New Manhattan Studios: Blog en-us (C) New Manhattan Studios (New Manhattan Studios) Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:30:00 GMT Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:30:00 GMT New Manhattan Studios: Blog 120 49 Dustin Arrives. By way of California and Instagram In more ways than one, the gallery that we open for Dustin exemplifies the changes rippling through the studio and its work.  As we move further away from our commercial roots, fewer and fewer of our sessions contain the type of fashion and fitness portfolio work that once was the studio’s mainstay.   Moving forward, an increasing majority of our work is being done in the name of art.

Compared to the commercial nature of the fashion and fitness portfolio sessions that preceded them, our non-commercial sessions now have a more single-minded focus, in pursuit of narrower artistic objectives. Overall, less time is being spent in the studio and more time is being spent on publishing and post-processing as we continue expanding our creative wings, sometimes more successfully than others.

This 6’ fashion and fitness model calls both New York and California home, but between his trips to Europe and the West Coast, we managed find time to shoot together twice last year.  Dustin is a familiar sight to many.  An established model, his visage has graced runways, printed pages and computer screens for a number of years in any number of modeling assignments.  

Our last session was briefer than normal and we parted with plans to work together again. Accordingly, we have held off publishing any of his work until we completed the anticipated session.  For the time being, we have concluded that Dustin is somewhere to be found between between his homes and Dubai or Hong Kong.  When we might get him back in front of our lenses is anyone’s guess so it's time to go public with our work-to-date.

The opening of Dustin’s gallery also reflects the way in which the Internet is changing our marketing and the extent to which one application, Instagram, is driving the schedule today.  As recently as a year ago, these blog entries, marking the opening new galleries, were where we debuted our latest work and newest models.  Today, the perceived need to feed the ubiquitous photo-sharing service with two or three photos a day means that the first place you are going to see our newest work is on Instagram.  We started posted initial edits from Dustin's work on Instagram a few months ago.

But a few pictures here and there do not a collection make; there will always be new galleries (albeit smaller, and more focused) opening on the site. And owing to the nature and limitations of Instagram's broad public platform, there will always be a place and a role for the studio’s website galleries.  A substantial portion of the studio’s work will never clear the “community standards” guidelines of most social media. 

And to prove our points, check out Dustin's new folder here.  It was harder to separate the "art" executions from the rest of the collection, so we default to an old custom:  anything requiring a (digital) figleaf will be found the the Fine Art galleries.  (Dustin's work can be found in the "recent additions" folder.)

The bottom line is this:  the world of 2017 is such that if you want to see the studio’s newest models (before they appear here), log into Instagram and start following newmanhattanstudios.  Then plan to come back here, as well.  This is where the good stuff lives.  The stuff that can’t be shared on Instagram.  Blog entries may be a bit less frequent in the future; to make sure you don't miss any, subscribe to the RSS feed by using the button on the lower left-hand corner of the screen.


]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Dustin art male model nude physique Mon, 24 Apr 2017 01:52:17 GMT
The Private Portfolio Series at New Manhattan Studios  

For many, the news here is the release of the digital version of Bond:  Private Portfolio 2.  This is a sequel to Bond's first portfolio and the two books span 24 months in the life of one of the studio's most popular models.  Both the print and digital versions are now on sale here.  You can read more about the book in last month's blog entry, when the hardcover edition was released.

Books labeled Private Portfolio have quietly resided on a back shelf of our website since 2014.  With the release of Bond: Private Portfolio 2, the fourth book, it's time to promote a trio of books into a series.  (And a fifth is on its way!)


The Private Portfolio Series



ALEX - 2014

WILLI - 2015

BOND - 2015

BOND 2 - 2016

OLEKS - 2017


The Private Portfolio Series is a collection of single-model portfolios featuring models with whom the studio has had multiple sessions. This is the uncensored work from their sessions, including many explicit photographs and art nude studies.

We place no restrictions on the type of work included in the series and each book is as unique as the model with whom we were collaborating.  Photography in the series ranges from fashion and fitness work of a commercial nature to physique and art nude studies. Occasionally models have done softly erotic work and almost always you will find casual behind-the-scenes shots along with formal physique poses.

