Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Investing: Phillip Phillips

It is hard to believe it was 12 years ago that Kelly Clarkson won the first season of American Idol. I was still in my twenties, a few years out of University and had just moved an hour away from my friends and family to start a new job. I remember investing in Kelly's win, could not image Justin taking it and not at all surprised when Tamyra Gray got the boot. She could sing circles around Justin and Nikki but her cold presentation rubbed many the wrong way.

Season two was all Clay and Kimberly for me. Loved them both, watching their solos and in the group numbers. I still keep up with Kimberly but any appeal for Clay went out the window shortly after the show ended. But, he was incredible on that season and I voted my ass off and was as indigent as I would allow myself to be about the loss of a singer on a reality television show.

I lost about half my passion for the show by season 3. Although it rebounded briefly listening to the incredible voice of Elliott Yamin for the most part each season has blended together into a Motown, Bryan Adams, bad Whitney Houston ballad nightmare. American Idol, once a show I waited for, once a show I had people over to watch is now just a show I DVR out of habit. 2 Hours of Idol can be watched in about 11 minutes (DVR time, 1 minute for the results show).

But...darn it if I am not again investing. Not in the show mind you but in singer Phillip Phillips. First off the name, second ADORABLE, third, talented as hell. I loved his audition and last week's Hard To Handle was outstanding and last night's Billy Joel classic 'Movin Out' also a stan out from the rest. Forth might be the fact he was in the middle of surgery for kidney stones last week he still managed to hit the stage as if all was just fine. His Idol roommate Heejun Ham's habit of taking twitter pics of Phillip half asleep only add to the appeal...

JGH Photography: Neutrality... Not An Option:

Above: Caden Johnson

'I’ve been fascinated by the nude figure for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved drawings more than paintings and as a kid I used to trace DaVinci’s and Michelangelo’s sketches with my finger in a big art book my parents had. That’s why I started creating my own art—to see what I could bring to the form and what I could draw out of the models. I always have concepts prepared before a shoot, but often those go out the window depending on the energy of the model.

My favorite shoots are the ones where the model is as interested in creating a good shot as I am, where they can see how subtle changing in lighting and poses make them look completely different. I don’t do a ton of post production work anymore; I take my time to get my lighting and settings right so the shots are good right out of the camera.'
John from JGH Photography

Body Of Adonis

'Marvin, Body Of Adonis, is a personal trainer, a football player, a singer and a model. One of my photography instructors had met Marvin when he showed up to the studio for a shoot; later, when this instructor saw the photos we did he couldn’t believe it was the same guy (in the instructor’s words, “He looked like a STICK with his clothes on!”)'

'Marvin conveys raw power just sitting in a chair. His back, glutes and legs photograph beautifully and I love playing with the light to bring these out. When photographing men it can be difficult to celebrate the nudity without it becoming purely sexual, but I can do that with Marvin. The shots with the globe happened when I tossed him an exercise ball and we worked up some poses. When he lifted it up in one hand he said he felt like Atlas holding up the sky, and it was a natural connection to paint in a photograph of the earth in post production.'

'I’ve shot both men and women. I can appreciate the esses and curves of the female nude but I’m captivated by the strength, breadth, and power of the male glutes, legs, chest and back. As I studied drawings and photographs of male nudes I was always trying to figure out what made this pose work so much better than that pose. Why did one pose trigger an emotional response, while another pose—just a shade different—fell flat? And I love showing my work to people to see whether they respond—not to the nudity, but to the overall feeling of the photo. My only requirement is they can’t be neutral. They can love it or hate it—but tell me why. I’ve met a lot of fascinating people both as models and fellow photographers who have critiqued my work.'

Caden Johnson

If I were to list what it is about a man that I am usually drawn to there would be little that could apply to Caden. Yet, it was John's shots of Caden that caught my attention and drew me quickly and seductively in. When a photographer has me passionately enamoured with images, with a model with features so unlike what I are in my zone of attraction, I know I must learn more. I beleive that as John described above, it is the artist's devotion to capturing that strength, the breadth, and power of the male form has the viewer feeling the same passion about the work, about the man, that the artist does.

'I love shooting with Caden; he’s an extrovert without a camera-shy bone in his body. We’ve shot four sessions together and I can’t wait for the next one. He makes every shoot a true collaboration, he’s fascinated by how the light and shadow play on his body and adjusts his posing to get the best shot.'

'I didn’t think I’d be a big fan of body art but I really admired his tattoos, they’re very carefully designed and they make beautiful patterns depending on how his arms are positioned. My favorite shot of him so far is the one of him laying on his side; the pose is relaxed yet there’s something regal about it. He reminds me of a lion in this one.'


'Kory is the first model who posed nude for me, and the youngest, and boy did I luck out. I haven’t met anyone who’s as comfortable in their own skin as Kory is. It’s this level of comfort that I find so appealing in his poses. There’s a tender quality to his expressions but no hint of vulnerability. We did two sessions back to back in my studio and he went out of state for college; a year later he texted me when he was home for Christmas and we quickly set something up. It’s always a joy to work with him.'


'What can you say about Julian? At 37 he’s beautiful from every angle with abs that won’t quit. He left a compliment in my Model Mayhem portfolio and we scheduled a shoot. Once I decided on how to light him we began crafting the poses. Every time he moved another beautiful muscle would pop, another curve would come into play; he was David come to life. He’s so well built but hasn’t gone to the extreme in his personal training.'

'To get these shots Julian had to work very hard to get the muscles to “pop” just as I clicked the shutter. I’d give him a three count: “Okay, one, two, three, SQUEEZE!” He’d flex and suddenly every beautiful ripple would appear. I absolutely love the statuesque quality of the shots we did together.'

'I’ve especially enjoyed the sessions with guys in their thirties or forties who have worked hard to keep themselves in shape; it’s a documentation of where they are in life and I hope they enjoy the photos when they’re in their eighties.'

JGH Photography On ModelMayhem
JGH Photography Official Site:


The Gentlemen Of Marlen Boro

Today mark's the 50th edition of The Gentlemen Of Marlen Boro on FH. Working with Marlen the past 15 months has been a truly wonderful experience and his generosity has led to dozens upon dozens of amazing models, and incredible men being introduced to myself and the readers of FH

On this 50th GOMB post it is fitting that I once again showcase the work of a model, actor, dancer that I featured before I first saw his work close to four years ago, long before I began working with Marlen.

He has such an appealing quality, his hot body, sly grin and outgoing personality that I hope to continue to feature his work, both modeling and dancing.