Saturday, November 1, 2014

Maturation: Bond by New Manhattan Studios

'I still don’t think Bond has any awareness of the power of his looks. There still isn’t a pretentious bone in his body. He’s still the cute kid next door... who can smoulder and swagger with the best of them!'

It is always a honour when an artist or model entrusts me to feature their work. For most of the artists I profile, photography is not just a job, but a passionate pursuit. Unveiling the results for the exposure of the Internet's critical eye can be a risk. It is especially gratifying for me, when I am able to go behind the scenes and through images, detail and share the evolution of the creative process. As I stated in Friday's Halloween feature, New Manhattan's Studios owner Wes first began mentioning his work with New York model Bond earlier in the year. I could instantly detect the excitement and enthusiasm Wes had for both Bond, and the work they were creating together.

'When Bond presented himself in the studio on a frigid January night in the first days of the year I had no reason to think that he would become an enduring presence in the studio. We have now worked with him six times in the past ten months. Nor did I see anything that first night to suggest there was potential for him to blossom into one of the most compelling models we would work with in 2014. Today he holds the distinction of being the second-most photographed model in the studio’s portfolio.'

Wes, along with stylist and production assistant Alex Corso, (pictured assisting Bond in some of the images) had spent 9 months and 6 shoots capturing moments. Moments in Studio, moments on a farm, moments out and about in Manhattan. It wasn’t just the locations that changed. Wes and Alex captured different looks, different hairstyles and different degrees of risk within the work.

The changes were not just with Bond, the one in front of the lens, changes were also occurring with Wes and Alex, the ones behind it. Alex, also a model, has been assisting Wes for a while now, but with Bond he found himself taking on more and more creative responsibility. Instead of assisting with conveying just Wes's vision, as second photographer on some of the shoots, Alex found himself looking to convey his own vision at times, putting his own stamps on the images produced. This came in very handy on the last shoot because of camera issues it was mostly Alex's images that were used the Orange & Black presentation.

'Shooting Bond was interesting. I'm obviously working with a sexy nude man in front of me, but at the same time he is a person I sit down at a bar and have drinks with. When I shoot a person I have some background with, I tend to be more conservative, making the pictures more about the facial expression than the body. The face should capture the viewers' attention, making them more interested in the person, not just "a hot nude guy." On that that note, when it comes to posing, Bond's facial expressions are great, he can be shy, aggressive, flirtatious or simply just hot.'

'Wes and Alex are a fantastic team. I have been working with them for almost a year now. Their friendly and professional nature has given me confidence in front the camera that definitely didn't exist before.'

That confidence Bond describes can be beautifully seen within the evolution of the images in the piece below. The images span their work over the last nine months and most of the last six shoots. I have purposed saved the images from the farm, in the hopes of a more detailed piece in the future. The words, all from Wes, detail the process from beginning to the October shoot which produced the work seen on Halloween. Thanks to Bond, Alex and Wes for sharing both the images, and the story of how they all came together!

Bond On New Manhattan Studios

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