The series showcases the best of our work with the featured models. As such, some images may be in public circulation, others may have been published in Captured Shadows or other studio publications, but most of the photography in each book is previously-unpublished art, available from us only in this series.

Perhaps the most compelling part of these collections is the addition of the temporal dimension:  the study of a single subject over a period of time. In the case of these young men, you are witness to their maturing physiques, nothing less than the principal focus of our work.  You are watching the body changing over time.  These books capture the models' changing looks over 18 to 30 months during their early 

The Private Portfolio Series is published as ebooks and as deluxe, hard-bound editions printed on premium paper.  A Deluxe Collector's Edition is available for most books; printed on our highest quality ProLine Pearl Photo Paper, each copy is signed and personalized by the model. Costs for print editions vary depending on length.





]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Alex Bond Willi art male model nude physique Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:36:00 GMT
The Roman From Russia Roman.  How aptly named.  With his classic features and shredded physique, this man could have modeled for the face of ancient coins.  This Russian fitness model and internet celebrity sports one of the most impressive physiques to ever step before our cameras.  

In many ways, Roman and this blog entry reflects the shift in focus of the studio's business and website that has been occurring for many months. Traditionally we have used the blog to announce the opening of galleries of recently-completed work.  Our session with this model took place in mid-2016.  In order to have a full complement of images to populate a gallery, Roman's photos, most edited months ago, have remained hidden from view, waiting for "the full set" to be finished. This made sense when most of our work was portfolio sessions for models and actors.  There was a tight definition as to what was being created, it was strictly commercial in nature and often had a fashion-focus and a model expecting to see edited work in a quick-turnaround.  There was a consistency to the type of images being generated.  The studio no longer works this way.

There are three photographers associated with New Manhattan Studios, and as the lead photographer, I set the pace and direction.  In what has been a slow-moving process, the studio has shifted its focus as I have moved into semi-retirement.  As of the end of 2016, we have wound down our commercial work and tightened the focus of our activity to physique art photography.  "Art for art's sake."  Finally.

As a result, you can expect our work to look less commercial and the models to have more consistently impressive physiques as we choose the models for our various artistic projects and publishing endeavors.  More and more of our shooting will occur out of the studio and on travels around the country.  Most of it will be in pursuit of art for the Fine Art galleries and Captured Shadows.

The fact that we are based in one of the modeling capitals of the world means that we will not close our doors to all commercial work.  We still accept assignments that align with our focus on the male torso and physique art photography.  We still do physique sessions for fitness models. We still offer TFP sessions and Dude-oir sessions for singles or couples.  

We still shoot on demand; we just aim a bit more precisely when we shoot.  And we continue to seek models for our physique art sessions.  As always, we are happy to schedule sessions with qualified fitness models.  We source the models for our art projects from the men passing through the studio, whether it's a model passing through New York (as was the case with Roman) or a gym-buddy referral from another model.  

Roman is a good example of the always-on-the-move international model and an excellent example of the type of fame that attaches to models today.  An internet celebrity in his milieu of models and body-builders, he has a sizable following on a number of social media platforms.  His Moscow manager arranged for his fitness shoot on a recent trip to New York and we got in a quick physique art shoot at the end of his session.  With not enough variety to populate one of our standard model galleries, the photography is only now being made public.

gallery has been opened for Roman's fitness shots and a number of his images have been placed in the Fine Art Galleries.  As more captures from his session are edited to meet our publishing needs, more photos will be added to the online galleries.  

Going forward, we expect this will be the pattern for opening and filling individual model galleries on the site.  Content will be more physique- and fitness-oriented and art will be dropped into the galleries as it is tackled and finished in connection with various studio projects.

The other change in the studio's operating pattern is the growing portion of our time that is being devoted to publishing and distributing our work.  Fewer photo shoots, more finished art for the Fine Art Galleries and the studio's publications.  To that end, in a few days we will be announcing the release of the first of two books scheduled for this year, both part of our Private Portfolio Series.  More on that in a later post when we release Bond:  Private Portfolio 2 as a print and digital book.

