ESPN's Body Issue is always spectacular, celebrating not just the physical, but the hard work and dedication that goes into creating the muscle and skill required to be the best at whatever sport you have chosen. It is always interesting to see the different bodies types that connect with the different sport the athlete has dedicated their athletic life to.
Given my sport of choice is hockey, it is great to see a hockey player getting so much attention, especially if that player is the delicious, and nutritious, center Tyler Seguin. The Canadian born Seguin currently plays with The Dallas Stars and is well known for his fun side and sense of humour, especially on Twitter.
Besides being a talented athlete, Tyler is incredibly sexy and a natural in front of the camera. Tyler seems to love the lens and there were no shortage of hot images to narrow down for this piece. Tyler looks great in almost all of his photos, especially his great grin, but has also posed for many professional photographers as you can see from some of the images included.
Below, Tyler with long time friend, sometime room mate, hockey comrade, sometimes golf partner and fellow party goer Tyler Brown
I find one of the trickiest parts of putting together a piece for FH is choosing the pic of the day. Because I consider the blog a magazine of sorts, the POTD is the cover, an image which I hope will encourage viewers to want to scroll down. Sometimes I go for a 'teaser', an image that gives a hint of what's to come. Other times I choose an image that visually unveils the most, laying out a tone for the story below. Most times however, I just go with the blogs theme and choose my favorite.
Last month, when first featuring the work of Patrick from Photoby010, (Static & Flow) I chose an image of Ron. Sometimes it's hard to choose just one model when working with a series of images featuring different models, but there was just something about Patrick's images of Ron which made the task so much easier.
I know it's risky to speak in generalities about any culture or race, but there are just certain features I have come to associate with the location in which a man was born. Living in North America, I always had a specific notion, usually based on movies I had seen, about European men. The blonde Swede, the tall and usually thin German man and the red haired Scotsmen. Truth is, there really doesn't seem to be particular genetic traits associated with location, but there are certainly visuals in the media that would have us think so.
Yet... part of what drew me so much to Patrick's images of Ron, were how beautifully they fit into my minds visual fantasy of Dutch men in The Netherlands. I think in part, it is Ron's body shape, beautiful eyes, facial structure and mouth. I also think in part it was that his look is in many ways timeless. For those of us who did not grow up in Europe, there is a classical artistry and history weaved in so much of what we know.
So many models today are defined by time. They have the currently hot 'body type', hairstyle and the far too commonly placed 'model tats.' Just look at any back issue of Playgirl, and even without a stitch of clothing, you can tell by hair length and body hair, (think the mullet...) exactly what decade the model was shot in. Although Patrick shot Ron just last year, except for maybe his arm tattoo, his look and the images, especially his face, are not weighed down by time.
After seeing Ron's images on a model site, Patrick contacted him a shoot. Ron jumped on board and along with the body shots, wanted to add some fashion shots to his portfolio. Ron travelled by train from one side of the country to Rotterdam, where Patrick's studio is located. 010 is actually the area code for Rotterdam, which is where Photoby010 originated.
Patrick's goal was weaving the erotic with the artistic and focused on light and shadow to achieve the look he wanted, especially with the nudes and the images of Ron on the red pillow. Ron is undeniably hot, especially his beautiful yes. I was curious though, as to whether he was at all shy during the shooting process?
'Ron was very open about his private life and was talking about himself during the shoot. Ron wasn't shy at all. Ron was very open minded and did everything I asked. He had no problems at all dropping his clothes off.'
'To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning... in the same way as it is for women.' Pietro Boselli
Model Pietro Boselli in unequivocally gorgeous. Great body, (those legs...) perfect hair, great face and those beautiful eyes. Pietro is also an academic, a math lecturer (TA really) in an industrial engineering program. Earlier this year, Pietro had the audacity to vocalize struggling with being seen as a hunk and the response was swift and severe and laced with mockery. 'Poor Pietro, what a horrible problem', 'How dare he, given he gets paid to be a model, make such a comment.'
Initially, I chose not to respond. Every blog and site focused on the male form had some sort of post, most using the unoriginal 'Hot For Teacher' as the title. I also didn't respond because I understood where Pietro was coming from. Although I run a site devoted to the male form, I understand completely the need to have some control over the attention that comes my way. With the story of his 'day job' out, Pietro found himself not a academic who models for extra cash, but instead a teacher model with his worlds banged together by media and the net. I then wrote an article, in Pietro's defence, but a week later, deleted the piece.
As I got ready to post, Pietro's ATTITUDE cover came out, using the already old 'Hot For Teacher' as part of it's promotional campaign. Next, Pietro's headlined Charlie's #Headmaster underwear collection using a student desk, glasses and an apple as part of the shoot. Although Pietro may not have come up with these idea's, it was clear he had now accepted that the role of 'teacher' was now part of his identity as a model.
My article seemed no longer relevant, yet the basic premise was one I didn't want to let go. When I was in high school I played sports. I played baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter. My family was hockey, my siblings all played and my father coached. I enjoyed basketball, to watch, but never really enjoyed playing. With my height however, I was always asked if I played. In grade 11, the new coach asked me to join early in the season. No try out, just join as they were down in numbers. I joined, I played, I did ok, not the worst player on the team, but far from the best. I never really enjoyed it. I never played in an organized league again, basketball again became something I just watched, but did not participate in.
Sometimes we do things we don't necessarily love. This is especially true when it comes to earning a living. Although many find it difficult to believe, not every actor and singer want fame, some... fell into fame pursuing their passion for their art. Today's world is so full of fame whores, it is unimaginable to some that people who could have fame, choose to step back and let their work speak for itself. This philosophy applies to everyone, including models.
I have a pretty good track record with models saying yes when I approach them about being on FH. But there are always a few not interested. Some, maybe because of the site, but most politely write back saying they model for work, and welcome a profile, if I pay. I don't. Although I don't claim to have made any model famous, I do know appearing on FH has led some models to paid work and connections with other photographers and agencies. Seeking success as a male model for some, is about those connections, those contracts, those editorials and those pay cheques. If you study models on social media, not all are as comfortable as others with the attention and adoration that comes with their career.
It is possible to model, even underwear or nude work and be uncomfortable with being admired as a sex object. There are many who might be comfortable with the shooting process, but experience nervousness or anxiety over the fame that may come with it. It was disheartening to see so many comments, many from people who preach acceptance and freedom out one side of their mouths, judging and belittling another for their feelings. I know it may be the way of the world, but it is ironic and judgemental none the less. Pietro exposes much of himself through his work, it is fine by me if he feels the need to set a boundary on where it starts, and where it ends.
I have always been more comfortable with the attention I pull towards myself, than the attention others may bestow on me. I have gotten up and sang on karaoke night one week, then been paralysed with fear when pressured to sing on another. There are many factors as to why, my stress level, who I am with, how I am feeling and of course, how much alcohol I might have. Fame is an odd thing and there are no rules to how to handle it. Some fly with it, others crash and burn. If a model puts himself out there, but prefers to put his head down, make his money and not pay attention to the attention that surrounds him, that is just fine with me.