It was here, against this backdrop of beauty, (Southern Utah) that we had come to create... The setting is otherworldly with miles and miles of shoreline (nearly 2,000 miles!) carved out of the surrounding rocks and dessert. The predominant color pallet is the yellows, oranges and reds of the sedimentary rocks, with the cool blue lake reflecting the sky above. The location pairs sinuous curves and bold masculine shapes into a magical backdrop for the male form
I'm a creature of habit, well maybe more specifically, a creature of routine. I guess they're the same thing, but I like to vary what I do, and who I do it with, what I don't like to vary... is when I do it. I get up at the same time every morning, weekdays and weekends. I can't sleep in, it bothers me. Even if I have no plans for the day, it feels like I'm giving something away to stay in bed too long.
I exercise every morning. I used to run in the evenings, but snow, ice and winter weather forced me to always be changing things up. It bugged me. Working out at home in the morning means I'm almost always able stick to my routine. I know for many, holding too tightly to routine can be boring, but to me it creates a rhythm both comfortable, and necessary, especially with all the rhythm wreckers life throws our way. This year, for almost everyone, they've come fast and furious.
My craving of routine of course plays itself out in all aspects of my life, including how I structure FaVorite HunKs. Some of you may remember my habitual January posts about 'changes' coming on the site. They haven't. Every time I start to think of shaking things up, I revert to the structure, outdated as it may be, that's worked so well for me for so long.
FH is organized as closely as I can, the calendar year. Holiday shots around their proper date, beach shoots in the summer, snow shoots in the winter and every Autumn, along with images of the male form with backdrops of fall foliage, a visual vacation in Utah. Beginning back in 2013 with Gordon Nebeker's work with Aaron, I've virtually joined and shared every trip to Lake Powell since. With 4 photographers and twenty models, sharing the images and stories, (HERE:) has been an important part of FH's yearly structure, and an important, and favorite piece, of my working on the site.
'By now many of our friends have stopped asking "why Utah?" when I announce that Mike and I are returning again this year. If they've seen the past photos they know the answer. If they are photographers they ask if they can come along. Otherwise if someone does ask I tell them how the landscapes of Utah are oversized and oversaturated and around every corner there are wonderful surprises awaiting discovery. Add to that mix the great looking guys we bring along and it is a recipe for an amazing photographic adventure like no other!'
This year, thanks to the pandemic, the shoot wasn't able to occur. Although late in the spring, Gordon, Mike and Mark still held out some hope, the increase in Covid numbers, the safety issues, the time and effort involved in planning, made it impossible. The Utah shoot requires months of planning. Models need to be found, schedules have to be arranged, travel, motel and boat rental booked and arranged. Most of the models have day jobs, and it's often incredibly difficult to find a four or five day window when all are able to take off the time required.
One positive of the pandemic, and many of us working was home. For StudioMGPhotography's Mark, this meant he finally had time to go through his vast collection of images. Mark had a book collection in mind for awhile, but it was impossible to find the time required to go through the thousands of images, and narrow down and put the project together. This year, there was time.
Created over seven years, BASK features 20 remarkable men amid the glorious backdrops that Utah is famous for. From the Great Salt Lake to Lake Powell and beyond, we explored this outsized and oversaturated landscape together. Whether solo or in groups, follow the men on their naked explorations, hiking sinuous rock canyons, climbing pinnacles for a better view, savoring the warmth of a sun bathed rock after a refreshing dip, or occasionally even the sexy interlude!
And sexy interludes there are.... Mark's book sort of reminded me of those 'unfiltered and 'uncensored' behind the scenes videos we used to see advertised on television. Although I've shared hundreds of images over the years, BASK gives readers a slightly more intimate look at some of the many moments captured. One can only imagine them models experience, spending four days and nights on a houseboat, mostly naked, posting together surrounded by Utah's natural beauty. What happens in Lake Powell stays in Lake Powell, but BASK does offer a tease to what may have occurred, even if just gently probing, the viewers imagination. Check out and preview more of BASK on Blurb HERE: