One of the reasons I am so fascinated with behind the scenes images is process. I love to hear the stories of how shoots come together, and all that goes into creating the final images we all see and enjoy. I also think process images bring an added layer to my enjoyment of images, and a visual appreciation of the artist behind the lens.
With the countless images of the male form posted all over the internet, it is easy to forgot that behind each one of them was an artist with a concept. Images are often all about the model, and more specifically, the models body and body parts. Behind the scenes and out-takes images remind viewers there is a man inside that body, a model and photographer who worked together to create the image the viewer is seeing and enjoying.
There is also elements of behind the scenes images which help with fantasy fulfilment. We all have had thoughts and dreams of what a nude photo shoot must be like. The reality though is both less, and more than most of us actually imagine. Over the last eight years, I have interviewed many models who have taken off their clothes for a shoot, and the many photographers behind the camera capturing them.
Although I hear stories of nude photo shoots being interrupted by spectators and the odd unplanned erection most of the stories are about how both model and photographer complete their job. The model's focus on fitness and ensuring their bodies are ready for their close-ups. A photographers struggle with locations, scheduling and lighting complications.
There is admittedly though another reason I am so drawn to behind the scenes images. There is voyeuristic feel both hearing, and seeing how a shoot comes together that is both erotic and grounding at the same time. Seeing Alex spritz a naked model with a spray water bottle may be sexy, but it is also an important part of how images are created. I also think Alex Corso's journey, and experiences both in front of, and behind the camera, are ones that many of us have dreamt of being a part of.
For many years I thought photography was going to be my career. I have written many times about shooting friends, pets and weddings, something most who start out in the field find themselves shooting at the beginning. Somewhere though, between year one and year two of University, I went for the safe choice choosing a career path that although not as creative, would ensure I was always able to pay the bills. I think this is one of the reasons I am so grateful to Wes and Alex, and all of the other photographers, who welcome myself, and readers of FH, to join them visually on their shoots. It not only makes us feel like a small part of the process, for me, it has had me rethinking my future career plans. If I ever do step behind the camera again, you all will be the first to see the results.
Branding Norm: Made In New Jersey
I think these behind the scenes shots of Alex prepping Norm, and his beautiful backside, are a great example of how a look, this time a temporary tattoo, all come together to create the final image.
In addition to Alex, most of you know one of my favorite models from New Manhattan Studios is Bond Brown. Wes and Alex's images of Bond have an important part of FH the last couple of years, especially around the holidays. Many of you might remember, that it was Alex, acting as a PA on Bond's Orange and Black shoot, that ended up producing many of the final images I used, after Wes's camera struggles.
In addition to loving Bond's work as a model, I have always enjoyed the images of he and Alex that Wes has shared in each of the pieces that we have done. In addition to forming a great working relationship, Bond and Alex have become friends, enjoying each others company, something that comes through clearly in the images that Wes has captured of them together.
Catch Of The Day!
The following shots are some new 'behind the scenes' shots that Wes captured during Bond's last session in the studio. Wes shares this series has to be fully edited, but you can look forward to more from this series in the future on New Manhattan Studios. Included at the bottom are some of the final images, photographed by Alex, during the shoot.
'Shooting Bond was interesting. I have this sexy nude man in front of me, but at the same time it's Bond. A friend, a the person I sit down at a bar and have drinks with. When I shoot a person I have some background with, I tend to be more conservative, making the pictures more about the facial expressions than the body. The face should capture the viewer’s attention, making them more interested in the person, not just of "a hot nude guy." On that that note, when it comes to posing, Bond's facial expressions are great. He can be shy, aggressive, flirtatious or just simply hot.'
From the many smiles, Iggy certainly seemed to enjoy his time working with Wes and Alex. Iggy is one of those models who looks equally hot with, or without clothes and loved the many looks captured.
'Iggy already had a good-looking body when he shot with us, but has spent a great deal of time in the gym since first shoot. He is now apparently so impressive he’s ready to fly back to NY for another photo session. Find more HERE:'
Some of my favorite shots from Alex are of Norm. In addition to the Made in New Jersey shots I posted in the piece above, I love the shots Alex captured below.
'Norm works out at Alex’s neighborhood gym in New Jersey. They are casual friends and, knowing that Alex was a model, last year Norm approached him about doing a photo session to document the progress he was making in the gym. When Alex told me of the great results the kid was getting from his workouts, I agreed to do a TFP session for/with him.'
'I was blown away by the 18-year-old’s impressive physique. Indeed, not only is his build the best I’ve seen on anyone that young, he has one of the best-defined bodies of anyone I’ve shot. It was a pleasure working with him.'
Alex's 'little' brother Ricardo first stepped into the studio with his brothers support back in 2014. (Family Business) Ricardo recently headed back to New Manhattan Studios, this time shot by both Wes, and his older brother Alex.
'The November session with Ricardo was the model’s first in almost a year and had been pushed back and pushed back at Ricardo’s insistence as he continued to work out in the gym. . .working on his back, legs and arms. It paid off. the 23-year-old has never looked better. And some of the best shots from the session were taken by Alex of his kid brother! I hope to have Ricardo’s new gallery up in early 2016. One of the images made the 2016 calendar.'
'Now that I have the opportunity to be the person who shoots, it’s amazing! Suddenly I understand the importance of details (be they big or small). But it doesn’t stop there either, I have to think about what I’m trying to convey with a picture... its meaning for lack of a better word. I have a great time shooting whenever the opportunity is given to me. I try to be like a sponge, to learn as much as I can so that I will have better results in the future.'
Even though he has been doing more work behind the camera, Alex's first job with the studio was as a model. Here are 4 of NMS's shoots with Alex, previously unreleased on FH. Four different shoots, marking each of a year's magnificent four seasons.
' I am pushing my style more toward physique art, spending more and more time polishing my editing skills and as much time on the computer as in the studio. (You’ll see some examples of this type of stylized work in the photos taken by Alex of Ricardo.) Alex is becoming more and more skilled with the camera and his eye for composition is most promising.'
'Alex has taken some of the studio’s iconic photos in 2015. He is not yet doing any of the editing work, however, and because of that I am not making any efforts to distinguish his work from my work. It’s all “New Manhattan Studios.” (Similarly, some of the images I’ve published of Bond Brown this year were taken by Wm Weyeneth, our editor and associate on the West Coast.) None of us are given separate credits on the studio’s website, but I’m pleased to have you singling out Alex’s work on Favorite Hunks.'