No celebration of summer would be complete without a nod to the speedo, in particular today, the classic black bikini. Both loved and hated, not to mention the butt of many jokes, the once popular form of swimwear has, except for sport, become pretty much extinct in North America. As women's bathing suits get smaller and smaller, men's seem to get bulkier with each passing year. Not everyone can pull a speedo off, but for the men who can, they look is sporty, classic, sophisticated and incredibly sexy.
When I decided one of this weeks summer themed pieces would be the black speedo, I saw red. Rob red. Back in 2013, I featured the work of Sydney photographer Scott Clare from ClareVoyance Photogrphy and his incredible shots of Adam. (Sunday Morning At Home) I remembered when putting together that piece, Scott's amazing shots of model Rob Cattanach.
I love combinations of Black and Red, the evoke strength and drama and draw the eye of the viewer. With Scott's images of Rob, the black and red seem to be raging a battle for the viewers attention, but there is no loser, no matter where you look, your more than rewarded.
'I can honestly say that modeling has been a huge change from what I used to do. I was in the Army prior to modeling. It's a lot different from trying not to catch any one's eye to being in front of the camera.'
Over the past few months, I have featured several models who had moved into the world of modeling after leaving the military. I was really struck by Joshua's comment comparing the transition of two such different worlds. With modeling, the main objective is to be seen and noticed, especially by the right people, the ones who might be able to advance and further your career. In the army, no matter how difficult the task, the goal is lay low, and go as unnoticed as possible. Standing out in any way can often lead to unwanted consequences.
Joshua's images certainly caught my eye, more in fact the longer I spent working on the piece. I always love featuring the work of photographer Stephen Kahrs. I have been working with Stephen on featured for FH since 2012, and he is one of the most professional and kindest photographers to collaborate with. He is also one of the most talented. Stephen knows instinctively how to best present the models he shoots and I think in addition to becoming a favorite of mine, his work with Joshua is some of his best.
Joshua has a great look, both engaging and unassumingly sexy. Joshua has a great body and his face is both youthful yet full of character. His nose, ears and blue eyes are beautifully distinctive and give him a classic, almost timeless look, which Stephen skillfully incorporated within the creative process. Stephen's choice of location, fashion and especially the vibrant colors help bring about a retro feel. There is something almost cinematic, with Joshua channelling some of the debonair and sophisticated qualities of movie stars from an earlier time.
Although debonair and sophisticated may not have been words to describe Joshua when in the army, they are certainly adjectives he beautifully expresses on camera. Joshua's only started mdoeling recently. It was back near the end of April, he had only been back home for a few weeks when he was asked to model. 'It was for some new friends, and they said they would love to shoot with me. After a few weeks I found my photo's were getting a little attention. Sense then I have been getting the chance to a wide variety of photographers.'
Stephen came upon a image of Joshua on a facebook group called 'New England Model's and Photographers'. Stephen's first thought was that Joshua's look was so "All American Boy". The image Stephen saw also had a little vintage feel to it, and he knew right away that he wanted to incorporate a vintage feel to some of the images that he would shoot with him. They began their shoot with a plan to capture some editorial images in and around Rockport, Massachusetts. They began shooting around the Harbor and he and Joshua quickly established a good model/photographer rapport and great images began rolling out.
'We went into the shoot wanting to shoot a few locations so after shooting for a bit at Rockport Harbor we packed the car and drove to Cape Ann's Halibut Point park. By then it was getting quite warm and once there we had a long hike to the Quarry where we shot the amazing images of Joshua wearing the black bikini. I should clarify that when I shoot, I like to bring lighting gear with me and I usually have an assistant. Not that day. From the quarry we moved to the rocks out at Halibut Point. It was here that we shot out best images. My favorites are the images of Joshua in the vintage bathing trunks which really evoke that 'All American Boy" feel. It was an exhausting day for both of us but we are both quite satisfied with the amount of great images we captured that day.'
'The shoot with Stephen was a blast. He made the shoot incredibly fun, and he was open to any idea I tossed out. The day its self of the shoot was beautiful and we drove out about 3 hours for the shoot its self. we took most of our shots up north right by the border of Mass. The day was was a perfectly sunny day, and it went perfect with the ocean as light streamed through the water. The ocean was gorges and it was awesome to get in the water for some of shoot.'