Earlier this week, I featured Kristian, limbering up and having fun in a spectacularly beautiful outdoor playground. When Bodytorium sent on images from his shoot with Kristian he also included some fantastic studio shots that I also wanted to feature. Check them out on PAGE 2 HERE:
When I first featured the talented Spencer Treat Clark, it was after seeing his beautiful baby face in the 2014 flick The Town That Dreaded Sundown. (HERE:) Spencer had been acting since he was just 8 years old and appeared in projects as diverse as the soap Another World, to appearing in Mystic River and Gladiator with Russel Crowe.
When I first featured Spencer, he had yet to lose his clothes on screen, but thanks to his role as Adrian on Animal Kingdom, it's now almost a weekly event! Thankfully Adrian, Deran's on-again/off-again boyfriend, was more on that off this past season with Spencer and co-star Jake Weary sharing several steamy scenes together.
'With no idea of what to expect, we were heading to southeastern Pennsylvania with three New York City models (Alex, Bond, Oleks). Although they were abounding with enthusiasm, none had a farm background. One grew up in an apartment building in the Ukraine, one was from the suburbs of Buffalo and another from Metropolitan New York.'
Over the last four years, FH readers have come to know, and come to look forward to, NMS (New Manhattan Studios) work with the charming and sexy Bond. As surprising as it may seem now, it wasn't Bond, nor was it fellow FH favorite Alex, that had me first initiate contact with NMS' Wes. It was actually images of another model, Drew (An Empowering Process) that inspired me to first reach out back in 2012.
Why the history lesson with Drew, well it all ties to the images featured here. Although Wes's work with Drew was the first NMS shoot that I featured, as soon as we began communicating, the New York based photographer, he was already thinking about possible future collaborations. Wes was eager to share his work with Alex, and very quickly, the studio's images, most notably shoots featuring Alex, became regular highlights for myself and FH viewers.
I remember getting an e-mail from Wes a short time later. He was excited about a new model that he had just recently shot. That model was Bond. Bond made his FH debut back in 2014. (Those Who Wait). The Halloween themed shoot wasn't however, Bond's first time shooting with the studio. They also were not, the first shots of Bond that I'd seen. The first images of Bond that Wes had shared, were from Lancaster County, a shoot from earlier in the summer. Below are a few comments from Wes introducing me to Bond.
''Bond is a real sweetheart and a delight to work with. He's a natural, and is slowing easing into modeling. When we met in January., he was a little timid about doing full-on nudes, but he quickly got past that during our third session together. We did some very classic/formal looking work with a white scarf. Once he knew that we were doing art, not porn, he opened up and was incredibly relaxed on the Lancaster shoot.'
Wes, NMS (2014)
After seeing a half a dozen shoots from the farm shoot, I immediately began to bug Wes about featuring the series on the site. Not only did I want to feature Bond and Alex, I also was hoping to introduce the third model Oleks, to FH viewers. Wes was on board, but due to various circumstance, we decided to wait and instead, introduce Bond onto the site with a solo shoot with just Bond in focus.
Although Lancaster County was put on hold, I still had hope that we'd be able to feature the shoot down the road. We'll, five years later, we're well down the road. Last summer, in part due to Bond's work with NMS heading towards a finale, Wes headed back into the archives and chose his favorite images from the shoot to compile in a new photo essay book featuring the images from Lancaster County.
'The publication of Lancaster County has been a long time in coming. The images were to have been part of a much larger series of men and horses but those ambitions ultimately waylaid the project. With access to a working stable in Pennsylvania, we had quickly arranged an out-of-town, overnight “shoot with horses” and three of our top models.'
'I particularly enjoyed watching the guys compete with each other throughout the weekend. The shots of Alex and Bond doing chin-ups was not staged (except to turn them around for a second shot).'
'Featuring three of the studio’s most popular models, several of the images have been released over the years as individual shots but until now they have never been presented as the set that they are. In addition, Lancaster County includes many newly-edited and explicit images never before released.'
'After all these years it has been fun being back in the Lancaster folder. It contains my favorite photo of one of my favorite models, Bond. He had begun modeling six months earlier and he’d only finished his second session when we invited him to join us on a horse farm. He immediately accepted, eager to work with horses. His boyish demeanor and reserve at the shoot masked his maturing self-image as a model and it was not until I was back in New York and viewing the session on my large screen that I recognized his potential. When I encountered the shot of him at the barn door, I realized that he had fully grown into the role; he radiated a confidence that had not been there before.'
