'I'll be all in clover and when they look you over,
I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade.'
Last year, FH celebrated Good Friday and Easter Sunday with Lights On Studio's images of a heavenly furry body, and the hot hunk holding him tightly in his arms. (HERE: & HERE:) The model was Hansel Wellington, the furry body belonged to Chester the rabbit. After Chester, I guess photographer Tom Nakielski decided to follow that old adage of never working with children or animals. This year's shoot, is all about the birds.
The inspiration for this shoot was to pay homage to Fred Astaire in the classic movie Easter Parade. Although Astaire wore a black tux in the 1948 film, after recently shooting model Michael Moody in a black tux for our Groundhog Day shoot, (The Randy Rodent) Tom decided to take a few liberties and go for something different with a white tux with a dash of pink to celebrate the holiday, and the Spring season.
'Originally I envisioned a soft pastel background and soft lighting. Delicate images. But as I started lighting and setting up I was liking the more intense lighting. A dark, ominous Easter for sure. Benjamin pulled that look off well.'
As you can see, our Fred Astaire is a bona fide chick magnet and seems to have easily imprinted on our Easter chicks. A graduate from Eastern Michigan University, Benjamin works in a office Monday through Friday, but loves to spend his free time modeling, especially when he gets to model with four hot chicks. Benjamin's entry into modeling was pure circumstance. After being asked to be an extra set of hands a fashion show, he somehow ended up walking the catwalk.
Tom says this is the first time he photographed Benjamin and had his usual pre-session nerves. Tom shares he always wonders if new models will how up, will they look like their images on Model Mayhem, will they be relaxed in front of the camera and will they be shy or hesitant about shooting naked. There's also the question of whether they'll be cool with the theme. I can confidently say there are not many male models who are asked to lie down naked and have four baby chicks placed on their butt.
'My fears were unfounded when he arrived. Benjamin had grown a mustache and it looked good on him. He was prepared to shave it if I didn't like it. I usually don't like to start right in with the nudes. I want both the model and myself to first get comfortable with each other and to get acquainted with our ways of working. We started by doing some shots in the warehouse. He immediately started to pose and was not hesitant in the least when I asked him to show more skin.'
'In the studio, we started with the fully clothed tux shots. Benjamin was very relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. He was also able to predict what I was going to suggest. In order to get him comfortable to get nude, we did some typical shot of him taking his pants and underwear off. He exceeded my expectations in more ways than one.'
'I thoroughly enjoyed our shoots together. Tom made modeling easy with all the direction that he gave. I felt completely comfortable and hope I was able to bring your vision to life. Excited to work together with Tom again!'
'Erika goes undercover at her family's chocolate plant to see why sales are down when she meets head chocolatier, Bryan, who has new ideas on how to update the Easter product line.'
FH readers are well aware of my love of holidays. I love holiday themed imagery, holiday decorations and holiday movies. I theme a series of posts around Halloween focused on the hunks of horror, and a series throughout December spotlighting actors in Christmas themed movies. I thought I was done with 12 Days, well at least for another eight or nine months... That was until I saw an ad for Hallmark's Easter Under Wraps.
Who could resist and Easter movie set in a chocolate plant, especially when the head chocolatier is played by the talented and adorable actor Brendan Penny. Many of you might recognize Penny from his previous Hallmark movies, including other holiday themed films with titles like, Magical Christmas Ornaments, Valentine in the Vineyard and Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe.
Like many hunks of Hallmark, Penny is Canadian, born and raised in the nations capital Ottawa. After earning his BS in Accounting, Penny decided he needed a more creative outlet for his talent and energy. This lead to a move to Vancouver attend the Lyric School of Acting, in Vancouver. Like many young Canadian actors, Penny did the circuit, guesting on many shows based in Vancouver including Kyle XY, Smallville and Jake 2.0.
Although Brendan maybe beat known for his regular roles on Motive, Whistler and Stargate: Atlantis, I first noticed Brendan for his brief turn as Coleman on season 2 and 3 of The L Word. I think his turn on The L Word produced the actors only nude scenes to date.
If you remember back to Tom's Groundhog shoot, you'll remember a stuffed rodent was part of the shoot. Although Tom planned on 'borrowing' real chicks to scamper across Benjamin's butt, he had few toy fake chicks on reserve. Thankfully, our chicks were relatively cooperative and the toy chicks were not needed. Tom purchased the chicks from a tractor and farm supply store. The store clerk was glad to hear that Tom had already ensured he had a home, (farm) to drop them off to after the shoot.
'I have used bunnies, chicks, and ducks every year when I used to photograph children for an Easter Kids Photo special. The kids loved the chicks. They do however poop a lot... (the chicks not the kids). It is impossible to keep their pen (a cardboard box) clean. Just as soon as I would change the water, they would walk through it and dirty it up.'
'Benjamin was a very cooperative model. He had no qualms about the chicks on his butt and enjoyed the experience working with them. He didn't say how it felt to have them on his butt, but it took a lot of tries to get the chicks to stay in place. They kept jumping out of the basket and it was very hard to get them posed nicely on his butt. Wish I would have tried a few more times to get them in a better position, but I didn't want to spend too much time placing chickens on Benjamin's butt LOL'
'Benjamin wasn't shy about being nude, even with chicks running over his body.. In fact, most models will put their pants back on while I am fussing with lights and props. When I needed help with setting some things up he didn't bother to get dressed to do it. He got up on a ladder to adjust a light I had in the ceiling without a thought about being nude. It made for a very comfortable session. . He was very enthused about all my suggestions and was very creative putting his own spin on them. In short it was a very enjoyable and productive session.'
I think one of my favorite Easter themed shoot, and my favorite Easter bunny, is model Casey Levins shot by Scott Tietler. I went on my own Easter hunt, with the goal of finding as many images and outtakes from the shoot as I could. I think these shots, (and the two on the previous page) are all that were published, but welcome any additional shots others might have or have seen.