just this past May that FH first featured his work in a profile with model Hendri, Aquatic Absolute. I am always thrilled when he artists I profile enjoy their experience with being featured and during the process Paul offered to put together a shoot exclusively for FH. Paul did not put any conditions or restrictions on the shoot, instead simply asked me to spend time with his book, choose a model myself, he would take it from there.
When going through Paul's images I came across a mystery man, Peter, no MM page or link to see more, just a beautiful naked back, bum and legs standing on a balcony in Kings Cross Australia overlooking the city of Sydney. The decision was easy, Pete it was!
'Pete does not work as a model but he is one of my favourite subjects to shoot. I was ecstatic that Tye choose Pete for the exclusive photo series for Favourite Hunks Blog and I knew that I had to shoot Pete in the rich orange glow that only a winter sunset in Sydney could provide. One that bathes Pete in a glow that reflects his personality.'
Paul first meet Pete at work and although at first they worked in separate departments, after a few years Paul became his manager. About that same time, Paul was getting back into photography after spending a few of years away from the lens. Mostly shooting landscapes and still life, Paul had avoided photographing people. The photographer says since he spent his days dealing with so many people, he didn't want to spend his off time photographing them as well. Instead, this time was devoted into escaping into nature life.
Paul found however that in shooting life, you couldn't really avoid people, and the artistic pull was becoming too strong to ignore. In his head, all the projects he was envisioning ended up with human as the subject. So shooting people it was. Paul knew he had to first find some test subjects and the first person he approached was Pete.
'I have photographed Pete on four occasions now, and he has never said no to a single idea or style I have placed him into. He is also one of the easiest subjects I have ever shot, I don’t know if that stems from us being friends, but Pete is just at ease in front of the camera and knows how and where to stand and understand my often cryptic direction. I adore shooting Pete for the simple fact I think you really see him in the images. There is no act there is no pose there is no character that is created for the shot, it is Pete just being Pete. To know Pete is to actually look at him in an image and see a calm and grace filled persona and good heart in the eyes. It also doesn’t hurt that he also possesses an amazing bum.'
See more of Paul Smollen at his official Site HERE:
and on Facebook & ModelMayhem