Friday, March 18, 2016

He Shoots He Scores: Colin by Chris Teel

'My goal... is to deny yours'

I have a long history with hockey. Playing, watching, going to my brothers games. My father coached for awhile, and part of being accepted in my family was to get up at 5a.m on Saturday mornings and head to the rink. When I got to high school, I found an 'out', another sport. Although I didn't practice basketball on Saturday mornings, I did after school and my family didn't argue when I switched from hitting a puck, to throwing a ball into a net.

Hockey remained in my blood though. My brothers and their friends were always in our rec room watching it. To fit in, I watched with them and ended up loving the game. Although I basically only watch the play offs these days, there is still something about cold rinks, sweaty hockey gear and early Saturday mornings that hold a special place in my heart.

If you search 'hockey' on FH you find many posts related to the sport. Hockey players that I like, hockey players who model, hockey players who should model ,models posing in hockey gear and models wearing absolutely nothing but a hockey mask.

Featuring the work of Toronto based photographer Chris Teel is always a privilege. It should also not be too surprising that the Canadian photographer's latest shoot features a Canadian model honouring the countries most popular sport.

'As a typical rural county Canadian boy, I grew up in a hockey rink. The sound of slap shots, the sparks of the skate sharpener and rumble of the Zamboni have been part of my DNA since the age of 3. I skated my way through all levels of minor hockey up to and including Tier 2 junior A.'

'I found Colin on Instagram which has started to become my go-to for new models. I'd noticed Colin's comment on one of his shots that, at his age, he was in the best shape of his life and I reached out to him to document his peak physique. It was clear that hockey was and is his passion and I thought it would be great to incorporate that into the shoot. Colin is multi-faceted with a number of talents and I'm sure we will capture more of those in upcoming shoots!'

Chris clearly tapped into Colin's passion for the sport, along with the intensity and physical demands and strength required to play the game. Colin's has a incredibly solid, and incredibly hot body, clearly formed from years of building his stamina and pushing limits. Although my athletic trajectory to me from the ice to a basketball court, Colin's journey was just the opposite.

'At 6ft 5 inches tall, my high school physical education teacher thought I would make a good basketball player but much to his dismay I couldn't run and dribble at the same time. However at 6ft 9 inches in skates, I am a naturally coordinated right defenseman.'

Although Colin says that hockey has always been his friend, it has not always been so friendly on his body. Through torn knee ligaments, sprained ankles, concussions and the odd punch in a fight, Colin says together, it taught him strategy, discipline and most importantly, teamwork.

'I maybe not as pretty as a soccer player but i have earned every stitch and scar along the way. For the past 30 years, Toronto has enriched me with an education in culture, diversity, community and beer. I live and love my city life. My kids keep me grounded. My family keeps me on course. My friends keep me reminded.'

One of the last things Colin wrote for this piece was a thank you to Chris for allowing him the opportunity to take a chance and to do something he'd never done before, especially in his 50th year of empowerment. First off, given how confident, sexy and put together Colin presents in his images, it is hard to believe this is his first time working professionally in front of the camera. I am sure part of this was due to how how skilled Chris is, and how hard he works to have his models feel comfortable and look their best in front of his lens.

But 50? I would have guessed from his images that Colin was in his late 30's or early to mid 40's, Clearly all that time on the ice has done his body good, very good.  Thanks to Chris for sharing his latest work with FH, and thanks to Colin, for peeling off his hockey gear and sharing the results of all of his years of shooting, and scoring.

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