Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A Daytonian in Manhattan : TJ by New Manhattan Studios

'I was happy to see how independent and mature he was compared to many of the out-of-town models who are intimidated by New York and reluctant to venture out on their own.'

I remember vividly the first time I visited Manhattan.  New Yorkers can spot a tourist a mile away, usually because they're walking around constantly looking up.  That was me for sure.  Many of the most interesting visuals were high above, building and monuments.  I remember walking by the MTV studios and noticing something being filmed on the second floor.  I annoyed a ton of people as I slowly walked by, looking up at that second floor window.

Conquering the streets of New York was also a confidence boost.  Although Manhattan is actually an easy city to get around in, most newcomers arrive intimidated by the city's reputation, and years of seeing the city depicted as a crime invested scary place on television and in movies.  The first time I was in New York I actually separated from my group and explored the city on my own.  Some of my favorite memories were walking down streets finding new world's and visuals around every corner.

Some readers may remember that FH kicked off 2020 with a piece featuring TJ and his work with New Manhattan Studios. (Blanc Slate)  The shot was months in the planning and coordinated between Wes and photographer Keith Ingram.  We and Keith shared expenses including flying TJ from Ohio for his first trip to New York City.

TJ's New York shoot wasn't the first time the Dayton based model had worked with two photographers.  I had previously featured his work with The Third Eye and Oculusvivatus.  In that piece, (Primus' Inter Pares) both photographers commented on TJ's confidence and ease in front of the camera.  Wes was also struck by TJ's confidence, and independence and passion with exploring Manhattan for the first time.

The late summer shoot provided the ideal weather for both the shoot, and for TJ to explore the city,  TJ was staying a hotel just a couple of blocks from Wall Street.  Wes started the day shooting TJ out and about around the Financial District.  After shooting on the city's streets, they then returned to TJ's hotel room for additional shots, then back to Wes' studio for a final series of images.

As a tourist, I remember being in awe at all the sights and sounds from the second I saw the city from the plane and when leaving the Newark airport for the drive into the city.  New Yorkers are used to seeing strange sites while walking through the streets of their city, but a shirtless TJ still managed to cause some attention and turning heads from those passing by. 

After the shoot was over, TJ was eager to take off and explore the city. Although Wes usually gives a great guided tour, he was impressed with TJ's independence and his desire to set out on his own.  Wes shares that TJ mastered the subway system right away, making his was from the Financial District to Times Square and midtown on a busy Saturday Night.

The city made quite an impression on TJ, and two weeks after returning home, he returned.  This time it was for business, but he managed to fit in a second shoot with Wes and NMS's Taylor Edwards and Alex Bustamante.  Most of the images from that second shoot I featured in Blanc Slate back in January.

We turned the two shoots into two series of images, the first Trevor Blanc, focusing on white backdrops and locations used, NMS published late last year.  The second photo essay, TJNoir, featuring TJ on the streets of New York, as well as studio and hotel shoots was just published at the end of the summer.  Check it out and preview more shots on New Manhattan Studios HERE:

After a long day of exploring the city, Trevor returned to his motel room to strip off his clothes and relax.  If you want to join him, head on over to the NEXT PAGE HERE:

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