'Without Valentine's Day, February would be... well, January.'
~Faint Of Heart~
Although I tend to go overboard for some holidays, (Christmas and Halloween) for some reason I have not had the same enthusiasm for Valentines posts. I was surprised when looking for old posts to link to for February 14th, that there were so few. I think of myself as a romantic, but oddly not necessarily a fan of romance. It all starts off wonderfully enough, but I have seen and experienced too much pain associated with relationships that have gone wrong. I like my relationships passionate, but real, I think I prefer enjoying romance on the big screen, ideally with a naked Ryan Gossling. That being said, I wish everyone who popped into FH today a great Valentines. If your day isn't filled with romance, I hope it is instead filled with much love.
Past Valentine's and Valentine related posts from FH
'Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart.'
Valentines's in an interesting holiday. Depending on your relationship status it can be sensual and romantic, painful and depressing or just... another day. Regardless of where you may be in your love journey, FH, New Manhattan Studios and model Bond Brown want to bring something special to your Valentines, ensuring it's more than just another winter Saturday.
Readers of FH will no doubt remember Wes, (NMS) and his work with Bond, in our hot hat-trick of features from last Halloween. (Those Who Wait | Cool Confidence | Maturation) In those features Wes, and his artistic accomplice Alex Corso, shared the results of their work with Bond during the first half of last year. Shortly after the Halloween postings, Bond returned to Wes's New Manhattan Studio for another, their final shoot together for the year. Wes describes this shoot as distinctly more erotically-focused their their previous work together, meaning of course, more nudity!
I love a great reveal especially, when the revealer is as hot as Bond Brown. In the first half of the shoot, they began with the tux, then the unattire, with Bond removing his tux, tie and underwear, both red, perfect for celebrating February 14th. Wes describes the second half of the session as more romantic, shot in the glamour style of classic 50's cheesecake photography using a high-key style of editing to enhance that specific look. Bond is without a doubt adorable. Sexy, yet coy while at the same time is aware and enjoys the effect his look and aura have on those around him and those who enjoy his work.
Although these images are unmistakably more erotic, I have always found Bond extremely sexy, Bond has a raw and youthful appeal. I think the biggest difference that love about this set of images is the maturity Bond exudes. This is especially evident in how Bond so skillfully plays with the camera using his facial expressions. He has always had a killer grin, but here, Bond has more than morphed into his British spy namesake with suave and sophistication, enticing the viewer with both his eyes as well as his charisma. What more could you want for Valentines!
'Wes and I have have some wonderful shoots in the past year. This last one, however was my favorite. I felt like I was really expressing myself like I should have been all along.'
The Last, Last, Last Photoshoot:
Words by Wes, New Manhattan Studios
When Bond Brown showed up in our studio last January we had no idea he would go on to become one of the most-photographed models in the studio’s portfolio. But his enthusiasm and love of the work earned him repeated call-backs to the studio over the first half of 2014. How he came to have three “final sessions” with the studio, however, is another story (told here).
By the middle of the year, just as I was coming to truly appreciate his potential as a model, Bond announced that after three post-college years in New York, he would be quitting his day job and moving to California. That prompted a quick scheduling of his “final” New York photo session in early October, literally on the eve of his departure from the city. Owing to unusual circumstances we were unable to work with him in the studio that day and he departed without the full complement of work we had hoped to capture.
Fortunately Bob had to return to the city a week later to retrieve the last of his property that hadn’t fit into his car the previous week. We seized the opportunity to reschedule a second “final” shoot in the studio in mid-October. However, this time, owing to technical (“camera”) issues, a portion of the session was lost and we again failed to take full advantage of our “last” shot at Bond.
As eager as ever to please (and model), Bond announced that he’d be returning to New York City one last time for a wedding in November. And with that opening, the third and actual “final” photo session was scheduled. We share today the results of that last, last, last photo session. We have prepared a special video for the readers of Favorite Hunks that takes them behind the scenes at Bond’s last photo session. It can be seen by clicking HERE:
See more of Bond’s work with New Manhattan Studios by clicking HERE:
And while this did turn out to be Bond’s last session with the studio in New York, it is not the last we will see of the young man. New Manhattan Studios has already scheduled him for work in the spring when we make one of our regular trips to the West Coast. We’ve already reminded him that “Bond” is famously associated with expensive yachts and we’ve pointed out that San Francisco Bay is full of them. He’s scouting for a rich cougar with a big yacht. Stay tuned.
It officially began last summer. FH has always been about the stories behind the images, but I have usually done it through words. Then last year a few things occurred. Robert J Guttke sent on a few images, out-takes he could not use because one of his cats had decided to beautifully enter frame, rubbing up against the naked male model being shot. It became a favorite image of mine. Then, last summer when putting together my piece of New Manhattan Studio's work with Victor, a theme began to emerge. Included in the images Wes sent on of Victor, there were also various shots of model Alex Corso who was the stylist and production assistant on the shoot. .
Alex's assistance became a theme as he helped out greatly with my feature on his hunk younger brother Ricardo'sFH debut in September. I even weaved, I think for the first time, a few of these 'behind the scenes' images within the story. The theme was set! In that same month, I used behind the scenes stories and images as my way of telling the story in the multi-part series Utah or Bust, the tale of 3 models, and four photographers (Gordon Nebeker, Tom Clark, Mike Tossy and Mark Grantham) on their shooting adventure last summer.
