'I bumped into Patrick whilst having a drink at the beach front during another shoot - my camera was on the table and the conversation came up'
I was recently asked what I thought the main differences were between shooting the male form today, and shooting the male form decades ago as photographer Don Whitman did during the time he established the Western Photography Guild back in the 1940's. My answers were commitment and risk.
Commitment, because it was expensive to shoot back then. In addition to having a camera, which was costly in itself, you also needed lighting equipment, not to mention film and since you were shooting the male form, also a way to have it developed. Unless you were rich, it wasn't something as many photographers could do as a hobby, you had to commit to both time and a lot of money.
I had to also include the element of risk. Society has certainly changed since the the 1940's, but if you've had your images yanked off of Facebook or Instagram it doesn't always feel like it. Although there are still inherent risks with shooting the male form today, they don't come close to what it was like for those shooting before the Internet brought the world together.
Think about it, without the Internet, social media and sites like Model Mayhem, how did photographers find models to work with? This was especially tricky given the models were expected to take off most, or all of their clothing off. There were agencies, but many photographer/model connections were via online fitness magazines and catalogs. Imagine the time it took between seeing an image of a model in a magazine, or placing an ad yourself, and having to write an actual letter in order to plan a shoot. Commitment!
Of course the more practical way, the easier, but far more riskier way, was to actually ask someone. Yes, photographers often used their friends, but up until even the 1990's, it was uncommon for photographers to approach total strangers about a shoot. Guy at the beach, in the park, at the mall, just walking down the street. I can only imagine the many ways that photographers had to plan their approach and pitch in order to ensure they weren't punched in the face. Asking a total stranger if they'd be interested in coming 'back to your studio...' and getting naked for the camera, comes with its own obvious set of risks...
Thankfully, that hasn't stopped Mark Montovio from Mount Photography. It helps of course that Mark's studio is usually a beach or a park, or in the case of his work with Brazilian hottie Patrick, the resort city of Marbella. I remembered that in addition to Patrick, several of Mark's last few shoots have been with guys who had never modeled before, guys he encountered while at the beach or when on vacation. The risk certainly paid off for Mark!
'I asked if he was interested because his body was so incredibly formed - expecting to be turned down, but he said yes and we arranged for the next day He needed direction but was very much a natural and responded very quickly - the shoot was over in an hour. Patrick was a pleasure to work with and he was so pleased with the results - he couldn't believe it was him!'