Earlier this year, I was fortunate to discover the work of Sacramento photographer Alex Hilbert. The first time I featured Alex's work this past spring, I featured his images of model Jonny Reinhart. (Window Dressing) In addition to loving Jonny's look, and how Alex captured him, I also fell in love the windows he was shot in front of.
When I recently returned to Alex's ModelMayhem portfolio, I noticed those windows had made another appearance. It wasn't Jonny in front of them this time, but stunning 19 year old model and dancer Jalen Justice. Jalen's dance training has certainly sculpted an incredible body, one Jalen knows instinctively how to use in front of the camera. Jalen oozes sensuality from every inch of his body, most seductively from his beautiful brown eyes.
Almost all artist look at pretty much everything with a creative eye. Buildings, locations, and for fitness and physique photographers, this is especially true with men. Alex first noticed Jalen at a restaurant that he frequented. Alex would see him afar and often think to himself, 'Wow! I wish I could photograph him!' Alex shares that he was never quite brave enough though to approach Jalen and ask him to model.
'Eventually, months later, he messaged me on Instagram about doing a photoshoot with me. I had no idea he was the same guy, but he seemed so familiar, then it hit me, he was the guy from the restaurant. So I asked him, and sure enough he was!'
Jalen also instantly grabbed my attention, especially in his work with Alex. Each time I have featured Alex's work, the model keeps on a piece of Fashion. Jonny's sweater, Sam's jock strap, and with Jalen, it's the white boxer briefs. Even with a hint of fashion, Alex always zero's in on his model's sex appeal, and always manages to create insanely hot images.
DNA obviously thought the same thing, featuring Alex's images of Jalen in a two part series on their website. Jalen had just turned 19 prior to his shoot with Alex and was busy working hard, and raising funds as he prepared for a dance competition that took place in early August in Las Vegas. All of his rehearsing had his body in top form to step in front of the camera.
My POTD countdown is going a little slower than I had planned. With FH turning 10 next month, I need to get moving to get from 2009 to 2016!
The beginnings of what FH has become could be starting to be seen in the second half of 2008. Although POTD's continued to be mostly butts and frat boys, change was in the air. The butts started become a little more diverse, in appearance, ethnicity and in age.
2008 marked my starting to connect POTD with a story below. Although I as still not doing the 5 story, magazine layout that the site morphed into, I was starting to fine tune a format, and categories that interested me.
Mainstream models began to appear more regularly, and I started connected on a regular basis with the artists behind the images I presented. Commentary began to expand, and my curiosity about process became as important as the images I was showcasing.
2008 was also the year I began to focus on celebrity with a tighter focus. Playgirl models, television and soap stars and my favorite actors to cover, men of the stage. Back in 2008, blogs had their own search engine, and many actors and models had their google preferences set to alert them when their names appeared on a blog.
I began receiving regular feedback from models and actors, especially soap hunks who often wrote to thank me for the coverage. (or un-coverage). I also had models and stage actors getting in touch about promoting upcoming projects and appearances.
Most actors and models welcomed the publicity, but some did write about having their images removed. If I were to narrow it down to a category, I would say that the men who poses for Terra's The Boy were the most frequent models who requested their images be removed. Most of the models were very nice, one in particular was incredibly grateful, sending on images of thanks, for my eyes only.
It was little surprised however because the Brazilian based site didn't showcase full frontal. Although the nudes were beautiful, they were more PG than R. I could only assume, most were not wanting to be models, but guys who posed to make some cash for school as many voiced future careers as the reason for removal. I removed every image I was asked, but continued to see most of the images sprawled across other sites and blogs.