With my Halloween Bond extravaganza, I stopped weaving in these behind the scene shots, and created a second post to spotlight those specific photos. For someone like me, someone who wants to know more about process, more about what the experience was like and how a great photo comes together these images hold a particular fascination. In Wes's October shoot, Alex's assistance was especially crucial when issues with Wes's camera led to his images of Bond being unusable. Thankfully Alex was also shooting away and some of the images used came from him.
So, as I did with the Halloween piece, I again am including a second post featuring images of how the images in the first post came together. Behind The Scenes has become my theme for 2015, and I am asking most of the artists I profile for bts images if they have them. Not every artist, nor every model, is as keen about sharing as Wes has been. I think process is one of those things some like to share while others prefer it remain a mystery. I am grateful to Wes for sharing so much of his work with FH, especially on Halloween, and now Valentines. Could we dare hope for Bunny Bond on Easter... time will tell.
'By the time this session took place, I had become very comfortable around Wes and Alex and quite comfortable with myself too.'
'Last year around this time, I came into Wes's studio for the first time and was a little low and down. I was struggling trying to support myself in New York and was overwhelmed with the pressure of finding a career that suited me. I would be lying if I said that the sessions with Wes did not give me the self-confidence I needed to make some life changing decisions. Anyone with the great fortune to work with these guys will be able to tell that there is truly something special about them. They are a fantastic artists and wonderful people.'
'After shooting two previous “final photos” to cap his New York modeling career (including one outdoor shot with New York City’s night time skyline behind him), we ended the third session on a sentimental note. After a year of working in front of and around the cameras together, Bond and Alex, the studio’s assistant and second photographer, had become good friends. “For the studio, for the boys,” Bob and Alex put on matching underwear and stepped onto the paper together. Bob’s last shot in New York wasn't posed in front of the skyline; it was standing next to his friend Alex.'
'I have worked with quite a few models now, but Bond is special, a unique one, always cheerful and willing to try whatever it takes for a great shot. My gaydar was broken apparently though. I thought, hoped... he might be gay, because he was so comfortable and open. It's his eyes that seduce you, he has great thighs and is very masculine but his eyes... they make you feel safe, relaxed, in love. I don't know how to explain it but as I told Bond, if he ever decides to switch sides, I would jump on that immediately.'
You explained it perfectly Alex, I think we all know what you mean ;)
To see more of Bond, head on over to see all of Wes's work with Bond at New Manhattan Studios HERE: Be sure to also check out Wes's video presentation with even more images, many behind the scenes with Bond.
If you want to see even more of Bond, much more than you're seeing here on FH, check out Bond's gallery on Bond's NMS Fine Art Page for even more photos not published on-line!
'It was the unassuming cuteness of the boy next door. With a naturally sunny, non-threatening disposition and a keen interest and enthusiasm for everything, his engaging personality was his most arresting trait. If you can remember Tom Hank’s character in Big, then you know Bond.'
Yes, this piece on actor Tom Hanks is indeed connected to Bond and the two features above. When Wes first talked about my featuring Bond last fall, he compared him, especially in their early sessions, to a young Tom Hanks. I remember one of his goals during a later shoot was to push the adorable Tom persona to the side and have Bond explore his darker, bad boy side.. his James Dean. I wasn't sure if I initially thought the Tom Hanks comparison was a compliment. Might have been because I had specific memory of Tom, but more of that later.
Hanks on Saturday Night Live (1991)
I thought of Wes's comments a couple of months ago while watching one of SNL's Saturday night repeats. It was a 1991 show with Tom as the host. The show took pretty much every opportunity to 'sex' up Mr. Hanks, having him shirtless in a couple of sketches, and in tight black pants acting tough as a roadie for Aerosmith in a Wayne's World sketch.
Tom Hanks was, and is an adorable man, but unlike the hot Mr. Bond, Mr. Hanks was never truly able to morph into actually being considered sexy. That's not to say he wasn't sexual, in fact in many of Hanks early roles, the directors and producers often used his mixture of man and boy to create sexual situations for his characters.
This brings me to my childhood memory. It was the early 90's and I was in grade 9 or 10 at the time. A bunch of my friends and I were at my friend Geoff's hanging out in the red room. I remember drinking black cherry Pop Shoppe and scarfing down salt and vinegar chips by the handful. In between recording Friday Night Videos, we were watching an VHS copy of Hanks 1989 flick Turner & Hooch. I distinctly remember getting a little hot and bothered over the many scenes of Hanks in his black briefs, especially the scene where he dragged poor old Hooch into the tub. It could not have been an accident there were so many close ups of Hank's in his undies with his butt in the air. At one point I had to leave the room and splash some cold water over my face.
Turner and Hooch
Hanks was often in fact required in those early films to strip down to his underwear, usually of course tiny briefs. That black pair in Turner and Hooch, his tight red undies in bed with Carrie Fisher in The Man With One Red Shoe and of course, his white, with blue striped underoo's in Big, the film that epitomized Hanks man/boy persona.
The Man With One Red Shoe (1985)
Unlike the suave, sexy and debonair looks Bond pulls off, Hanks remain, well very much Hanks like as he has gotten older. Still a pleasant, good looking man, but still...not quite sexy. Hanks keeps his clothes mostly on these days, except for a brief nude scene in Charlie Wilson's War. It was a lot of fun re-watching some of Hank's earlier films, except The Burps, never finished getting through that one. It is also fascinating to think of someone as sexual, without necessarily being sexy. Makes me want to research other actors who might fit into under the same umbrella...