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On April 22, 2012 I learned of Austin Shook’s death via Facebook.  I posted this photo for his friends on Facebook but I forgot to post it to my blog.

This was my tribute to him.

Austin Shook, Rest In Peace

Austin sat for me a few times back in 2008.  He was a fantastic person to work with.  His zeal, candor and smile were nothing short of wonderful.

His sexuality was quite intense.  He had a girlfriend at the time but he would regularly proposition me via email and send the wildest photos as bait.  I would thank him for the photos and affirm him regarding his body — like I do with all of my models. I did not and do not disclose my sexuality to my models though as I like the ambiguity that comes with the unknown in that department.  I also do not feel that my models should be influenced by my sexual preference.  I think the work should be about them and their expression.

Austin was incredibly shy in person and he would use email to reveal his feelings for me.  With all of my models, I always maintain a courteous and professional demeanor, regardless of their or my sexual preference.  I let them express themselves however they want.  If they have feelings for me, it often makes the work even more beautiful.  It comes out in the work in the form of comfort and enthusiasm.

While I never validated Austin sexually, I always validated him personally.  He was a fantastic person and he is missed by many.

Thanks for your friendship, Austin. See you on the other side.

It has been literally years since I’ve posted on my blog.  Three to be exact — almost to the day.  I apologize.  I took some time away and traveled as well as began numerous other projects.  It’s been way too long.  I’ll try to be more consistent.  We’ll see.  :)

Rugby players love to get naked.  We know that -

a97785_g277_3-rugby

I had to post this because someone sent it my way.  These nude rugby players are doing the viral craze that we know as the infamous “Harlem Shake.”  This craze is sweeping the nation and it was only a matter of time before a team of athletic men got naked in the shower and started shaking their junk.

Athletes have a special bond.  They know each others strengths and weaknesses on and off the field.  They know each other personally, athletically and intimately.  Showering nude with other men is one thing.  Getting naked and dancing with other men and video taping it for the world to see is another.  It takes a fairly impressive amount of bonding for a team to get naked, turn on a camera and wave their penises around for the world to see.  I’m proud of them.  They’re making a stand here and rebelling against the norm.  It is inspiring to see a group of men bonding in such a beautiful way.  I’m glad they took the time to make this video, share their intimate moment with us and expose it for the entire world to enjoy.

Here are your naked rugby players doing the Harlem Shake Nude in the shower and showing of their mind, body and spirit.  Thanks gentleman.

Naked rugby players doing the Harlem Shake Nude in the shower

Naked Rugby Players Harlem Shake in the Shower

I “stumbled upon” this all male blog today.

It’s a photographic blog full of user generated images. Guys who want to be validated as “attractive” submit all sorts of photos to be posted in return for their 15 minutes of fame.

Warning: The pics range from fully-clothed portrait photos to nude images, and even photos of explicit sexual acts.   However, all of the photos have two things in common — it’s a man’s photo (and many men prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt) and there is an iPhone in the picture.  The owners are selling “advertising” space on the side to support it.

What I find really interesting is that men from all over are taking the opportunity to exploit themselves, their phone and in many cases their most intimate body parts on this blog.  They want to be validated, seen and exposed.

I find the whole concept edgy, I guess that’s why I like it.

So I finally saw “Naked Boys Singing” during a trip to New York City last week.  I have to say I was a bit surprised by the “gratuitous nudity” but it was excellently done.

The actors were impressive musicians with talent, not naked guys showing off bodies.  The men came in all shapes and sizes, only a few of which were in great physical shape.  It was great to see a performance that challenged the status quo and western taboos in general.

So you want a “Bleach Bum?”  Apparently you’re not the only one.  This phenomenon is one of the few that actually has had the ability to shock me recently.  I can’t imagine the side affects and I can’t imagine why anyone but someone in the adult film industry would be interested.

Nonetheless, where there is a demand, there is supply.  Classic economics, right?

I’m curious to see “before” and “after” photos, if you find some, please let me know.  They do say not to “knock it” unless you’ve “tried it” and that “seeing is believing” — so friends, if you’ve got some photos to share, please do.

Naked Boys Singing

Naked Boys Singing, the international hit musical revue now in its 10th smash year Off-Broadway, is a show I have still not yet seen.

I’m ashamed.  Besides being offered free tickets by a Vegas cast member, being in New York twice while it was showing and having no excuse what so ever — I’m going to do my best to see the show before the end of the year.

