I think I first saw George Segal in the sit-com Just Shoot Me. When I got a little older however, I discovered his films. Thanks to TCM, I've enjoyed many of his roles, especially his stellar performance in 1966's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Segal's turn as Nick was not only great, it had crushing over the then 32 year old actor. This had me searching to find out if he had any nude scenes. Check out my findings in my previous post, The De-Pantsing of Pops. (HERE:)
'Out of all my shoots, Gordon has been the photographer that I have most enjoyed working with. He is so professional about everything and we both knew exactly what needed to happen.'
I was first introduced to the hot Mr. Herzog by photographer Gordon Nebeker back in 2015. I was immediately smitten after checking out the first sample image that Gordon sent on. Sure the ex-military man was incredibly good looking, but he was also incredibly natural in front of the camera. There was something very authentic about his look. Mr. Herzog wasn't taking it all off for the camera looking for fame or to stoke his ego. He was proud of his body for sure, and the work he put into it, but transitioning back from overseas, and taking care of his family, were his primary goals.
Over the next several years, I was fortunate to be able to feature more of Gordon's work with Mr. Herzog. Gordon knew I had a wee crush, and shared stories and images whenever they met up. They both lived in separate States, so usually got together to shoot when one of them was traveling. Mr. Herzog made it up to Boston, and Gordon scheduled shoots near Mr. Herzog's home when he was driving from between Massachusetts and Florida.
You'll have to forgive me for sharing more than my usual dozen, (or Baker's dozen) shots for this piece. I had a few extra images in my Mr. Herzog folders, images I couldn't fit in to previous posts. Several of the shots included here have not previously been published on the site.
Many of you may remember that thanks to Gordon, Mr. Herzog was my first official FH Elf. Back in 2015, Mr. Herzog took to the step ladder to decorate Gordon's Christmas tree. He also helped FH celebrate the holiday. Mr Herzog returned to his role as Christmas helper again the following year, (below) this time bringing his holiday cheer, not to mention his decorating skills, to the forest on a chilly winter's day.
'Perhaps my favorite photograph from my entire work with Mr.Herzog is the multiple exposure shot which involved his being behind the cloth in one pose and in front of the cloth in another. Recorded by the camera as a single composite image, the photograph is full of movement and life! It looks simple but in fact takes a lot of patience and many iterations to get it right. Mr.Herzog was a champ through the whole effort and never complained about doing the same thing again and again until we found what we were looking for.'
'Now 'tis spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted; Suffer them now and they'll o'ergrow the garden.'
When it comes to the four seasons, nature's PR department really outdid themselves when it came to spring. Germination, birth and growth, spring flowers, buds on tree's, new life and the breeding season. What's not to love? On the surface, spring mark's the beginning of nature's most visually vibrant and colorful season. Just below the surface however, spring, like all births, is really one of the messiest seasons.
I'm not sure where you live, but around my house, the ground is muddy, dirty and wet. The melting snow expose the ravages that winter left behind. Dead leaves that didn't get raked last fall, branches and roof shingles the winter's wind left behind, and garbage along the highway previously hidden by snow. Snow is a great equalizer, no matter how bad your lawn looks compared to your neighbours, a blanket of snow makes them look the same. In the spring however, the truth is again revealed, particularly spotlighted by the accumulated piles of dog shit from the past few months.
It seems almost every year nature fools us into forgetting seasonal beginnings are really more about death than about life. They highlight the circle of life, while covering the messy parts with visual distractions. We need those distractions of course, the flowers, the fall leaves, the snow. As we get older however, these distractions impact us in different ways. Although we realize they're just covering the surface, to the messiness underneath, we hold on to them tighter than ever.
One of the things that drew me to the work of Alex Stoddard was the way in which he viewed and captured nature. Despite the pristine visuals within his images, Alex always seems to also capture the truth. The joy and the pain and the complex emotions and messiness associated with beauty. The 28 year old's artistic journey was rooted in pain. Inspired by surroundings and isolation in rural Georgia, Alex began taking self-portraits in the woods behind his family's home.
Photography became a means of escape, allowing Alex to create elaborate scenes, stepping into different characters through costumes and posing. I love the drama and theatrical elements weaved into Alex's work. So many of his images are full of depth and emotion, cinematically telling a complete story within a single image or moment. Most of the images featured in this piece are self-portraits, and many capture moments and emotions that Alex was experiencing at the time.
'Stoddard's work is highly influenced by art history in the digital age. He explores concepts of fantasy and surrealism within portraiture, as well as the human form and its connection to nature. He is entirely self-taught and relies on his eye and natural instinct when creating. His style is characterized by simple compositions that frame more meaningful, universal themes.'
The connection between the human form and nature is one of my favorite themes to explore on the site. I am not especially drawn to the shape and size of specific parts. I am far more interested in the body as a whole, and how the human within that body, interacts with their surroundings. The human forms within Alex's images don't just pose with, or in front of a location, they become a part of it. You can almost feel the coolness of the earth, the texture of the leaves and tree's and the warmth of the sun colliding with bare skin.
'If I've learned anything in the 5+ years I've been taking pictures, it is that when I am sleep-deprived, half-naked, freezing, completely filthy, and alone in the forest at sunrise, I am at my best.'
In addition to his Website and Instagram, you can check out new and exclusive content each and every month on Alex's new Patreon page HERE:. Unreleased images, editing tutorials, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the creation of his photos.
Fairy in the Garden
'I spent most of my life hating being called a fairy, but now I’m like.. being a fairy would actually be dope'