If you haven't already done so, you can subscribe to the blog as an RSS feed by clicking on the button on the lower left.

Wesley Triplett





]]> (New Manhattan Studios) art body-builder male model nude physique Sun, 26 Feb 2017 19:24:00 GMT
Bond: Private Portfolio 2 NOW ON SALE:         Bond:  Private Portfolio 2


Bond fans have patiently awaited the followup to Bond: The Private Portfolio, published in 2015.  The wait is over.  

The Private Portfolio series features the uncensored work of New Manhattan Studios.  This book has 62 pages of art nude and physique art studies taken in both New York and California during our second year of working with the man who has turned out to be the studio's most popular model. Most of the images (the work of three staff photographers, Alex Bustamante, Wm Weyeneth and Wes Triplett) have never been published.  Together, they represent a definitive collection of the best of our most recent work with Bond.  Captured over the course of six months, the collection is a fitting sequel to his first private portfolio, featuring our work during the first year of his modeling career.

Bond does not disappoint his fans as he turns up the heat in a series of casual, lifestyle essays to complement the more formal art nude studies.  As he matures as a model, the confidence and command that he brings to his work is palpable. This is Bond as you've never seen him: bold, wet and steamy.








The print version was released in late January to coincide with a sale offered by our printer.  

The deluxe, hardcover Collectors' Edition is printed on premium lustre paper with a hard-cover image wrap. The softcover version is printed on standard paper.

62 uncensored pages (8×10 in, 20×25 cm) in color and B&W.

  • $79.50 Collector's Edition
  • $49.50 Softcover Edition 
  • $24.50 Ebook Edition (late winter release)



Click here to preview and order



LEFT:  Bond at Alex and work on the "Mariner" set, one of five studies of Bond Brown in Private Portfolio 2

Click here to preview and order a hard copy edition of Private Portfolio 2 (or any other NMS publication) 


Find all NMS publications 

You can receive notice on the full release of Private Portfolio 2, including the electronic edition, by subscribing to the blog using the button on the bottom left or by clicking here.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Bond Brown Portfolio Private art male model nude physique Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:43:05 GMT
Chippendales Application


We open a most unusual gallery today for Ronan.  It is not work that we ever expected to see the light of day again as it represents the studio’s first commercial assignment.  It's a job that predates, actually, the founding of New Manhattan Studios.  We wound up pulling the files as part of our response to a request from Tye Briggs at Favorite Hunks

Starting with the New Year, FH is running a series with photographers reminiscing about the first time they had a nude model in front of their camera.  The clever reader can deduce what role Mr. Ronan might have played in the studio’s history, but for the story, you’ll have to head over to Favorite Hunks.

Ronan’s gallery will only be up for a limited period of time.  Dated as it is, it does not represent our current shooting and editing styles.  As such, think of it as part of our Fifth Anniversary celebrations, a brief look back at an historic artifact.  Ronan was a local body-builder who sought us out to take pictures for his application to be a dancer at Chippendale’s.  There’s more to the story, of course (and more pictures) at FH.

What digging into Ronan’s file taught us, again, is that we see things with a very different eye now.  I cannot go back into an old folder without wondering why I chose to edit the pictures I did.  Invariably I find images that interest me now but failed to catch my eye then.  It was fun, while in Ronan’s folder, to pull out a few newly-discovered images.  The gallery that opens today contains three such current edits of images that were captured prior to the studio’s opening in 2011.



The work we'll be posting in 2017 contains a goodly number of body-builders and gym rats as, increasingly, we train our cameras on the torso as our principal subject matter.  It is especially interesting, therefore, to revisit early physique models that we shot, searching through unedited files for hidden gems that catch our contemporary eye. 

While the external archive drive was plugged in, I seized the chance to pull a couple of new shots out of Karl Simon’s folder from 2012.  I was struck by how different the lighting and posing techniques were from the work done just a year earlier with Ronan.  It spoke volumes about the experience levels of both the models and the photographer.

