It's interesting to me, how many times there's a nexus between art, and some of the artists and shoots, that I feature on FH. One of the themes of Friday's story with photographer Dominick Avellino, was how big an influence fashion has played with my love of so many images I have featured of the nude male form. In that piece, I mentioned how much I enjoyed the way Dominick incorporated many types of fashion, but especially long johns, into his work. Oddly enough, it was also long johns, that initially drew me to the work of Cooks Photography.
I actually began this piece long before Friday's piece on Dominick's work, shortly after profiling model Ivan Bohman last August. One of the shots in his port that I especially liked, was a image of Ivan looking mighty fine in a pair of long johns from Hal Cooks from Cooks Photography. Since then, I have been fortunate to have seen much more of Hal's work, so much that it was difficult to narrow down a model, shoot or theme to feature.
Ultimately, I asked Hal about featuring his work with Matt. Matt is obviously gorgeous, young, hot with an incredible body. Most of the models I feature however, are hot with incredible bodies, but it was the choices Hal made, with fashion, prop and location that me wanting to feature this shoot. I love how Matt looks in his trapper hat and boots, especially hanging on the rocks holding his long staff. I also love Hal's shots with red fabric, the deep red visually contrasts beautifully with Matt's skin and muted color of the rocks that surround him.
One of the reason I believe so many artists feel the compelled to create is that they have a vision they haven't seen in the work of others. If your only goal is to duplicate something that has already been created, what would really be the point.... Hal started shooting in 2007 after searching for a greeting card, featuring a great images of a black and a white model together. Hal didn't find much selection so began creating and shooting his own greeting cards. Although he stopped making his cards awhile ago, he never stopped shooting hot sexy men.
One of those men was Matt. Hal connected with the 20 year old model on Model Mayhem and has worked with him twice. The first shoot produced the set of image shown here shot top of the Cove, outside behind the houses in Cathedral City California. The next day, they went inside to shoot in the studio.
Hal likes to ask a few simple questions before meeting and setting up a shoot with a model. Questions to ensure that they're comfortable with the direction of the shoot. One of the questions is about limitations, and if there is anything they don't want to show on camera. I loved Matt's response, a response I think possibly typical for many models shooting nudes. ' I don't like shots of my asshole haha. I think they're weird, but outside of that not really.' Matt's not really, gave Hal plenty of ideas and options for their trip up to the top of the cove.
'Matt was great to work with, so comfortable in underwear or fully nude. He was funny and very genuine, I was so impressed with him. I have used this location before it's private, with usually no one around. As far as the theme, all I did was to pick out a variety of my props and went with the flow. I always have ideas before the shoot, however; I'm not confined by them.'
For me, 2011 was about cementing. Cementing what I wanted FH to be, and cementing relationships with photographers, models and actors who were a part of my vision. I have written before that one of the things that drove FH in the beginning was respect. I was so tired of certain sites and site owners who seemed to see their purpose in bringing others down. I hate cruelty, and wanted FH to be a celebration of the male form, not a site to tear down, belittle or make fun of others.
Image from Jon Seneca
But.. nice can be boring, so it was one of my goals to try to keep things interesting. That proved fairly easy with all the sexy images, and stimulating stories that artists and models shared. So many photographers made their FH debut in 2011. For some, it was just one visit, others visited a couple of times. Many others, made FH a regular place to share their work. MvR Photo, Jon Seneca, TWD Photos, Manuscript Photography, Christopher Singleton, GymImage and JR Williams were just some of the many artists who shared their vision and images in 2011.
Image by Richard Rothstein
Joining the photographers from 2010 who became regular contributors were Peek Physique, Doug Vetter, TR Pics, Studio James, Von Melzer and Greg Lindeblom. Gordon Nebeker also had his first appearance, but with an entertainer who had second thoughts about having his penis swinging about. Gordon's images made their next appearance in 2012 and have been a regular, and favorite part, of FH in 2010.
Keith by Carl Proctor
Carl Proctor, and his images of Keith, also first appeared in 2011. I have featured Carl's work each year since, including updates whenever he manages to get the very busy Keith back in front of his lens.
Image from Peek Physique
I also was thrilled to feature model great model features in 2011. Adam Fletcher, Seth Kuhlmann, Colby Keller, Brandon Connelly, Benjamin Godfre and tMf model search winner Kyle Goffney were just a handful of models who took the time to answer my questions and curiosities. Although Matt Eldracher won the 2010 model search, his winning photo shoot with photographer Chris Teel was featured 2011.
Image from TR Pics
I can't post about 2011 without giving a mention and thanks to Marlen Boro. Over 2011 and 2012, almost every Thursday, The Gentlemen of Marlen Boro was a highlight. It wasn't just a highlight to share so many incredible shoots from Marlen, it was also a treat to join Marlen for a short time on his journey to creating his signature Dudoir themed shoots.