'It's been years arriving, but here's a happy backwards look at some of our earlier work and favorite models: Alex, Bond and Oleks. While images from this session featuring individual models has been released in the past, this is the first time most of these images have been presented, and the first time as a set in a 56-page photo essay, which you can check out HERE:
If you want to see the three urban cowboys out of their plaid, denim and chaps—and who doesn't?—head on over to the next page. In part two, the guys are not just petting, feeding and working with the horses, but riding them as well, Lady Godvia style of course! Check out PART 2 HERE:
Check out order you're own copy of Lancaster County on New Manhattan Studios HERE:
Apodyopsis: The act of mentally undressing someone, and imagining them naked
It is my belief, that you can't really appreciate a person in their entirety, unless you also see them dressed. Most FH readers are aware, that when I can, I try to begin each series of images of a model with them dressed. I often in fact, ask photographers who've sent on a series of nudes, if they have a dressed, underwear or portrait that I can include.
Although FH is about the male form, it's also about the man who inhabits that form. Without face shots, or dressed shots, even just partially, it's too easy for the man, the person, to become just a cluster of skin and body parts. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a great naked body, but for me, the enjoyment is intensified by getting to know a little about the model and the artist behind the images we're enjoying.
Last week, I present Phil Diab's (Bodytorium) image of Kristain. (Hot Wine) In the first set, Kristain was outside, under the sun, stretching, exercising and playing in the tree's. When I first put the piece together, I mixed together the location and studio shots. Visually, the piece wasn't flowing for me, and I wanted to feature this set separately.
These studio shots, especially the shots of Kristian dressed, reveal another side of the sexy Slovakian model. I loved Phil's shots, and this series reminded me of the dressed/undressed (Dubbelaars/Doubles) theme that Ewoud Broeksma so often used to use within his work. It was always a favorite theme of mine and love the creative ways Phil utilizes the theme within so many of his shoots. Check out hundreds of additional shots of Kristian, and many other models on Bodytorium HERE:
'The models jumped at the chance to spend a couple of days on a working farm. Our hosts made every corner of the 30-acre farm ̶ home to over two dozen horses ̶ available to us, as well as some of the gentler 1000-pound creatures.'
There's a horse barn not far from my house, and they welcome visitors to view, pet and feed the horses, play with the two labs that run around the barn to cuddle (or try to...) the mostly non-cuddable barn cats that seem to be almost everywhere you look. When I visit, I start to get excited as soon as the road turns from pavement to dirt as that means I'm only a few minutes away. I love the sights, the sounds, and especially the smells of the animals and barn.
I have learned however, that not everyone appreciates the sights and especially those smells, that come from the barn. Over the years, I've taken dozens of friends and family members to the barn and rarely are they on the fence about the visit. They either love the experience, or hate it, and some who hate it, sometimes choose to stay in the car. I'm pretty sure however, for most of them anyway, had I had been able to tell them that there were three hot, sweaty, naked men in the barn, they would have quickly left the comfort of the air conditioned vehicle.
I'm told by Wes, that all three models were exited about the farm shoot. I did sort of guess however, that one of the guys may not have been quite as excited as the other two models, about having one of those 1000-pound creatures between his legs. I didn't ask Wes specifically who it was, but given it was Oleks and Bond who went bare, completely bare, back riding, I'm guessing the images may give it away.
'Despite their outward bravado, their first encounters with the animals on-the-hoof was generally humbling and often amusing. To their credit, the three quickly became at ease around the horses and each enjoyed the session. We spent the better daylight part of two days at work on the farm.'
The shots of Alex, Bond and Oleks with the horses are some of my favorites from the shoot. My love of horses and riding being part of the reason, but I also have an affinity for images which feature the male form shot with animals. The relationship between animals and humans is always a fascinating one to visually explore. There is also of course, just something intrinsically erotic about a naked man straddled upon such a beautiful majestic animal. Wes' experience in advertising also motivated him to want to create relaxed, and natural images with the models and the horses.
'Etched in my Madison Avenue memory bank is the tidbit that Leo Burnett, the Chicago advertising agency that created the iconic Marlboro Man, learned early in the decades-long run of the campaign that they needed to move casting sessions out of downtown Chicago. Lack of familiarity with horses and horse culture doomed most men sent from modeling agencies; they looked out of place if not downright uncomfortable on and around horses. Within a couple of seasons the ad agency was only using real cowboys, recruited from fairgrounds and rodeos around the country.'
Lancaster County is the latest in the studio's line of Photo Essays. These thematic collections of images typically feature work drawn from a single session with a single showcased model. Check out much more from this shoot,featuring full frontal images, and order a copy of your own, on
As wonderful as the smell of the barn may be, it's not really a smell you want to bring home, or if you can help it, transfer bak into your car. At the end of a long day, it's important to rinse away the smells, as well as any pieces of grass, hay or horse hair, that may have gotten tucked away in any of your body's crevices. Check back later in the week for the final installment of Lancaster Countywhere our three models insure they're completely squeaky clean before getting back into Wes' car and heading back to the city!