Thursday, August 31, 2017

Favorite Pic of the Day for September 1st

Robbie by Studio1x
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Speedo Season

Into the Blue

One to Watch: Harris Dickinson

'An astonishing big-screen debut by Harris Dickinson.'

It's been awhile since an actor, especially one in a gay themed drama, has gotten such universally rave reviews for their performance. Eliza Hittman's Beach Rats is bringing a lot of attention actor Harris Dickinson's way, and he seems to be keeping his head firmly on his shoulders. The London born actor has been performing since he was a kid, but at 20, his role as the sexually confused Frankie marks his first starring role in a film.

'Frankie starts to rack up a lot of dates with daddy types (mainly to ensure that his sexual escapades remain outside his social circle), and we see nearly all of Dickinson, whether in motel rooms or roadside hideouts.'

'It was a new experience But I was comfortable doing it. I’m comfortable in my sexuality and in my body now. You have to come to terms with the fact that you’re going to bare yourself on-screen and it’s going to exist there forever, but I cared enough about the character that I just wanted to throw myself into it.'
Harris Dickinson, Out Magazine

Prime of Life:

'The best part of the job... no pants!'

With August in the rear view window, Autumn is just around the corner. As much as I love the fall, and visual beauty it brings forth, I am saddened to say good-bye to those skin filled summer sightings. With only a few weeks left, I thought it appropriate to pay homage to maybe one of the most iconic summer connected images of the male form, the lifeguard. Like many, I had many a fantasies as a kid, and many boners, sitting on the beach with my eyes glued on the lifeguard.

I am sort of grateful that II went through puberty in the 80's, when lifeguards were still mostly wearing speedos. I still love checking out the lifeguards at the beach, but there was nothing like those hot summer days when I was a teenager, having to turn on to my stomach until it was safe, to go back in the water. There are hundreds of lifeguards on FH, but below are some of my favorite pieces featuring those speedo clad life savers.

Before, During & After: Robbie by Studio1x

'We discussed the vision and I supported Robbie to move as he has been trained. This allowed us to capture the shots that we did.'

Even before Jim confirmed it, it was clear to me Robbie was a dancer. His long, lean frame creates such beautiful curves and lines, precise and elegantly natural. With some models, you can see the effort put into creating a quiet moment, but Robbie's poses seem instinctual. It is as if Robbie is standing in front of an invisible barre, doing the the warm up moves a dancer must do habitually to warm up and stretch.

I love the quiet beauty that Jim captured in this series. Although dance is rooted in energy and movement, these captured moments feel like those quiet times in between, when a dancer is alone with his thoughts, and his body. I often write when I am featuring a dancer, how they have the most fine tuned connection between their mind and body. Robbie confirms this theory, especially with the flow between his body body movements, his facial expressions, and the way his eyes create such a beautiful nexus between himself, Jim's camera and viewer.

I was introduced to Jim's work through photographer Daniel Allen. Both are from the Pacific North West, and have done several shoots together. When I recently contacted Daniel about one of his images I liked, he responded by suggesting I check out Jim's portfolio on Instagram. I shot a few names of models whose images I liked, but Jim had just finished his second shoot with Robbie the previous weekend and suggested that I take a look.

Jim shares that he's always had a camera and considered himself a photographer, but that it was only two years ago that he started taking his hobby seriously. Jim's decision to focus on the male form had a rather interesting beginning. Jim was actually going to pose nude himself, for a fundraiser, a charity calendar for breast cancer awareness. As he thought about the shoot, Jim began thinking how beautifully the male body could be photographed in such creative and artistic ways, and was eager to give it a try and bring his ideas to a shoot.

Jim's focus is on the creation of art, and although some assume any images of the nude male body are porn, Jim keeps it professional. Even when the vision may sound weird or funny when said out loud, the outcome is worth it. Jim encourages his models to relax and have fun, and he finds the best way to support this is through trust. If at any time they are feeling uncomfortable with pose or idea, Jim encourages them to let him know so he can change direction to ensure they are as satisfied creatively as he is with the process.

