'The great bonus in working with Ricardo is that I can always count on his physique being even more impressive each time we shoot. We have worked together since early 2014 when the construction worker and part-time model was just 21. I can’t begin to imagine the number of hours this guy has spent in the gym since then. At 23, he’s sporting a massive, ripped physique.'
'To my surprise, I find that my interests are taking me toward physique art photography; at least this year. I suspect that working with the likes of Ricardo, Norm and Alex, three gym buddies who sport three of the best physiques to come through the studio, has a lot to do with it. Playing along the line between art and photography has long interested me, however.'
'But as I focus more and more of my time and efforts at crafting art out of bodies, increasingly I am coming to value a model’s torso above all other physical attributes. Capturing the evanescent light and shadows playing across the body is the essence of the art and having a subject with sufficient definition to cast a few shadows is increasingly a base requirement for me. The one physique model I can count on always to deliver the goods is Ricardo, the kid brother (and personal trainer) of our second cameraman and production assistant, Alex Corso.'
'The timing of Ricardo’s last shoot with us was very much determined by the schedule of snow birds. I have long had my eye on a metal sculpture that has appeared as a prop in the photos we’ve shot in the studio/office of a friend, David. The room the sculpture calls home is too confining to adequately showcase such a large prop in an art pose and for some time we have been looking for a chance to bring it into the studio. That finally happened in December, just days before its owner, a prominent Madison Avenue designer, retreated to Florida for the winter.'
'I wouldn’t think of borrowing such a large (and expensive) piece of art without having the owner present to supervise its transit and handling. We took advantage of having an extra set of hands in the studio that day and pressed David into service as our stylist (and model spritzer), freeing Ricardo’s older brother, Alex, to devote his full attention to the second camera.'
'Perhaps it’s a reflection of their native Colombian culture, but unlike the Italian brothers Luca and Matteo, Ricardo and Alex are a bit more reserved around each other. Alex steps out of the studio when his brother is posing nude. Given that dynamic, it’s worth noting that my favorite picture of the day was one of Alex's last shots, taken just as Ricardo's clothes were coming off.'
'Alex's picture of his kid brother inspired a series from the session that we’ve dubbed, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night. Alex wasn't around for the rest of the session, but you can find the full series in Captured Shadows #3, the studio’s quarterly physique art magazine. The images start to blur the line between art and photography and invite the viewer to spin a back story for the rain and flashing lights.'
~Behind The Scenes~
A special video presentation has been prepared for the readers of Favorite Hunks. In addition to dozens of additional images from his shoot, many take you behind the scenes at New Manhattan Studios. Other images from the day can be found in Ricardo’s gallery and in the Fine Art Gallery on the website.
There might be a few FH readers still kicking around who remember how it started. I had been collecting images that I liked for awhile in folders and was looking for a way to save them on-line. I wasn't really looking to start a site, certainly not something that would take much time. I had lost images before when my computer crashed or died and I just wanted a place to store my favorite images.
After looking around the net, I decided that the easiest place to quickly upload and keep my images safe was to put them in Yahoo Groups. Yahoo Groups, before the start of Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest, was the place to be. Without even trying, I started having people join my group, a lot of them. Soon, I had a dozen or so groups, separated by categories such as Male Models, Playgirl Men, Sports Guys and Butt shots. I didn't know it at the time, but these categories would eventually find themselves on FH the blog.
The groups, most of them, are still there I think. Sadly, I don't have access any longer, attempts at retrieving my passwords were unsuccessful, and most have been overtaken with spam porn and links. FH the blog, the original version, was not supposed to be about naked men, art and photography. It was started as sort of an on-line diary, my life, my loves and a big dose of entertainment and media.
Within a few weeks, I regretted some of the stories, and deleted most of the first few stories and replaced them with images from the Yahoo Groups. That's when things really got started. The format was crude at first, I posted any time of the day I wanted to, sometimes 1 or 2 posts a day, sometimes 12 or more. I didn't start the current format of 5 blog pieces in a magazine format until 2009 or 2010.
The two current FH features that were there from the start were birthdays, and pic of the day. The POTD was to set the tone and a way to grab attention. Eventually, it became the cover, of what I consider the magazine format FH is today. The images featured here are some of the first images I used in the fall of 2007 as POTD. Most came from the yahoo group, and as you can see, most are young guys, frat jokes and tons and tons of butts.
Back in 2007, there wasn't a google images search, so finding proper credit wasn't as easy as it is today. I eventually started connecting the POTD to the blogs main feature or story each day and choosing the image became my favorite part of piecing together that day's postings.
If you look back on my POTD's, they are a photo album of some of the best models, photographers and artists of the male form. I try to use the POTD as a way to have viewers want to see more. I don't often use frontals as the POTD, but although I throw one in now and then, they are meant to be a 'teaser' so viewers will want to see more.
This fall, FH turns 10. As it draws closer, I am going to look back on some of my favorite POTD's, these images, are from 2007. I love 'looking back' on FH, I think one of the things that makes it special, is that I don't just focus on men of the moment. There are so many models and images that became super hot for about 10 seconds, then disappeared from everyone's site and pages.
FH is about what I love, both today, and in the past. FH's 10 year will of course be full of new and upcoming models and photographers, but I am also taking a look back, and hoping viewers, and some of my favorite models and photographers, will join me along for the ride.