Last year, with FH going into it's 9th year, I decided to theme 2015 with 'behind the scenes'. I tried when I could, to include not only behind the scene stories, but images and out-takes from the shoots that were showcased. Going into 2016, I plan to continue that theme when I can, but without really planning it, over the past few days, a new theme developed.
In the first several featured stories of the year, change has been core to the story, and the images. Kevin Kurbs with light, Steve Jerome with time, Marcus_M with muscle and most certainly today with Dakota. Photography is in many ways all about change, the transformation of an artist's creative idea into it's final visual incarnation. The metamorphosis of the model who walks into the studio and the model who appears in an artist's final image. Often what begins, bares little resemblance to what comes out in the end. The model and photographer in the images shown here has gone through more than a few changes since I first presented him, close to five years ago, frolicking in a meadow. I think you'll enjoy visually joining him on his journey of change in my next update.
The modeling world is full of great looking men and women. The internet provides so many avenues for models to showcase their work, but the problem is, even with options to promote your work, differentiating yourself from others, and getting noticed... still remains a challenge. There are certain qualities however, not all of them easily defined, that cause me to stop and take a second second look at certain models and images. Many models bare their bodies, but my favorites, also bare just a little of their soul.
Back in November, I stopped and took more than a second look at photographer Steve Jerome's images of model Dakata Chares. (More Than Initially Meets The Eye) There was something about Dakota, beyond his incredibly sexy physical appearance, that had me wanting to see and share his images. Dakota is incredibly sexy for sure, great body, beautiful hazel eyes and a great smile. And yes.. he also happens to have a magnificently proficient penis that at times, seems to create unique poses all on it's own...
But...it was not just Dakota's physical attributes that grabbed my attention. In addition to beautiful images, FH readers know that I am always looking for a story. The models and photographers whose images I want to see more of, are usually also the ones with stories that peek my curiosity learn more about. In that first set of images from Steve, there was something in his eyes, something both light and care free, and also challenging and maybe a little sad. Dakota's look, and his seductive imperfections, had me seeking out more of his work.
Thankfully, I didn't really have too look to far. Within a couple of weeks of first featuring his work, I noticed an image in Dakota's Model Mayhem portfolio from David from YogaBear Studio. FH readers are familiar with David's work from the previous features that I have done, and I knew instantly, the re-pose image of Dakota, was one of his. David and I started communicating about planning a special shoot for FH, but before that could be arranged, David wrote that Dakota appeared out of nowhere, arriving at David's San Diego studio one day.
Dakota by YogaBear Studio (December, 2015)
David first shot Dakota around this same time last year. It was the holidays that brought Dakota and his wife back to the area near David last year, and again this December to visit family for Christmas. It was Dakota's wife actually, also a model, that first encouraged Dakota to give modeling a try. When he left the navy last year, Dakota acknowledged he was no where close where he needed to be physically in order to step in front of the camera, especially without clothes.
'I've always struggled with a weight problem, as you can see from picture I included (below) from my old days. When I left the navy, I also started to do more physical work. My wife, who was also going through some health issues at the time, decided that she and I both would go on a diet together.'
Dakota shares that they began by cutting out dairy completely and replacing it with almond milk. He also stopped eating meat during the day and instead, began fueling his body with nuts and fruit. He also worked out, not at the gym, but by riding his bike, 3 miles a day, back and forth to his job working as a professional mover.
With all of the changes, Dakota says that he cut weight quickly and was soon feeling better about his body and his appearance. When he felt that he was ready, Dakota decided the time was right to step in front of the camera. Dakota has modeled both alone, as well as joining his wife for some couple shoots.
Dakota had been shooting for about six months when he shot with David last December. He loved the final results and describes David as a great guy and really great photographer. For me, Dakota and David are a perfect pairing as David's passion has always been more than just capturing just muscle and body parts. David has always gone beyond the surface, uncovering a bit about the man underneath the clothing and what lies beneath the skin. Although the second shoot didn't come with a lot of planning, I love what both model and photographer managed to uncover.
Although I have certainly heard of the classic television show CHiPS, I don't think that I never seen an episode. I have certainly have never seen an episode with Bruce Penhall, who stepped in during the show's last season after co-star Larry Wilcox left the show. I came upon an image of Penhall when putting together a piece Beat, last summer, and knew he needed a Blast From The Past post of his own.
Penhall may have seemed a perfect replacement given he embodies the California surfer look with his blonde hair and beach body. Penhall is indeed a surfer and former motorcycle racer and had the athleticism required for the role. After the series ended, so pretty much did Penhall's acting career. A few guest spots and straight to video movies followed, but by the late 90's, Penhall's time on screen was pretty much over with his last appearance being in the 1999 CHiPS reunion movie.
Penhall on The Love Boat
Researching images of Penhall proved a pleasant experience. Penhall was rarely shot in a shirt, usually in short, and often on the beach with a surfboard in his hand. Although his time in prime-time was brief, it was memorable enough to have made him a huge hit in teen magazines at the time.
Penahall with Shannon Tweed modeling swimsuits for US Magazine