Even with a professional focus, deciding to shoot the naked male form doesn't always mean it's easy to find models when you're just starting out. Jim's first experience with nude shoot required finding a volunteer, and his model ended up being a male senior citizen with a multitude of health issues which made being able to follow through on his vision a challenge. Practice makes perfect however, and that first shoot began a journey and looking back, Jim can see visually how far his photography has come since shooting his first nude model.

'Every time when I shoot a model nude, it is a new experience. I always make sure that we have spoken in length, over a period of time, to build a connection and ensure that we have discussed all topics and any of his concerns. This builds the trust between the photographer and model and if all topics have been discussed prior, if anything does pop up during the shoot, we have already discussed that sometimes happens and we keep shooting. In shooting this type of art, the model is opening up their vulnerability and exposing themselves in a way that most males are not accustom too. I find that if I have not spoken to the model and built a connection with them, the finished product is not as visually pleasing.'

As stated, this studio shoot is the second time Jim has shot Robbie. After Robbie inquired about working together, they connected for the first shoot outdoors. The focus was on Robbie's love of dance and Jim wanted wanted to capture his body movements in a variety of surroundings. For their second shoot, Jim wanted to head into the studio.

'For the studio shoot, I wanted to focus on light, and how it plays off of Robbie's dancer build. We were able to create some wonderful shots using light and shadows. He is a very easy going model, that is very comfortable with his body and knows how to move with very little direction.'

Jim sent on almost 200 shots from his shoot with Robbie and it was difficult (fun) task narrowing down my favorites. Many of the images were black and white, but I ended up choosing the color shots as I found them much more dramatic, especially the dark background, and how the light and shadow cascade over Robbie's skin. Speaking of skin, some of you might have wondered if Jim ever ended up posing naked for that charity calendar...

Sadly the answer is no, (or I would have asked to include a shot) but Jim did shed his clothes for a shoot with another photographer. Jim swears these images have been locked away in a vault, location unknown, but the experience did help him understand what a model goes through. I especially loved that Jim shared that it helped him to get a glimpse into what they must be feeling, before, during and after the shoot. In may ways the 'before, during and after' is what I strive to provide each time I profile an artist or shoot on FH.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Favorite Pic of the Day for August 27th

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An August Beach Day


'If you look into a Huskies eyes.. he'll show you his soul'

Christian Monik is one of my favorite models, and I have featured his images previously on FH. (HERE:) Christian has the most beautiful facial structure and I'm loving his longer hair. If they ever need a new Tarzan, Christian is also an actor, and would be perfect in the role. Also love Thor, Christian's husky that has been making quite a few appearances in his recent postings.

Darryl Powers: Sixties Summer

'If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that's a problem. Peace and love are eternal.'
John Lennon

I sometimes wonder if someone stumbles upon a post in FH in the future will context matter? Will they just look at the model and see a vintage dated image. Will the naked man in the image, and artist behind it be considered in conjunction with changes in media, the ever changing progression of photography and the happenings of the time.

Will they consider that while that naked guy posed in front of camera, Trump was horrifying the nation with hate and division, Games of Thrones was the talk of TV, Carrie Fisher had died, Brad and Angelina were history, Prince Harry hadn't married yet and opioid crisis was only fraction of what it would eventually become...

One of the reasons I love looking back to images of the past is context. When Champion model Darryl Powers posed on the beach, it was during the decade that Kennedy was assassinated, The civil rights act of 64 was signed, The Vietnam war was in full swing, Rolling Stone Magazine hit the stands and Julie Andrew's The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins were both box office hits.

I first noticed Darryl when I was putting together a small piece a few years ago about some of my favorite Champion models. (Champions) Darryl had a great body, but it was his face that had me sticking away an extra image for a future post. The image I stuck away was the shot (2 above) of Darryl in the row boat.

Darryl rowing naked was hot, but it was the shape of his nose, and especially his beautiful lips that really struck me. I came upon that image again the other day, not in that long deleted folder, but on Pintrest. I was able to find quite a few more great shots of Darryl, most of them, taken on the beach. I wasn't however able to find out much about him.

I would guess that if alive, Darryl would be in his early to mid 70's and would love to know if the man, photographed naked on the beach when Kennedy was President, is still alive and kicking. I am guessing many of the Champion models did not use their real names, but would be curious if anyone knows more about Darryl and his life beyond the beach.