Karl Simon (right) was named by DNA magazine as one of ten sexiest men of 2015.  Our work with the Scandinavian fitness model was done three years earlier when he was in his late 20s, babyface notwithstanding.  What I recall most from our session was that Karl had been up since 5:00 AM in Stockholm and had come to the studio directly from JFK.  He wanted to shoot on the roof, in front of the Empire State Building at night.  We shot until 11:00 PM, New York City time, by which point he had been up for 24 hours and looked none the worse for wear, as his photos show.  The new edits of Karl’s work can be found in the Recent Works section of the Fine Art Gallery

Over the next few months we plan to revisit some of our earlier sessions, searching for the elusive captures that slipped under our gaze the first pass through.  We’ll be sprinkling more into the Fine Art Galleries as we find them.


You can stay up to date with the studio’s newest content and models by using the button at the bottom left to subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog.  You can also follow us on Instagram with the name below.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Chippendales Karl Simon first-time new model physique Mon, 09 Jan 2017 05:27:14 GMT
New Year's Man for 2017


For four spins of the calendar, we have used the first posting of the New Year to pay tribute to notable models that have passed through the studio.

We hesitate to call the distinction our man of the year.  That honorific seems to carry too much weight and baggage.  Instead we pay tribute under the banner of our Man for New Year’s Day. It suggests a tighter focus in time while mischievously pointing a finger at the fleeting nature of our fads and fashions and illuminating how fluid our concept of masculinity is. 

In some respects, we see our selection as more a “man of the hour” (as is literally suggested in the accompanying photo essay that appears on New Year's Eve on Favorite Hunks).  This is our man for the New Year.  This is our submission to the collective album of once-in-a-year snapshots of what our culture looks like as the clock strikes midnight and the calendar pages turn.  Here is a man who well represents his generation.  This is the style.  This is the look.  This is who and what we admired at the start of 2017.  

Appropriately, the first model to appear on the blog in January of 2014 was Bond.  The focus was on the studio’s new facilities in Long Island City and there was no suggestion that the model exemplified anything more than an aspiring model who had just finished his first photo session.  Prescient posting that it was, however, Bond went on to take the studio and its fans by storm, earning a distinction that year that he still holds:  one of the studio’s most popular models.  If the blog had started earlier, no doubt the lead models of earlier years would have been DZmitry, the fashion and runway model that was an early face of the studio and Alex, the first model that we consistently shot, the PA/cameraman/stylist/muse of the studio.

At the end of the site’s first year we chose to debut our work with one of the most-photographed models of the previous 12 months, Oleksandr.  In what was our first New Year's tribute, we gave 2015's lead slot to the runway model with a winning personality that matched his well-honed, kick boxer physique.  We started 2016 by paying tribute to Timothy a model with whom we had worked since a session in the Berkshires in 2013. We were able to capture the young model three times during his first year in New York and it became the focus of a cover story in Captured Shadows #3.   

But this is more, of course, than just citing a model as exemplary of the look and feel of his times.  We also pay tribute to these men as models as to these models as men.  In this regard, few models have warranted a turn in the limelight more than this man. 

In the two years that we have worked with him we have admired his dedication to his physique work.  From Day I, he has had one of the most impressive torsos we've ever shot and we have seen the man blossom into a confident, accomplished model as he has continued to hone and chisel his physique.  For personal, professional and physical growth alone, this man deserves an award. 

We are talking about Norm, 18 and just out of high school when he walked into the studio, accompanied by his gym buddy, Alex, then the studio’s stylist/PA.  

Norm is 20 now.  Work from his fourth and fifth sessions, captured late in the year, is being debuted over the holiday weekend on both our blog and on Favorite Hunks.  We had brought Norm back into the studio for a new fitness & physique session that included some art nude work.  While there, we had planned to capture additional work for a holiday-themed feature on Favorite Hunks.  The “New Year’s Eve” shots didn’t turn out as we had hoped and Norm agreed to return for a second session to continue working on the theme.

The result was two photo sessions, both yielding some holiday art but with very different looks and little, if anything, to tie them together.  We're happy to use some of the holiday art for the blog entry here, as it works quite nicely with the focus on the man of the midnight hour.  For the purposes of displaying the work in Norm's galleries, we will take a cue from Favorite Hunks and group the photos into the Midnight Hour and New Year's Morning sessions.  Additional physique art and art nudes from the two sessions can be found in the Fine Art Galleries.