Naked Boys Singing

Naked Boys Singing

Naked Boys Singing

Producer Tom D’Angora has had a long history with Naked Boys Singing starring in the highly controversial, and highly publicized, 2001 Provincetown production. In 2001 Naked Boys Singing performed within 500 feet from a church, violating an old blue law that prohibited nudity. Slapped with cease-and-desist orders at every performance the show created quite the stir! Despite the controversy the little nudie show that could DID! Naked Boys Singing managed to sell out the entire run, adding performances each week, it made national news with stories on CNN and other news networks, and eventually went before a packed town hall to win their case and get the laws rewritten!

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from photography for a few months due to a recent tragedy

One of my models, Richard Poplawski, murdered 3 police officers in cold blood in his home a few months back, after an argument with his mother about his dog.

This excerpt is from an article on WTAE Channel 4′s website (the full article can be found here)

richard poplawski

PITTSBURGH — The man accused of fatally shooting three Pittsburgh police officers and injuring two others was alternately described by friends as “an easygoing, fun-loving guy” and a known gun enthusiast who was prepared to die after he woke up on a bright spring Saturday morning.

Richard Poplawski photo from Pittsburgh police.
Richard “Pop” Poplawski was moved Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. from UPMC Presbyterian to the Allegheny County Jail, where he will remain held without bond pending a preliminary hearing.

Between volleys of gunfire at his Stanton Heights home, Poplawski, 22, was apparently calling friends and family.
“He just told my nephew, Billy, that he was shot twice — one in the arm, once in the leg,” aunt Marianne Klimczyk told WTAE Channel 4′s Bob Mayo. “He just told him to tell everybody that ‘I love them’ because he didn’t think that he was going to get out of there alive.”

Some realities have set in — like you really have no idea what someone sitting across from you is capable of.  Another reality is that life really is taken for granted.  Another is that things aren’t always what they seem.

After the incident, I wondered for months if I should release the photos.  I wondered if I could help to communicate who Rich Poplawski was, how he presented himself and how he viewed himself in an effort to help a stunned community and city better understand how and why Rich could have performed such an awful crime.  I wondered if I could use the artwork as a vehicle to provide financial support to the families who are suffering from their losses.

I have a pretty elaborate file on Rich — which includes all of the following:

  • Fully signature-released access to several hundred nude photos of Rich Poplawski
  • Hand writing samples complete with signature, printed name and address
  • Personal emails detailing intimate information about Rich – from his own perspective about:
  1. Fully signature-released access to digitally personally-taken self portrait
  2. His work in adult entertainment
  3. His comfort level with nudity
  4. His personal art interests and feelings toward art
  5. His desire to be a part of my nude artwork
  6. His self image and tattoos
  • Photographs of his drivers license ID
  • Typed raw notes from the personal interview with Rich about:
  1. His personal expectations and objectives in the adult industry
  2. His body art, tattoos, and how they relate to patriotism
  3. Rich’s feelings about 9-1-1
  4. Rich’s ego and self image
  5. His confidence
  6. Why he was in Pittsburgh and not in Florida
  7. His sexual escapades
  8. Details about his father and parents marriage
  9. His academic interests
  10. His career goals
  11. What he likes best about his body
  12. What he dislikes most about his body
  13. Detailed feelings about his own: head, hair, eyes, face, lips, teeth, smile, chest, hands, arms, torso, v-line, penis, buttocks, quads, hamstrings, calves and feet

Richard Poplawski Tatoo

Media is difficult to work with though, and I didn’t want the release of my work with Rich to be a burden on the families or any other party involved.

Beyond that, I need to ensure that anything I release would be dedicated to fairly and competently presenting the persona of Rich Poplawski as he presented himself to me.  No “spin.”  I also needed to be sure the media would respectfully address the artwork that I do — positively portraying my name, brand and image at all times.  Finally, after a few offers from media, I opted to withdraw and completely disconnect for several months.  That time is over.  I am now back.

Regardless, even though I’m not certain if I’m going to release my work with Rich anytime soon, I will be doing more work with more models and I’m looking forward to it!

nude-boy-swimmers

Apparently the youth of America are suffering from low self esteem. Many of them are not comfortable with themselfs, their identity, gender, sexuality, etc. From what I’ve been reading, the list goes on and on. Nudists believe they have the answer to some of the many questions posed.

