'We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts and live our own lives in a way that is not possible for those keeping up with the crowd.'
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's, or even later thanks to repeats and DVD, remember those iconic images of the Ingalls sisters bounding down that hill. Carrie falling down in the opening credits, and Laura leaping in the air, in the closing were especially memorable. I am not sure that anyone at the time could have imagined that one day, an artist would re-create those famous visuals, and the feelings of joy and freedom within them, using the naked male form.
That is what is so fantastic about this set of images of from Michael Deer of Pride of Paradise Photography. Storytelling is such an important part of why I love certain images and artists. A great solo portrait or nude image can stand strong on it's own, but a story driven series, especially one as creative and whimsical as this set from Michael can evoke something more. The blending an erotic now, with the retro feel of then, is especially compelling and unique.
Michael's aim is to provide a different view, not just for those visually enjoying his work, but a different view of themselves for those who model for him. Developing Portfolio's for models, moving from mild to wild and everywhere in between is one of Michael's current passions and if you spend time on his Model Mayhem portfolio you will certainly see the wild and much more beyond the mild. Michael's images have a distinct look an feel, vibrant, colorful and dramatic. There is an energy in Michael's work not just because of the movement he often captures but because of his choice of models, the heightened emotion, and the way his images have the feel of a painting, carefully put together in stages, not just the capturing of one single moment.
I mentioned choice of model intentionally. Little House On The Prairie wasn't the only retro influence in this shoot, so was the way in which Michael met Bill, the model frolicking naked in the field. Hitchhiking, once a common mode of transportation for some, provided the meeting opportunity for artist and photographer back in 2012. Michael says that Bill began modeling for him the following week. It was Bill's first professional shoot and Michael remains the only professional photographer Bill has worked with.
I can see why Michael wanted Bill in front of his camera. Great face and incredible brown eyes, both youthful and beautifully soulful. Bill has a lean fit body and an appeal stemming from a raw sexuality and uninhibited quality that comes through in his images and facial expressions. One has the feeling Bill is living a well lived and with his Model Mayhem name being scarredbychrist, you can only imagine the many stories still untold.
Michael and Bill shot on their own private little prairie in a field near Michael's studio and home last April. It was a beautiful morning shoot and it was the feeling of freedom I described above that was their goal. Freedom took on even more meaning as the day went on. It was on the day of the shoot Bill found out his his girlfriend was pregnant and he was going to be a father. As of this writing, Bill's son is almost one month old.
When it comes to fitness, especially fitness training and advice, it can be difficult to know exactly who to put your trust in. The best in the business know, that although most are looking to change how they look, the most important part of any change is altering self perception.
Atlanta fitness model Ricardo Arroyo receive's his greatest satisfaction not just with the dropping of pounds, but with each step taken, and each goal achieved. Born and raised in Guayaquil Ecuador, for as long as he remember, Ricardo was on the move. Military school kept him active with sports and a love of soccer and volleyball has continued. Ricardo played in the semi-pro league in New Jersey but also loves dancing as a way to keep moving. Currently studying marketing, Ricardo says that nothing he has experienced inspires more passion and devotion in him than fitness.
'I love to see other people train, not just for looks, but because every time they do it, they are a step closer to their goals. I wish I could say that all of the goals I have achieved were all thanks to me, but I can't. Everyone around me helped me reach my goals, by motivating me, cheering me on and feeling inspired when they see my pics or videos.'
Those pics and video's are essential for Ricardo as it is that visual that is evidence of what the person has to offer. These photographs from photographer and images maker Trevor Green, beautifully illustrate not just the hard work, sweat and the dedication Ricardo has dedicated towards his own health and body but images also have a motivational, yet fun way of inspiring others to want the same for themselves. As an art director for an ad agency in Atlanta, Trevor describes his influences from the fashion world including master photographers, Dahl-wolfe, Horst, and Avedon, as well as the top current leaders, Bruce Webber, Herb Ritts and David La Chapelle, as well as some of favorites on here.
It is great to have Trevor's work again on the blog, the last time we collaborated on a piece for FH was back in 2011 so it great to have his images, especially of Ricardo to share. I have always love how Trevor creatively weaves together the physical strength of his models with aspects of their personality, often adding a bit of fun and playfulness. So many fitness images have models looking so series, often with almost a pained look on their faces. Through Trevor's lens, Ricardo looks like someone you would not only learn from, but enjoy spending time with.