Friday, July 11, 2014

What Lies Beneath: Ty by Stephen Kahrs

When writing features for FH, especially when describing what I like about a certain models look, I try to be respectful and keep my commentary dignified and classy. Although I may mention a specific quality that stands out, like beautiful eyes, or an overall great physique, I try not to get too specific about body parts and instead, attempt to describe their overall look.

Sometimes, with some models this proves more of a challenge. Sometimes there are attributes that stand out from the rest. On those occasions, it would be next to impossible to write a feature and ignore the elephant in the room. When photographer Stephen Kahrs sent on the results of his work with 30 year old Santa Cruz model Ty, I was left deciding what to do about a specific, albeit very impressive, pachyderm. . Some of you may also remember that I wrote about my dislike of photoshopped and manipulated members in past stories. So, before beginning, I had to ask Stephen the obvious...

Tye: Any photoshopping involved?
Stephen: No, no photoshopping what so ever!

With that out of the way, it was time to proceed, come up with a focus for the story. I had actually featured Ty's work once before, in a shoot with Mark Grantham back in 2012,  In Your Face. In that piece, most of the shots were full body shots, from a bit of a distance, so I didn't have the distraction or worry of shafting any specific body part.

It was also interesting to see the diversity and range in the work of Stephen Kahrs. I first contacted Stephen in 2012 when working on a story on J. Fenty. I entitled the feature Masculine Sensuality because of J's almost ethereal look, and the beautifully erotic way Stephen had captured him. The images were sensual, but also purposely restrained to best capture his model. In fact each of the follow-ups featuring Stephen's work included incredible imagery, both sexy and elegant. Although there were nudes, this is the first time sharing images featuring full frontal images.

'When I first saw him, I couldn't get over the beautiful eyes that he had. He was very cordial and friendly. I have to laugh because after complimenting my photography he said something to the effect ‘Damn, you’ve shot with some hot guys!’ We immediately got to shooting and he didn’t hesitate to bare all. It took a few minutes to acclimate to the way each other works and within minutes Ty was bringing on the sensual masculinity that I like my work to convey. We shot some really revealing underwear images at first and although he was wearing underwear, there was little left for the imagination and it was easy to see that he was carrying a huge package.'

For both photographers and models, as well as myself when putting together a blog piece, It is always a question as to how much focus you should give the penis. Sometimes full frontals can be a distraction, other times, excluding them can have viewers feeling they are being teased. I think the answer really comes down to the comfort level and confidence of the model.

Stephen reports one of the things he enjoyed so much about this shoot was how comfortable Ty was in front of the camera. Stephen says Ty became more sexually charged with each click of the shutter and his energy became increasingly intense as they moved forward. Ty said he wanted to give it his best because he does not get to the East Coast that much and it may be the only time he and Stephen would work together. I think Ty's feelings will be mirrored by those enjoying Stephen's captures. As one scrolls down, with each new image the intensity of energy builds. Ty's confidence and strength, not to mention his penetrating..... stare, only make the images that much hotter.

Stephen Kahrs on FH:

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