Every Canada Day, I search for Canadian models and model searches in Playgirl Magazine. This year, I came up with Centerfold Gregg Steele. While checking out back issues however, I also spent some time between the pages of the February 1988 issue. There were three men in the issue I also wanted to feature. Man of the month Ken Allan, Discovery of the month, Mike Stone and beach boy Darren Culmar. (below) Check them all out on the next PAGE HERE:
Although I haven't seen it yet, like many others, I've been salivating over the promotional images of Zac Efron for his new Netflix Docu-series Down to Earth with Zac Efton. It was images that actually first began my infatuation with all things Efron.
To date, I still haven't seen a second of Summerland or High School Musical. It was however, promotional images from those two television shows that started my posting spree on Zac, one that's lasted the entire span of FH. I remember searching for this shower scene from High School Musical 3.... only to find out it was a deleted scene that never aired. I have enjoyed much of Zac's post television work, especially his turn in 2012's The Paperboy.
Down to Earth with Zac Efron
Many are referring to the bearded and furry Zac as a daddy, but he's not quite there yet for me. First off, I'm older than Zac, but secondly, as daddy-like as he looks, there' still a hint of innocence about the actor, and he still has a little more experience to gain before fully earning the title. It's just a matter of time though, and I've enjoyed watching the process.
'For me, it’s a something we face everyday, the battle between good and bad, and right and wrong'
We've all been drafted at one point or another, into the war between good and evil. It's not always easy to do the right thing. We've all found ourselves heading down the destructive path. Although some primarily fight these battles when they're younger, many, must continue to battle their entire lives. Circumstances don't always allow everyone to always make the right decisions. Circumstances, stress, health and financial pressures often mean that the difference between right and wrong isn't always so cut and dry. .
Paul has been fighting the good fight his entire life. Paul's continuing struggle was the catalyst for getting his first tattoo close to twenty years ago. That tattoo, a tribal dragon represents strength, the core attribute Paul continually draws on to continue the fight. Since then, all of Paul's tattoo's combine together to tell the story of internal war that's so shaped who he is today.
'The meaning behind my tattoos are that fight between good and evil. My left body portrays the good side and the right body side portrays the evil side. The middle of my chest is the sword of justice. To me it’s a battle we all face everyday between good and bad and right and wrong.'
In addition to representing his decisional conflicts, Paul's tattoo's are also what led him to modeling and to shooting with Craig from Artfullphoto. Given the time, pain and raw emotion artistically depicted all over his body, Paul felt his canvas should be digitally preserved. Craig initially saw Paul's body of art in an online posting on Sexy Jobs. The Denver based artist quickly got in touch to discuss the goals he hoped to accomplish with a shoot. Paul was intrigued by Craig's ideas and was on board with his vision.
'Paul and I chatted for a couple of nights and exchanged photos and ideas, and I instantly knew I was going to like working with him. He noticed I had worked with several models who had tattoos and he told me he had interest in being a tattoo model, which is something I hope he pursues. Not only is Paul incredibly handsome and great to work with, he has some great ink with some great stories.'
It was late one night when Paul and Craig managed to schedule a time to shoot. They seized an opportunity when both were free, and each drove a few hours knowing their schedules, and the distance between them, might make it difficult to grab another opportunity. They shot for hours into the early morning, even though both were already tired due to the early morning hours, and their long drives.
'One of my goals was to create some varied images which captured the essence of Paul. The sexy, inked, rancher and boxer, that’s what I hope viewers see displayed in the photographs. What makes Paul such a great model to work with is his communication with the photographer. I’d ask for a certain pose and he’d instantly take to it, and confirm by asking, “like this?”
'At the end of the shoot, Paul told me, he wished we had more time and that he could do this all day, To me, that was the greatest compliment because I knew he had a great time shooting. As a photographer, it’s important to me that everything is a true collaboration, and that not only are interesting images created, but great experiences are had. I look forward to working with Paul again in the upcoming months and am excited to see him pursue tattoo modeling.'
I love how Craig captured Paul, especially Paul's sexy canvas of ink. Some of my favorite shots of Paul are the images Craig took of the rancher on the bed, cowboy boots and all. What makes the images even more impressive is how relaxed and confident Paul appears, especially given this was not only his first nude shoot, his first shoot ever. Paul's comfortably speaks to Craig's professionalism and laid back way of working.
'I try to always communicate ahead of time, and make sure the models are 100% comfortable getting naked for the camera. By the time the day of shooting arrives, we’ve already stripped down through our conversations of shoot goals and expectations. By then, dropping trou is really just an afterthought.'
''My shooting with Craig was awesome. He guided me through what he needed for good shots, an used his expertise to clearly share what he was looking for. I had no issues doing any shots that needed to be done. Craig was awesome to work with and the progress from start to finish was excellent. He is fun to work with and I plan on meeting up with him again soon to shoot more photos.'
Craig's process for working comes from both his passion for the work, and the subject matter. Craig's been love with photography since visiting museums and art galleries, and flipping through National Geographic magazines as a kid. Craig was especially drawn to the black and white photo exhibits, and loved the timeless nature of the images. It was only this past year however, that Craig turned to working with models. An idea of Craig's, to visually reflect on a specific aspect of the human condition, had him looking to models to help him with his creative vision. Craig chose to focus on the male form in order to capture the vulnerability that underlies the often tough exterior.
'My philosophy and focus of my work is to create, visually interesting and relatable art. I’m a still a fledgling photographer, learning more with each shoot about photography, myself, and others. I’ve found the most rewarding part of this journey not to be the final image, but rather the story of the model’s journey.'