There isn't really just one way to shoot a model. Many artists use different themes, locations and styles. Some photographers have studios and use professional lighting and have access to stylists, make-up artists and high tech equipment to help capture the perfect shot. What all of these artists have in common is their subject matter. All of the photographers have that I profile, no matter what their method, is their passion to capture, and their appreciation and vision, of the male form.
Fred Sugar is part of the group I like to call the 'travelling photographer'. Fred spends most of his time travelling through the Southern States shooting models and porn stars in the only location available, hotel and motel rooms. With the temporary studio already styled and dressed, the emphasis becomes on bringing out the personality, charisma and spark of the models Fred works with.
I certainly saw the spark in Tex, (Heavy -Duty) the first model and shoot I featured of Fred's this past April. I also can feel the spark in Phil Herrup, especially in Fred's shower series. When shooting in motel rooms, the shower, along with the bed and in front of the window, often become three of a limited list of locations to shoot. The shower can often be a great choice as it is somewhere one might naturally find themselves naked.
'Mainly when it comes to photography, I like nice simple backgrounds, love playing with lighting, all of the typical things. As for models, I love real people, I like guys who have lived, rugged looks. I like women the same way. Not a fan of any kinds of plastic surgery, botox or any of that in models that I photograph.'
This natural element cannot be overlooked. Travelling photographers, and the models who they work with, already have obstacles to over come. Firstly, most have not met before. They don't live in the same town, they don't always have the luxury of getting together for coffee, getting to know, and become comfortable with each other. Secondly, they are often meeting the photographer alone... in a hotel room. Therefore anything an artist can do to make the shoot as relaxing as possible is important.
I have seen many motel shoots, and motel shower shoots, where the model, despite agreeing, and accepting payment for their work, look like they were pushed into that shower kicking and screaming. Phil's huge smile, and his clear enjoyment he expresses as he showers was contagious to me as a viewer and one of the reasons I asked Fred about featuring this set. Phil sexy smile was present in so many of the images in fact, it was hard to find one or two shots to include where he wasn't grinning ear to ear.
I stated in the piece featuring Tex that I love Fred's straight forward, clean and organic way of shooting the male form. I think Fred's shrewd choice to shoot so many porn actors is a factor in his success in bringing out personality, not nerves. Phil, like many porn actors, already has gotten any nerves about being naked out of his system. This way, the photographer is able to focus on image, and capturing something new and unique in the models being shot. With Phil, his body is of course incredibly hot, but that smile that Fred so beautifully captured, serves to beautifully magnify his sexual appeal.
Maybe it's because many of them spend their night strutting sexually around a stage in front of thousands. Maybe, it's because their bread and butter is singing love, and love making songs. Maybe it is that many are from the UK... But... music stars of all generations seem to love rockin the speedo. Many wear basic black, George Michael likes wet and white, Rod Stewart likes his stripes and Gary Kemp likes his teenie teenie tiny.