When I first started FH a little over a decade ago, one of the first 'favorite' hunks I featured was actor Ben Barnes. I fell in lust with Barnes after Prince Caspian and have followed his career ever since. This week, Ben's new show The Punisher made it's debut on Netflix.
Based on the Marvel character, Ben plays Billy Russo, best friend of Frank Castle who is The Punisher. Although Ben has shown a bit of skin on Westworld and in Dorian Gray, he gives us the full moon in the Netflix series which is now available.
Autumnus, The season of increase, abundance, satisfaction.
Last week, after first seeing an image of model and photographer Luke Gee, I instantly shot him a message about featuring his work. The shot of Luke was a studio image, shot during a session with another photographer. I love Luke's look, especially his hair and soulful, yet focused brown eyes. I also loved how natural and comfortable Luke appeared standing naked in front of the camera. Being comfortable in one's skin is incredibly appealing, especially when skin is all a model is wearing. It's also something that's become more important to me when looking for artist's and models to feature.
While spending time viewing Luke's portfolio I was impressed with not only the diversity of looks captured, but also the range of emotion and sensuality expressed. Given how much I love location shoots, I was also drawn to many of the images of Luke outside, in the woods and in the water and interacting with nature. I noticed these shots were credited with LG, quickly realizing these were self portraits shot by Luke. Readers of FH know some of my favorite shoots have been models who head out into the woods with nothing but their camera and creative ideas to blend their bodies with the beauty that surround them.
Being from Northern Michigan, what surrounds Luke in thoaw woods changes, depending on what time of year he's shooting. Sometimes he's surrounded by green, other times of the year, as you can see from his recent posts on his Instagram, it could be white. For this series, Luke's surroundings are sprinkled with reds, yellows, browns and oranges during his trips into the woods over the last couple of months. If you look closely at Luke's facial hair, you can tell these shots came from more than one shoot, on different days, with different degree's of light and shadow.
The image of above is one of my favorites from this series, I love everything about it from the light and color to the way Luke has positioned himself by the fence. The image is that much more impressive given Luke is both in front of, and behind the lens. Below, Luke shares stories of his time out in the woods, and what inspired him to turn his camera on himself.
Which came first modeling or shooting?
'I was a photographer first, started years ago. At the end of my senior year of high school all my equipment was stolen, so I took that as a sign I shouldn't be doing it. After about 4 years of up and downs, I finally decided it was for me and that it was time to get back at it. The modeling came second. I had been interested in modeling and wanting to give it a shot for a long time, but due to a certain illness I found myself in terrible shape. So, once I started getting better I got myself in shape and figured it was time to go for it.'
Process/planning for self shooting?
'Honestly, the only planning is about where I'm going to go to shoot, besides that, I just wing the hell out of it. No assistant, just me entirely solo. All I do is get to where I'm going, which sometimes is quite the hike and adventure, and then I just keep attentive, looking for where I think would be a great shot, that has the best natural light. I mess with my settings, taking practice shots until I think it looks good, then just pick a pose, set the timer, and boom.'
Dealing with people, animals and the Elements:
'Its Northern Michigan, so its not a shocker to get all four seasons in one day haha so definitely had my fair share of weather problems and cold things. You have to have at least a decent tolerance to the elements. Still though...its cold and obviously not pleasant. Biggest problem is not trying to rush it so much so that the shots get screwed up, so takes a lot of tolerance, and patience. Key is bring an extra bag with extra clothes that's for sure.
Animals not so much, had some deer get pretty close to me, I don't know maybe because I was naked they didn't feel so threatened, but I had an older couple drive by me once....talk about embarrassing scrambling to cover your junk just enough to not have the twig and giggle berries out there. They gave me the most awkward smiles and just kept driving. That's been the only real noteworthy people encounter.'
Any Strange or Odd stories while shooting alone?
'Nothing too odd. I was doing some self shooting in this abandoned camp a few times. To my knowledge there is no "haunting" stories of the place, but sounds of footsteps and noticing something not in the place it was previous. Not the most fun things to happen when you're standing in the place naked and vulnerable...'
What part of your body are you most happy with? What part gets the most attention from others?
'I'd have to say my abs, my "man booty", and of course my long hair. I get the most comments on my abs and hair though. Here I thought my abs weren't good enough, and I will always work on them to be better, but its wild having people say "nice abs man". Along with my hair, get a lot of hair remarks from women, which I can't deny that I don't enjoy the compliments haha'
What factors did you weigh before deciding to take it all off?
'Probably the basic stuff that most would think on. Am I going to look good enough? Will people like it? Is it worth putting these images out there for the world to see? Well no matter what your body is like, you have to love yourself, which took me a while to do but I finally do. There is going to be haters in life no matter what you do with yourself and strive for as a profession, and that is also art, you'll either love it or hate it, so put it out there and let the people decide. As for if its worth it, I think so, I'm comfortable and free, so people should see that to know they can be comfortable and free as well. I mean we weren't all born with suits and ties on anyway, we are all naked.'
Why do you think you like modeling?
'I like embracing who and what I am, I love the art and the freedom. Deciding to get into this world of art, I've become even more open minded and learned new things, and am only continuing to learn more. I love the people too, a bunch of open minded, free spirited, thrill seeking people who just want to make the world their canvas, and toss their bodies in to complete the masterpiece.'
'I've been working on a project, a graphic novel entitled "The Chosen Nightmare" created by artist/photographer Terry Osterhout, and working on it with female model Liz Lapoint has been the most fun so far.'