'Not only had Matt developed physically over the year between our two shoots, I noticed a difference in the level of confidence as well. We shot for almost 8 hours over the second shoot - a number of concepts shot in varying outdoor and indoor locations and I kept thinking to myself that he'd grown into a 'man' since our first shoot together. Matt takes direction well and doesn't hesitate to add his own spin on concepts - he's the kind of model you want to shoot over and over and I hope to get that chance again in the future!'
It was just about two years ago when FH featured the first shots of Model Search 2011 winner Matt Eldracher. Matt proved a deserving and worthy winner, creating a series of incredible shots with photographer Chris Teel. In that first shoot, there were several themes shot including a particular set up which pushed boundaries with Teel's bloody and erotic take on the film American Psycho. With Model Search 2013 just around the corner, Matt is back! The 22 year old Ontario model talks to FH about his experience with winning the contest and what he has been up to since.
What was your initial reaction to winning the first Model Search?
'I was shocked and excited at the same time! Being a beginner model it was almost my first big break into the world of modeling and it started me on the path that I am on today. It truly changed my life.'
What was that first shoot like?
'The first shoot was exhilarating! Working with Chris always feels natural but that first time we just got started and the was no anxious feeling only adrenaline and excitement picture after picture idea after idea. It is how I base what all shoots, both past and future, should be like.'
Was this the first time you shot fully nude?
'Yes it was, I had done underwear shoots before, but it was my first time baring it all.'
The first shoot had some edgy work with American Psycho themed images; did your work as a performer help you in creating a character for the camera?
'As I have mentioned in the past I love horror movies which made that aspect of the shoot very fun. As for the acting bit, I believe that models are actors within one caption, we have to portray an entire story. It is probably the hardest part of bring a model. Without that story the photo isn't as interesting an will likely get forgotten but the more story the model can portray through one snapshot, painting, sketch, sculpture, or other form, the more interesting the piece of art.'
What was it like getting the images back? Were they what you expected?
'Getting the images back was a nerve racking experience as you don't really know what to expect. Yes you are there posing as the camera clicks away but you are never sure at what exact moments the images were captured. When I did get the images I was very pleased with the work me and Chris had created and wanted to show the world.'
What were the reactions from your friends and family to the shots?
'They were a little shocked with the nudity but not in a bad disgusted way more just that awkwardness that they know me lol. But they did enjoy the images and I received praise from all.'
Have you ever been recognized from your images that have appeared on the net and in magazines?
'Yes, actually the images spread like wild fire and have been posted all over the web as well as featured in some magazines and they put my name out there. I even got nominated placing a close 3rd for hottest up incoming model on the DNA blog. This was a world wide contest and I placed third with a difference if a few points between me and first place.'
You obviously have been bulking up since your first shoot with Chris, was this goal you set for yourself?
'Yes this was a personal goal. I think it's time the world saw me as a man and that is why I have decided to bulk up.'
What were the biggest differences between the first and second shoot?
'Well the second shoot was a non-stop, 14hr shoot compared to the first, slower paced 8hr shoot. We managed to get a lot more accomplished with many different ideas. The first shoot was shot in a single location opposed to the second which we shot all over Downtown Toronto and in 2 studio spaces. We tried interesting concepts and there was more artistic experimenting to achieve the many ideas.'
What was the best part of winning model search?
'The best part was certainly the exposure and that it pushed me into the world of modeling. Without it I'm not sure where I would be.'
-Matt Eldracher on FH-