Most of my introductions to adult film stars starts with an image. This was certainly the case with Johnny Stone who I first discovered on Instagram. Johnny describes himself as a 'self-made' model and his great face and adorable smile certainly belong in front of the camera. Johnny does a lot of web/cam shows and I looked for and caught one last month that featured Johnny hanging out with another guy.
The other guy seemed to be a friend, and although they were't having sex, they were interacting physically (horse play/butt spanks) and seemed to be having a lot of fun with each other. I didn't necessarily assume Johnny was gay, it was clear who the audience he was going for was.
Most of Johnny's images on his Instagram and Twitter were of Johnny alone, but he seems to have moved into the doing more male/female videos and his images of late are reflecting that. Regardless, I encourage you to check out his pages, he is adorable and quite talented and creative with the images he takes and posts of himself.
Most great stories involved a reveal. A surprising plot twist that writers build towards page after page. On FH, the story is visual, and if I do a decent job with presenting the images, hopefully there is also a reveal. Often the reveal is focused on a model's body, other times, the reveal is rooted more in the detail. A piece of information about the artist, model or shoot that is more based on an interesting or revealing chapter in the creation of the imagery.
Most stories focused on images of the male form begin with just two main characters, the artist and the model. Given the intimate nature of nude modeling, most of the shoots I feature involve just a photographer and model. Given this, it is always interesting to me to explore shoots that involve an additional set of eyes. Those eyes might be a partner or chaperone brought by a model. They may belong to PA or make-up artist. Quite often, they belong to a second or third photographer during a group shoot.
It is always fascinating to me to explore shoots that involve additional sets of eyes. Partly, due to the voyeuristic element of having not just the main participants, but other observing the creative process. Whenever I feature a group shoot, or a shoot executed outside or in a public setting, I always ask about additional eyes. My curiosity is not only about how the observer, their reactions and thoughts, but on the impact of those eyes on the model and photographer.
Unplanned observers are nothing new for Richard Rothstein. Given Richard's mains studio space is Manhattan, he and the models he shoots deal with additional sets of eyes almost every time they shoot. Although most of Richard's New York street shoots occur between midnight and sunrise, that doesn't necessarily guarantee they won't be observed. In fact, although the streets may be a little quieter, you can only imagine the many sets of eyes peeking through curtains from windows above.
This audience however, isn't one that is necessarily planned, it is simply a expected side effect of shooting outside and in public locations. The two stunning modes in this set of images however, were not shot by Richard outside. They were also not shot in a traditional studio setting.
Although the images have a distinctively intimate look and feel, there were many additional sets of eyes on the two models, eyes that were not only planned for and expected, but also attached to active participants the process. Richard has titled this series 'The Therapy Shoot'. a title I think fits perfectly for it's curative impact and the healing effect on all of those involved.
'I can’t speak for other cities, but Manhattan bars started this thing about three years ago or so as one of their nightly promotions: providing life drawing sessions in their lounges…Therapy is Sketchy Saturdays, Rebard is Drink ’n Draw and their are a few others. They pose near nude and nude models in the center of the floor or an a stage and they provide pads and pastels…and everyone drinks and draws and sketches.'
'As a photographer, I’ve never bothered with these, but my best friend Brian finally talked me into going to Therapy Lounge. After asking if photography would be permitted…and it was.., and I loved it!!! It challenged me because you know I prefer to move my models and create a narrative, especially outside in the streets. Here I was faced with a series of stationary poses intended for drawing.'
'I quickly warmed up to the setting, with it’s own feeling, very unlike a studio… very moody, sexy, sensual. I found myself intimately studying the male form in ways I had not done before. It even made me just a little uncomfortable… but little by little I was swept away and even found my narrative in their poses, the musculature of their bodies, the ink, the eyes… I also very much enjoyed the feeling of photographing a posed model who in a room full of artists who were interpreting the men in their own unique ways. I do regret not photographing more of the art..and will do next time,….but I did capture many of the faces of the artists.'