The first image I saw of model, actor and insta-blogger Troy Pes was the last shot I posted below. Troy looks amazing in his tight grey brief's and the light through the window had me thinking he was a ginger until I searched for more. Troy graciously shares many of his images, mostly shot by his friends and partner, on his Instagram and tumblr, The City of Troy. He is also great at answering questions from his many curious viewers.
'I was inspired to do the Morning Ritual series because I thought it might be interesting to capture those moments that people would not normally see—waking up, doing morning stretches, bathroom ablutions and getting dressed. And, seeing these beautiful guys, before they brush their hair or do anything else is also a treat.'
I have been following and enjoying the work of New York photographer Gruenholtz on Instagram for awhile now. I love the intimate settings he uses so beautifully uses in his imagery and how he captures his models within them. I had been been planning on getting in touch, but after seeing a photo he posted last month, I knew now was the time. The image, which stopped me in my tracks, was of the shot of sexy Santiago that I used as pic of the day. I loved the pose and the playful expression on Santiago's face. Although Santiago knew who was behind him in the bathroom, his expression of surprise looked like he wasn't exactly sure who it that was catching him naked in the shower. It is often difficult to capture naturally, the element of surprise in photographs. Gruenholtz's shot has the viewe feeling that they were the one gifted, with the sexy surprise of discovering Santiago in the shower.
'Personally, I think guys are most beautiful first thing in the morning. There’s a certain vulnerability that is expressed. And, I do shoot them early in the morning kinda documentary style. For the most part, I do not direct any poses although I do make some suggestions to ensure they are being properly lit in these natural light situations. Instead, I let them guide me through their morning routines. Some of them are quite theatrical—I recently did a project with 12 dancers and their morning routines contain some amazing stretches.'
I totally agree with Gruenholtz's words about men in the morning. It had me thinking back to a post I wrote several years ago about bathroom rituals. ((Executing A Vision) Sometimes the most routine activities, especially when done alone, can be incredibly erotic when viewed, captured and enjoyed by another. I remember catching, and writing about (Third Floor Window) watching a guy through a window, three floors up, standing in his underwear in front of the sink shaving. For him, it was a regular, even mundane and boring part of his day, for me, the experience had a totally different meaning. I love the way Gruenholtz turns they every day rituals into vibrantly erotic visuals.
I am clearly not the only one responding to Gruenholtz's Morning Ritual theme. He started and Instagram last March to showcase his images and just over a year later has over 100k followers. After starting in sports photography about ten years ago, the New York photographer found himself drifting more towards fine-work. Feeling the need to fine tune his skills, Gruenholtz got his Masters in photography from the School of Visual Arts which he describes as the best decision he ever made. 'It brought me to a whole new level. Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know.' It was during the time that he was finishing his Masters program that Gruenholtz decided to open his Instagram account and shares that after that, everything began to off. An agent, book deal,jobs, and most importantly, the models. Gruenholtz is hoping to release his first book this fall. Stay tuned!
'Santiago and I connected via Instagram. He lives in Colombia and was coming to NYC for a month. He sent me some of his photographs and asked me to photograph him. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about him because his build wasn’t as athletic as most of the models I work with. But there was no doubt he had a beautiful face. And, he turned out to be one of the best models I’ve ever worked with—amazingly creative, with an ability to transform himself with each set-up. I’m so grateful he contacted me.'