This article, from the Pittsburgh Tribune but Based on a New York Times article, talks about a “summer nudie camp for kids”
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_140985.html

According to The Times article, parents say the camp promotes a healthy body image among kids and teens. Nudists believe, after all, that the body is nothing to be ashamed of and we should all be more comfortable with who we are.

Apparently The New York Times reports that the American Association for Nude Recreation has begun a nationwide expansion of summer camps for nudists aged 11 to 18. While this club is expanding to promote nude swimming, on the other side of the coin, the clubs that have been promoting it for over a hundred years are now putting a stop to it. Yes, the Milwaukee Athletic Club just broke with its 121-year-old tradition and they now require men to wear suits when they swim – and some longtime swimmers aren’t happy about it.

The full article located at http://www.redorbit.com/news/oddities/23361/health_club_ends_nude_swimming_tradition/ explains that:

the club has maintained two pools: one for women and children, requiring suits, and the other for men only to swim laps, in the nude if they wished.

On the other side of the globe, there is “outrage over nude swimming” where parents are refusing to let their children swim in Levenshulme baths – because it’s being hired for naked male swimming sessions. This article gives a possible perspective of a threatened mother when this new social taboo is presented.

What’s so odd is that 40 years ago, nude swimming was the norm. It’s what was acceptable. Below, you can see that they even used to shower in groups before they jumped in the pool.

nude-guys-showering-at-pool

A paradigm shift has happened and I’m curious as to why? I really can’t help but wonder — of all the factors that have gone into this shift. The YMCAs used to enforce nude swimming and many, like the one below, even gyms right above or next to the pool. Between laps, guys would just head over and lift weights — yes, completely nude.

nude-men-working-out

Boys used to even compete in the nude –

nude-divers-competing

Some may wonder why I write about nudity so often. As a nude photographer, folks contact me constantly and say they want to shoot with me — but not completely nude. I understand their fears, but my blogging in many ways is an attempt to bring more understanding to the concept of acceptance of being involved in nude art.

Here are some more nude swimming photos I’ve found in my research:

nude-swim-teamnude-boys-in-rivernude-swimmers-in-pool

burton-logo

Burton Snowboards released a line of “Love” snowboards featuring a nude Playboy model.  Their marketing pitch was:

Hi. My name is Love™ and I’m on the market for someone who’s looking to score serious action, no matter where they like to stick it. I enjoy laps through the park; long, hard grinds on my meaty Park Edges; followed by a good, hot waxing. Whether you’re hitting it from the front or the back, my mid wide shape, supple flex, and twin tips like it kinky. Keegan and Mikkel love riding me, I hope you will too.

As you could imagine, some didn’t take well to this.  I can’t imagine why…

The images weren’t even that graphic:

burton-love-playboy-snoboards

After a bit of controversy, Burton released this comment:

As a result of the opinions of an isolated group of individuals, we want to clarify where Burton stands on our board graphic artwork. We respect everyone’s right to his or her own opinion, and we also respect the right to protest. That said, here is our position: Burton supports freedom of artistic expression. Board graphics are artwork, and art can be offensive to some and inspiring to others. Snowboarding is a sport and a lifestyle where boundaries are pushed in terms of artwork, similar to the world of music, video games and movies. From Lange ski boot ads since the 1970’s featuring barely clothed women, to the Burton Love series, winter sports have a long history of tongue-in-cheek graphics and advertising. Our product development process is driven by riders, and when some of our pro riders asked for these graphics, we backed them. Burton is a global company, and these boards have been embraced and are a success around the world. We are not breaking any laws by creating these boards, and it is our sincere belief that these graphics do not condone or encourage violence towards women in any way.  Burton’s support of women, from entry level employees here in Burlington to our team riders on Olympic podiums, is unparalleled.  We, as a company, are immensely proud of our record here. We will keep these boards in the market and have no intention of recalling them.

Edgy bastards, eh?  I love it.

I recently came across some photos of naked snowboarders. I’m intrigued.  As a snowboarder myself, I’m unsure as to both why and how would anyone would want to inflict these kinds of temperatures on their “skivvies.”  However, I’m not one to judge — if you’re a snowboarder and you want to do some nude photos, let’s talk.  Email me, who knows, we may have one more snow here in Western Pennsylvania.

snowboarder-naked

nude-snowboarding

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