Although I love watching Olympic figure skating, except for crushing over Charlie White, I haven't really been that into ice dancing. I love the risk and thrills of the a pairs event, and the singles event and this year, really enjoyed the team event that began skating at the games. The US took the bronze in the event, in large part due to the performance by ice dancers Alex Shibutani and his sister Maia.
Olympic Bronze winning team
I was immediately drawn to the adorable Alex, both his skill on the ice, and his smile which highlighted the joy he was experiencing after he and Maia's incredible performance and medal win. The quote at the top of the piece was a small part of Alex's Instagram post after the win, pulling together his feelings on the win, the hard work it took and his pride at being the first ice dance team of Asian descent to win a medal at the Olympics. Look forward to them taking the ice again this week.
'I've always wanted to do a shoot with a female or multiple females. The more the better I always say. I'd like it set in like some dark or abandoned kind of rundown area or lost city haha, while its raining. It has to be raining though, that would be my perfect scenario for a shoot. I like dark and mysterious b/c I think that's a little part of who I am.'
I think many 19 year old models, especially those starting out their careers in front of the camera, have shoot scenario dreams like the one Dariushas. Photography is in many ways, visual fantasy fulfilment, and some of my favorites shoots have featured models and photographers tapping into the dreams in their heads to create incredible imagery.
Darius began modeling about a year ago and had an instant and positive reaction to being in front of the camera. It wasn't a professional shoot, nor was it planned but when Daruis' older brother arrived home one day with a new a 'pretty cool' looking camera, he need something to shoot and practice his skills, so Darius volunteered.
'Modeling just comes so naturally to me it's like I know I belong in front of the camera. I think my most dominant feature on my body is my torso. I take so much pride in it and dedicate hours a week just to have the upper body I want.'
Although it was his brown eyes and strong stare into the camera that first grabbed my attention and Darius adds that in addition to his physique, it's his face and facial structure that often garner a lot of attention, especially from women who comment on his chin and lips. It's not just the ladies who are responding to Darius' look, but photographers like Mark from MW Photo MD, who noticed his portfolio on Model Mayhem when looking for perspective models near Washington. After a few messages back and forth, they came up with an initial plan for casual shoot, to get together and to see what unfolds during the shooting process.
I was fortunate to discover Mark's work just a little over a year ago, and since first featuring his work last February, (Air Pressure) have enjoy featuring his images whenever I can. Mark has worked both new, and established models and always manages to create something new and unique for their portfolios. Given that Darius is still fairly new to modeling, his work with Mark has also given him a great range or looks for his portfolio, from fashion to fitness as well as showing off both Darius' great body in addition to a focus on style and personality.
'As a model the main thing I try to focus on is creating content. The more the better. So every opportunity I get I'll try to sneak a few photo shoots in here and there.I'd like to think I'm pretty comfortable with most settings and I try to open up to new possibilities. Also as a model I know there's a certain level of skin that you have to show in order to be successful. So I've done implied nudity and that's about as far as I've gone with it. Never gone full nude.'
'Working with Mark was really fun and he was extremely friendly so I felt comfortable with just being myself in front of the camera. He was really open to all my suggestions and we just kind of went with it. The goal was to get in the studio and take as many photos as we could with as many different looks as possible. And so I think we achieved that goal. It was a really good experience for me that helped me grow as a model.'
Mark also describes feeling comfortable the instant he and Darius met and began shooting. Let's hope maybe Mark's keeping an eye on the weather, and that we might get a peak if Darius gets the chance to fulfill his fantasy of participating in his rainy day shoot.
Some actors and models just have an energy, a sexually generated power that manages to transcend the dimensions of photo or digital image to be felt by those viewing it. Zander Hodgsonis definitely one of those models. The UK born and bred Hodgson uses his acting abilities in his shoots to show both his personality and to help tell the story the photographer is trying to capture.
Hodgson has worked steadily in the UK on shows like Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and the UK version of Shameless. He is not trying to make a name for himself in the US and since moving to LA has had a few roles including playing a hustler on an episode of Ray Donovan. It was difficult to narrow down favorite shots, love so many of Zanders shots, but you can see much more on his Instagram HERE: