Most Fourth of July's, many reveler's head to the beach. The sun, the sand, and the thousands of other beach goers spending their holiday by the ocean. Due to the pandemic, and because so many chose to ignore the fairly straight forward guidelines, this year, many beach will be closed on the 4th.
That doesn't mean you still can't get taste of the salty air through a vigorous virtual visit from photographer Tom Nakielski. Due to the pandemic, this was Tom's first session in three months, since the shutdown in March. When frequent creative collaborator Hansel Wellington contacted Tom when restrictions were being lifted and suggested they try having a session with face masks in keeping with social distancing.
I have been a bit resistant about about featuring models in face masks on the site. After the shut down began, my social media pages were full of masked models and people taking selfies. I guess maybe I briefly hoped the pandemic might pass more quickly, and face masks would have just been a temporary means of safety. As time went however, masks have become even more essential, and an important part of daily lives when stepping beyond the safety of our homes.
But, Lights On Studio, and Hansel Wellington are holiday traditions on FH, so when Tom suggested a USA flag mask, I jumped on board. Tom's theme included capturing a beautiful summer Fourth of July day at the beach, featuring Flag themed attire, and even a few sparklers to get lit. Although Tom's beach was created in a studio, it didn't mean he and Hansel were immune to the heat. As time went on, the temperature began to rise, forcing Hansel to come up with creative ways to beat the heat.
'As the day progressed and it got hotter, Hansel began to start stripping off his clothes. Since there was no one around to be concerned about both exposing himself and to be concerned about social distancing it was time to shed the mask too. Yes, celebrating the freedom to be mask free. Free at last.'
It's a good thing the shoot didn't actually occur outside on a beach.. Seriously, it would be almost impossible for the other sunbathers to socially distance themselves from Hansel's incredible ass. It would be especially tempting to break the rules given how seductively Hansel welcomes you aboard...
'It was a fun shoot. Hansel helped me with setting up backgrounds and props. I nominate him for photo assistant (in the nude) of the year. And yes,I was glad to see that, given the shut down, I hadn't forgotten how to use the camera and set up the lights.'
Over the years, when putting together pieces for the site, I often find patriotically posed images of the models I'm spotlighting. Sometimes they're sent on by the artist, other times, they pop up when I'm searching for just the right image to include.
The images in this piece, are all of models I've featured over the years. Most of the images, I was sent or found when putting together the original piece. I stuck them away in my 'holiday' file to use on a future Forth of July.