When I was a kid and first started watching 90210, it was all about Brandon for me. By the time the show went off the air ten year later, It was Dylan all the way. Everyone who knew him speaks to what a kind and gentle man he was. For a generation however, he was that rebel, but Luke Perry seemed a rebel with a cause, to do good work, on screen and off. R.I.P Luke Perry
Until watching Leaving Neverland, I knew, and crushed over Wade Robson as a choreographer. I remember seeing him on TV and in magazines for his work with Britney Spears and N'sync and Wade appeared a few times in birthday posts in the first few years of FH. I don't know why I never knew his connection to Neverland, nor his role in the Jackson case.
Leaving Neverland, especially Wade's story, powerfully moved me, particularly in the second part which aired Monday night. The sexual allegations were not new, nor surprising but the extent to which Jackson became such a lethal poison, not just to Robson, but his entire family, was devastating in it's scope. From the suicide of Wade's father, the impact on his brother, sister and grandparents, and the lengths Jackson went to to form a trusting relationship with Wade's mother were startling. Trust was a must, especially given his desire and request to have 'little one' to move in with him.
Regardless of what you choose to believe, there are facts about contact, hours upon hours on the phone with both son and mother, creating a power based dynamic in which all of the family's needs, and all of Wade's dreams, rested in their trust of the pop star. From a child in a dance contest in Australia, to center stage, then then US and finally Neverland. A dream turned nightmare by the pathological manipulations of someone so protected by money and fame.
Anyone who's experienced, or even knows anything about sexual abuse, understands vividly that Wade's actions and responses were completely understandable. The abuse occurred between the ages of 7 and 14. Abuse embeds, and can take years, decades to face and confront. The hate and cruelty directed towards Wade and fellow accuser James Safechuck is crazy. Even a brief google search for this piece brought up social media hate sights and posts of them being savaged by rabid fans.
On the plus side, Wade appears to be on the other side, not the end, sexual abuse doesn't permit a finishing line. As difficult as it was to watch and hear their stories, seeing clips of Wade dancing were a highlight. I can only imagine that occasionally, if even for a moment or two, the energy thrust into dance was a lifesaver.
I have made my fair share of snide remarks about bevy of beef that passed through Taylor Swift's boudoir, and the songs that follow, but the jokes, although warranted, are getting a bit old. That being said however, Swift does have incredibly good taste in men, and a few of her crushes have also become mine.
Taylor's current favourite is the stunning Joe Alwyn, and English actor currently seen in The Favourite. If you haven't seen The Favourite yet, It's out digitally now, with a wider release on DVD and on demand this week. Alwyn plays Masham in the film and in one memorable scene, (see below) gets a hand job from a less than enthusiastic Emma Stone.
The 28 year old actor has had a busy year and in addition to his role in The Favourite, has also been seen recently in Boy Erased and is currently on screen as Robert Dudley in Mary Queen of Scots. Up next for Alwyn is Harriet, based on the life of iconic Freedom Fighter Harriet Tubman.
Alwyn and Swift enjoyed a day on the beach last summer while vacationing in Turks And Caicos. As usual, whenever Swift gets a new boyfriend, the camera's are there. I wish the two well, and hope Swift's pattern of sex, then ex for songs is coming to an end.
'As I watched the show, I fell in love with the process and the photographers. I had not thought much about photographers being like “Movie Directors.” They have to create a mood and direct the models.'
The TV show HowRoar Imagery's Bill was watching was 'Make Me A Supermodel' and it, and contestant Ronnie Kroell, stimulated both the passion and the inspiration for Bill's entry into photography. Bill says that he never would have watched the show if not for the fact his friend Ronnie has been selected as a contestant. With a friend in contention, Bill paid close attention to the show and the process, especially the photo shoots.
'In one episode the models had to pose in a massive fish tank with a giant snake. The photographer was quite demanding in that he wanted the models fully submerged with their eyes open and no bubbles coming out of their mouth. One of the models had put on his application to be on the show that his two greatest phobias were being under water and snakes. In the end the shot of that model was the winning shot. In another episode they paired models for a very sexy shoot in a bed. My friend Ronnie, who was openly gay on the show was paired with a woman and they completely nailed the session. Even more impressive was that they paired two straight guys together and the two guys ran with it and created amazing shots.'.
Bill was impressed with the entire shooting process, especially how difficult it was achieving 'THE' shot. He was also surprised how demanding the photographers could be with their models, but understood that when shooting professionally, there is a great deal of time and money invested in the shoot and getting it just right for a commercial client is critical. Ronnie made it all the way to the end of the show, and as he watched the finale , Bill already knew he wanted to be a photographer.
Being a reality show, the shoots were elaborate and the concepts extravagant with the photographer having to direct not only the models, but an entire crew of people required for the production. Although individual one on one shots are less complicated that a big television show shoot, Bill was excited with the idea of directing the entire creative process, from concept to design, through casting and shooting and finally editing to create the final visual product, the images.
I first noticed Bill's exceptional directing a few years ago and quickly got in touch about featuring his work. Bill was immediately on board, but wanted to shoot again with the model. That shoot unfortunately got delayed as the model was in the middle of finals at University. I kept a close eye on Bill's port and got in touch with him again last fall after seeing his work with Spencer.
I loved Spencer's look, incredible body and a great face that mixed both the boy next door with the tough and rugged trouble maker your parents wanted you stay away from. Of your course you didn't, because that hot bad boy also possessed an intensely sexual energy that was like a magnet, drawing you closer.
'My favorite shot from the shoot is this one. (above) I think he looks like the statue of David in Florence. Because Spencer isn’t really tall, I laid on the floor to make him look much taller.'
Spender's energy certainly drew me in and I loved his work with Bill. The shots seen here are from their first two shoots together, and their creative collaboration generated a great a great array of looks and highlighted not only Spender's great physique, but that compelling energy that first drew me to work. Given my love of windows in photography, I especially loved some of the great poses and dynamic shots Bill captured in front of the huge windows from the hotel that they were shooting in.
'The shoot for Spencer was all about lighting. I was in MN for work and got a hotel suite with giant windows and tons of natural light. I hadn’t had a lot of experience with shooting in harsh direct light and was testing my ability to shoot under those conditions. I also had purchased small portable LED lighting that I could bring with me. Once the sun went down, I used those lights.'
After Make Me A Supermodel, Ronnie Kroell went on an acting and singing career, not to mention his first full nude shoot in Playgirl Magazine. Bill went to purchase camera equipment and being trying his had at shooting. When he first started, his models were mostly his friends, which made his first nude shoots easier as there was already trust established. Bill has continued to value that trust, and it's importance in the work. It's never a requirement for a model to shoot fully nude, Bill takes his cues from their level of comfort.
Bill likes to send model extensive ideas about what he'd like to shoot in order to have time for plenty of discussion between he and the model beforehand and to encourage the model to express their thoughts and input. Bill loves this planning piece of the work, especially when he's able to incorporate the models idea's and include any specific shots they may want for their portfolio. This planning is especially important when a model's doing their first nude shoot.
'Spencer is a great guy and super easy to work with. For a guy who looks as good as he does, he has no ego or attitude. He is very comfortable in his own skin and he is not self conscious at all when posing nude. He takes direction very well and up for trying almost anything to get a good shot. He is a designer who designed his own tattoos. He is a very athletic person who is very sweet, kind and gracious. One piece of trivia about Spencer is that he has a massive collection of Spiderman comic books. I know nothing about comics, but my guess is that it might be quite valuable based on the breath of his collection and the only ones he is missing are quite rare.'