November 1st, 7:35 a.m: You wake up, hung over in a hotel room you have no memory of checking into. A stranger you don't remember meeting lies asleep beside you. Not bad enough... you only have your Spidy suit from the Halloween party the night before to put before taking that walk of shame to the elevator, across the lobby, then down the street to catch the subway for the long ride back home.
Even before I saw his incredible body, his gorgeous face, and beautiful eyes, I saw his name at the top of a form for male models. I had to see who exactly was this Rocky Buttery.... His name sounds part porn star, part ice cream flavor, most definitely lickable either way
Although Halloween is the rear view mirror, November 1st is actually the perfect date to spotlight a particular model's ultimate costume. It was five years ago, on Halloween night, that Bond Brown first appeared on FH. (Those Who Wait). Since that first introduction, featuring Bond's work with New Manhattan Studios, it was inevitable the popular model would slide into... and the out of, the tux of his namesake.
Farewell's can be difficult, just ask Cher. I think I saw one of her first farewell tours in the late 90's. The reason it's simple, it difficult to say goodbye to something, or someone, we've grown to love. I loved getting to know Bond through his work with Wes and NMS. Bond has an engaging sex appeal that has made him a favorite of many, including many readers of FH.
For the last several ears, each time Bond work with NMS, there was a possibility it would be his last. A move west, a new girlfriend and career meant a change in Bond's focus. Change isn't easy however, and Bond still found himself drawn back to New York in large part, because of his love of being in front of the camera, and the close relationships he'd formed with the NMS team.
Whenever Bond was home, Wes worked his magic to organize a shoot, and I worked mine, to ensure I could share it with viewers of FH. I've known from Wes this shoot was coming, and thanks to Wes, got an advance copy of Bond / Manhattan, the 64 page book (or PDF) with highlights from the shoot. The photo essay contains many images not seen here, including many views of both Bond's golden gun, and golden eye...
Bond, James Bond
by Wesley Triplett
Months before the shoot, Bond had started signaling the likelihood of his retirement from modeling at the end of the school year. Nearing the end of grad school in Southern California, he was finally staring adulthood in the face and was being realistic about having the time to work out as long and hard as he felt was necessary. Equally realistic, I knew that modeling careers are short and other interests and responsibilities capture the time and attention of these young men as they mature.
BOND had a successful run at modeling and had already worked longer than most. He’d worked with only a few select photographers on both coasts but thanks in no small part to Favorite Hunks, he had a sizable worldwide following that was a continuing source of inspiration for his modeling.
'Discussing modeling careers, we had agreed that it was always best to go out on top. Bond was hitting the gym several times a week and maintaining an equally rigid diet. He was determined to deliver his buffest, sexiest Bond ever. '
'After more than a dozen sessions together, one of the studio’s two muses was retiring. I have been blessed to have worked with this man. If this was to be Bond’s last session, it would have to be special. And if we were ever going to photograph him as the dashing secret agent, a goal of that we’d nurtured since he chose his modeling name at his first session, it was now or never.'
Bond got the star treatment. In addition to the attentions of professional makeup artist and stylist, Bond had three photographers pointing cameras at him over the long weekend: myself, Alex Bustamante and Jorge Figueroa. With attendant wardrobe, props and venue, we finally realized the 4-year-long fantasy of shooting Bond as the famous secret agent. Bond/Manhattan features the highlights of Bond’s three days and nights in New York.
'The unexpected bonus tossed in at the last moment was the opportunity to realize the secret agent in body paint. Charles Zambrano, the film and TV makeup artist who worked as the stylist at Bond’s shoot is also a talented body painter. At the end of Bond’s weekend in New York we managed to squeeze in a body painting session. But that’s another story and another set of pictures.'
I right clicked and saved several images of adult film star Ryan Stack over the years. Problem was, most were focused, (understandably) on his incredible ass, and didn't show his face. One of my favorites, was is the last shot in this piece, a stunning shot of Ryan tying his shoe...
I googled image searched the image awhile ago, and thought the stunning behind deserved proper credit. I wish I could credit the photographer as well, but the shots come from Ryan's page on Randy Blue and the images were sadly not credited, but well done, to whomever did the shoot.
The London born Ryan arrived at Randy Blue as a fan of the site, and as a fan of one of the site's biggest draws, Chris Rockway. I am not a member of Randy Blue, but did check out Ryan's page and was surprised to see that he and Chris don't seem to have appeared together on film.
Matching fans with their porn idols seems to be something done more and more these days, especially on OnlyFans pages where adult film stars seem to be posting more and more 'encounters' with their fans. Sounds little risky, and more promotional than real, but it has made for some interesting encounters.
I wasn't sure of Y & R's Theo when I first saw his images, but like actor Tyler Johnson's facial hair, he growing on me... Theo is hot, but also a bit of a doofus, who rivals Elaine with his dance moves. The model and actor is about to join one of the shows most prominent families, and as they say, trouble is about to ensue... Don't let those beautiful baby blues fool you, Theo is trouble.
'You'll see what no one else can see, and now I'm breaking free.
For your eyes only, only for you.'
Sheena Easton, For Your Eyes Only
One of things I love most about featuring the work of New Manhattan Studios is uncovering the process. Wes seems to love documenting process as much as I do, and always shares both stories, and visuals from behind the scenes.
This is especially rewarding for this shoot, Bond's climatic grand finale. In addition to Bond hitting the gym to ensure he could slip snugly into his tux, you can see in these shots, Wes also went all out. With a dynamic location, props, and wardrobe, not to mention three photographers and a professional make-up artist, Wes wanted to create and capture an elaborate and dynamic showstopper.
'For the studio’s part, we pulled out all the stops. His final photo shoot would be a weekend-long retirement party. We flew him and his girlfriend in for a long, holiday weekend in New York, complete with dinners and a Broadway show. They stayed in the penthouse apartment that we used as a shooting venue. Bond would go out on top and in style, literally and figuratively.'
'The floor-to-ceiling windows in the 43rd floor apartment offered iconic skyline views that were breathtaking by day and wildly romantic by night. . .and a challenge to photograph day or night. For the most part, the views were unobstructed but there was an equally tall building immediately across the street to the east.'
'At one point on Sunday morning we noticed a woman on her terrace, directly across from us. She, too, was taking pictures of the model. We discreetly moved Bond to another window, facing north.'
'The challenge at night wasn’t as easy to overcome. It was a corner apartment. Two walls were all glass and window. The opposite walls were white; the ceiling was white. When a strobe was fired, the place lit up like a Roman candle and the view was obliterated by garish reflections of white walls and people with cameras.'
'One by one, we lowered and eventually turned off the studio’s lights. In the end, the only light that did not cast significant reflections on the windows was the reading lamp next to a chair. Unfortunately, working in such dim light we had to push the ISO on the cameras so high that there is a great deal of graininess and noise in the final images.'
Well... sadly, we've reached the final chapter of Bond's work with New Manhattan Studio. In the words of Jack Twist, I wish I knew how to quit you. Although Bond's story in front of the camera appears to have come to an end, I've learned to never say never again. Who knows, maybe one of these days Bond might get the itch to step in front of Wes' lens one more time.
In the meantime, (and I think you knew it was coming....) not good story is complete without a proper epilogue. Although this shoot was indeed the final chapter, there is an afterword, a visually transparent end before we can officially close the book of Bond. Look for it later this week!