Monday, November 15, 2021

Favorite Pic of the Day for November 16th

Garrett by The Male Muse
-See More Below-

~Check out today's BIRTDHAYS HERE:~

Seasonal Sightings:

Beyond Blue:

'Removing our clothes to remove the stigma with mental health.'

Beyond Blue
Cheeky Calendar

Thanks to MichaelAndrews73a, his Reddit Calendar Site (HERE:) is the gift that keeps on giving.  I know the 2022 calendars are all coming out, but I prefer to spotlight some of my favorite calendars from the past.  I know most of these calendars have long ago been through in the recycling bin, but thankfully, some like Michael have kept, found and scanned them for us to see.

These shots come from the Beyond Blue 2017 Cheeky Calendar. Beyond Blue is an Australian mental health and wellbeing support organisation. They provide support programs to address issues related to depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental illness.   I love seeing everyday guys taking it all off for a good cause. 

Our yearly calendar we make to hopefully brighten some days and bring awareness to the very serious issue that is mental health. The 2017 calendar has been shot with a work place theme as we found a lot of last years calendars ended up on the office wall. We also think its a great way to highlight that anyone in any occupation can be dealing with a mental illness no matter how you might view their life from the outside. 

As always we will be donating all profits from this this years calendar sales to Beyond Blue to assist with their amazing on going work with male mental health.. We hope you get a good giggle out of our cheeky calendar, we definitely had a few making it!

An Alternative Edge: Garrett by The Male Muse

'So many of the models I've worked with have really been muses for me. I chose The Male Muse as my title as it perfectly connects to my series of art nudes and portraits featuring the guys who have really inspired me as a photographer.'

I've often focused stories on the male muse.  Beyond just a model's look,  it's often their capacity to inspire, and their ability to assist in achieving an artist's vision during the creative process.  Working on FH, I've come to feel that I can often see the difference in a final image. The difference between a photographer shooting a good looking model, and a photographer shooting a model that inspires. I felt the passion and inspiration in the image above, and it was one of the reasons I reached out to Mark (The Male Muse) about featuring his work. 

You can feel when an artist see's beyond the flesh, beyond the face and beyond the body parts.  It's clear when the intent is capture a moment of beauty beyond the surface.  Capturing a hints of a model's personality, their emotions, and sometimes a hint of their soul.  When I was browsing through Mark's portfolio, I was struck at the mood he set through pose, and the way he lit and cropped his subjects. His goal seemed beyond capturing a model, but an acute moment of intimacy. 

Like many artist's drawn to the male form, Mark was initially drawn to the camera through a passion for shooting architecture.  While studying photography in college, Mark's artistic direction took a turn when he was given a portrait assignment.  It was then, Mark discovered his passion for working not with static shapes, but with people in front of the camera. 

'Around that time I also developed an interest in fashion, so I naturally combined this with what I wanted to do with my camera. I shot fashion in Los Angeles for about a decade and during these days I built friendships with many of my models. Having conversations with these guys, I learned many had experience shooting nudes for other professional photographers around the city, while some expressed interest or curiosity about doing the same.'

Some of the models began asking Mark if he would shoot them, many of them, requesting nude shoots for their portfolios.  After numerous sessions however, Mark quickly discovered that he had no real passion for shooting the conventional male figure study where the focus was on showcasing a perfectly lit and posed muscular body.  It seem to easy to make beautifully sculped physiques look perfect, and Mark wanted to create something different.

'It was my editorial nature with the camera  that drew me to find a different kind of male subject. I began searching for guys with more natural builds who also had more of an edge to them and preferably with something unique to bring to the session beyond their good looks.  I shoot the clean-cut, guy-next-door type, but I specialize in working with guys who have more of an alternative edge, so tattoos and piercings, facial scruff, shaggy hair are generally preferred.'

'If I have any type of philosophy behind the camera it would be to keep things as natural and relaxed as possible. I've had plenty of sessions where I've put a lot of thought in designing a space for my models, complete with props, backgrounds, etc., but now I really enjoy just working completely on the fly. 

The best thing in my book is to just showing up and improvising. To me its exciting to try and create some sort of editorial narrative, no matter how simple, with a space I'm completely unfamiliar with before a session. My favorite is working in a model's home, as not only does it make them more comfortable, but it can bring hints of who they are in that moment in time. Collaboration with the model is also very rewarding, and the best sessions are those where we have fun bouncing ideas off one another.' 

Mark first connected with Garrett after Garrett responded to a post Mark had put on-line looking for models.  Garrett readily admitted he had zero modeling experience, which for Mark, has never really been an issue. There first session was a standard fashion shoot.  Mark drove out to Garrett's neighbourhood and they shot a very 'Abercrombie & Fitch'  styled set of images on the local high school basketball field.  During the shoot, Garrett discussed his interest in a possible nude shoot. One was scheduled for the following week. 

'Garrett was the easiest guy to work with, super funny and very comfortable being nude on camera. Over time we had at least a half dozen sessions together and he really loved pushing the boundaries, which wound up with me shooting some of my first highly erotic imagery. If I have a favorite shot of Garrett, it would be the one of him standing in our bathroom looking over his shoulder at his reflection with half his body carved by shadows. (Pic of the Day). There's something both sensual and innocent in that shot'

Lee Montgomery in Girls Just Want To Have Fun

'I wanna be the one to walk in the sun.'

I'm not sure there's anything that screams the eighties more than Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt in their dance gear for shots promoting the 1985 film 'Girls They Want To Have Fun.'  I was reminded of this film last month when TCM again aired Burnt Offerings.(below)  The network plays the 1976 Bette Davis horror flick most years around Halloween, and I always try to catch it when I can.

It was through Burnt Offerings that I first discovered then child actor Lee Montgomery.  I went on to catch Lee in Ben, the 1972 rat film that inspired the Michael Jackson song.  Ben is the follow-up to Willard, another film I caught over the last few years on TCM.   I first featured Lee in my 'rat' themed day back in 2018, (HERE:) and also found his one on-screen nude scene, a brief flash of butt in 1985's Prime Risk. (HERE:)

I was motivated by a few reasons to post about Lee again.  After seeing Burnt Offerings again last month, I revisited my original post.  After checking out the caps for Lee's shirtless basket ball scene, I thought it was time to actually time to actually watch Girls Just Want to Have Fun

In addition to Montgomery, Parker and Hunt, the film also features Shannen Doherty and Jonathan Silverman.  I can't honestly say I watched the entire film, but I did enjoy Lee's dance scenes and the fact his stomach was visible in pretty much every scene he was in.  The movie is so eighties, it's almost cringe worthy at points with a dance off featuring Montgomery and Parker, and their very obvious dance doubles.

I also wanted to feature Lee again as he's one of those actors that I'm sad to see didn't go on to have a bigger impact in the business.  As a child star in the 70's, the young actor worked steadily throughout the decade in film and on TV including appearances on Columbo, Dallas and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  His career seemed to be on the up-swing until 1985's Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

While Hunt and Parker went on to television success and additional feature films, Montgomery's career came to almost a stand still.  A few guest shots on TV followed, then mostly stints in short films and videos including a part of the zombie chorus in Lady Gaga's Born This Way.  Montgomery's last credit is voice work back in 2011.  Given his talent, his looks and charisma, he's really an actor who really should have worked much more.