'But the setting was too perfect; the temptation, too great. Tossing caution to the wind and clothes to the ground, Alex ventured forth into the late afternoon sun. In 15 minutes we were finished and had captured some of the best images of the day. The sun fell below the trees as we descended toward the road.'
Wesley from NMS-New York
It is always rewarding working on FH, when an artist that I profile is pleased with the result of our collaboration that they send on additional images for me to feature. I love spotlighting new talent, but equally, I love having a group of amazing photographers who regularly inspire me and support me to show their work on an ongoing basis. Wesley from NMS-New York is a part of that group. Wesley understands my need to not only post images, but my desire and curiosity to uncover story. Each time I profile the New York Photographers images, (An Empowering Process & Swedish Determination) Wesley not only supplies story, from both model and photographer, he usually writes it, leaving me simply the pleasure, of pulling it all together.
Wesley and I have been discussing featuring these images of 24 year old model Alex Bustamante for awhile now. Wesley first sent on part of the series in August, but had a trip back to the Catskills as he wanted to fill in some holes and round out the a series. An extended trip to California because of Hurricane Sandy not to mention all the disruptions to life and the transportation system in New York City meant it wasn't until this week the images could be posted. Well worth the wait I would say. With Thanksgiving just coming to end in the US and the holiday's beginning, Sunset Meadow seems a beautiful theme to mark the transition through Autumn. I think you will agree Alex has a winning look. his amazing body and face draw you in and those dazzling eyes and killer smile have you dreaming you were experiencing the heat of the sunset in the meadow along with him.
By Wesley from New Manhattan Studios
By Wesley from New Manhattan Studios
Just over two hours north of New York City is a region that has been inspiring artists and writers for over two hundred years. The landscapes of the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York gave birth to the Hudson River School of American painters who romanticized and immortalized the natural beauty of what was then the American frontier.
Amid these timeless bucolic landscapes can be found no shortage of settings in which to frame the beauty of a handsome, young man. I had one of my favorite New York models, Alex, standing astride craggy stone outcroppings of the Shawangunk Ridge and in green shadows in deep forest glens; wading through the lazy waters of a summer river, leaning on weathered barns and romping through abandoned fields.
At the end of the day we came across a broad, open meadow. Sloping down a hill, it had an expansive view that stretched from a state road at the foot of the field to mountains 25 miles in the distance. The light was perfect, the sky was clear and the late afternoon sun cast its warming glow over grasses, trees and model. Standing in the middle of the field, with no one around, I challenged Alex to do what had not been possible in our sessions earlier in the day: take it all off. Run au naturel through the summer field.
With an unobstructed view of the road at the foot of the field, we were both acutely aware of the fact that we were not entirely alone. Intermittent cars sped by about 100 yards below us. We could see them; surely they could see us. But the late summer grasses were high; high enough to reassure the reluctant model that he would—for the most part—be shielded from view of the passing cars. The grasses were not high enough to reassure the photographer that our act of trespassing on private property was equally hidden.
A couple of days later, processing the images back in the city, the shortcomings of our quick venture into "Sunset Meadow" became apparent. I wanted to return to the meadow to reshoot some shots and to add variety to what had the potential for being a publishable series of photos. Three weeks later, on the long Labor Day weekend, we returned to the Catskills. We scheduled the day so that we would be back in the meadow at the same hour. And, fortuitously, we were again greeted with bright blue skies and the same golden light that we had for the earlier session.
Venturing further into the undulating field, we were assured of a bit more privacy. We took our time. The model posed boldly. The photographer crouched in the field and crawled in the grasses, searching for the best angles.
And a couple of days later, processing the images back in the city, the carelessness of our brazen return to Sunset Meadow became apparent: I contracted the worst case of poison Ivy that I've had in u. Its severity necessitated a trip to the doctor and 10 days of steroids. Oh, the price we pay for our art. Fortunately the model was not rolling in the grass.
Alex escaped unharmed and unblemished and has nothing but pleasant memories of our trips into this meadow of golden sunlight and we have come to refer to this bucolic place as Sunset Meadow. I've even adopted the name as the title of the complete collection of photographs from these sessions which has been published as a hard-bound book. In private, however, I've taken to referring to it as Poison Ivy Field.
'To say that Alex is one of my favorite models is almost an understatement. I've worked with this charming young man more than with any other model. His enthusiasm and love of his work is infectious. A native of South America, Alex has lived in metropolitan New York for most of his life, returning to Colombia for his high school years. With a day-job in graphic design, he finds frequent work as a professional model. He has a love of cars . . . all cars, but especially those that are fast, sporty and expensive. Try taking a road trip with him. He can name the year, make and model of virtually any and every car on the road.
Alex takes his job seriously and approaches modeling with an earnestness that a photographer can't help but admire. And other photographers are taking notice and report being similarly impressed. Only in the business a short time and just having turned 24, he has already modeled for photographers on both the east and west coasts and has had the good fortune to have worked with some of the best in the business.'
Wesley from NMS-New York
'I've been modeling for a couple of years now and love it. I got the idea from watching my cousins in Colombia; several of them are runway models and it looked like a lot of fun. My first professional work was with a photographer in New York and he took me up onto the Highline, the new park built on old elevated train tracks. It's like a 25-block long runway on the edge of Greenwich Village!
Modeling is a great way to meet new people and see new places. (I love to travel.) In addition to meeting other models I've had the opportunity to get to know and work with some amazing and creative photographers in New York and California and all over the northeast, from Pennsylvania to New England. Working with New Manhattan Studios, alone, has allowed me to explore the Catskills, historic Hudson River towns, even California!
My first commercial work was for a Chinese watch company. I'd love to do a shoot in Germany. My other passion is cars and I dream of driving on the autobahn. Seeing a European Grand Prix or a Formula 1 Race in a place like Monte Carlo would be awesome.'
New Manhattan Studios
New Manhattan Studios on ModelMayhem
Alex Bustamante on ModelMayhem