As we approach the second anniversary of our collaboration, we are planning new session to document the progress.  Norm had started bulking up when we shot him in December.  By February the shredding will be complete and we'll have a new look:  Norm 2017.  

It's a date.  The lights will be ready.  Quite fittingly for the man of the hour, Norm epitomizes the ripped torso and defined physique that we prize in our photography as we start our sixth year as a studio.

As we hand Norm the honor of being the lead model in 2017, we look forward to the year ahead as much as we honor past work.  We anticipate seeing more of this model in the future and hope to document his personal and professional growth for years to come.


                    *   *   *   *   *


Speaking of the year to come, we will start posting the many models captured in the fall of 2016 as we roll into the New Year.  You can preview the upcoming models here.  A new issue of Captured Shadows is in the works, as are two new studio publications featuring the models cited above, Bond and Oleks.

You can subscribe to the blog (as an RSS feed) by clicking on the SUBSCRIBE button on the bottom left.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Alex Man of the Year New Years New York City Norm model new model physique Fri, 30 Dec 2016 22:45:13 GMT
Peeking into 2017 It has not gone without notice (or comment) that there have been fewer postings to the blog (and few new galleries opened) in the past few months.  Rest assured, New Manhattan Studios is not slowing down.  If anything, New Manhattan Studios is busier than ever.  

We have noticed a cyclical pattern to the studio's work flow that is more pronounced than ever this year.  Fall is the season that we typically devote to getting the studio's work into print.  This year our publishing schedule has virtually overrun all work on the blog and website.  Indeed, in addition to having released the latest edition of Captured Shadows (Issue #4), we have started work on the fifth issue (due out this winter) and have prepared two new books for publication.  Bond:  Private Portfolio 2 will be released in the next few weeks and Oleks:  The Private Portfolio, will follow soon thereafter.


In the meantime, we have not stopped shooting.  In fact, we have models waiting in the wings (and in the studio, and down by the pool, and even a few in the bedroom).  

In addition to three new studio sessions yet to be posted, we did sessions with eight models in California in September, all of which will be appearing on the site in the coming months.  The New York City studio sessions include three new models:  Dustin, Ivan and Roman.  You'll be seeing work with five more new models (Brandon, Bryce, Mason, Tony and Zack) shot in Hollywood, plus a sixth, Renn, captured in Santa Cruz.   Finally, we will be posting new work with Andrew and Alex that was shot in San Francisco.

You will be seeing some changes on the website in the coming months that reflect the changing nature of the studio's focus.  We are slowly winding down much of the studio's commercial work and devoting more and more time to physique art photography and our publishing endeavors.  

But first up, to start the new year, next week we'll be posting our annual New Year's Day feature:  the studio's Man of the Year, showcasing work with one of the studio's most ripped physiques.  With so many models passing before the studio's cameras this year, it has not been an easy choice.  Come back on New Year's Eve to see the featured model.



In the meantime the studio wishes a happy holiday season to all, and to all, a new year filled with joy, beauty and ripped men.


Wes Triplett, lead photographer

Alex Bustamante, photographer and model

Wm Weyeneth, photographer and editor in chief





]]> (New Manhattan Studios) 2017 Alex Bond Oleks Oleksandr new model physique Fri, 23 Dec 2016 09:34:56 GMT
Gotham Goblins & Anniversaries We celebrate Halloween by opening a special (and rather different) gallery, Gotham Goblins.  It’s our way of marking two special anniversaries. 

The Halloween-themed photo shoot, a project for Favorite Hunks, was planned far in advance.  Yet it came off in a haphazard manner that left us rolling with the punches and improvising along the way.  We had worked with Mason (left, with skull) in Los Angeles in September.  In mid-October he was in New York, following up on our offer to do a studio session to complement the work we had done in a beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills.  We had already contacted Ricardo about the Halloween goblins shoot; we decided to spend part of Mason’s session with him in costume as well.  

I was expecting to work alone.  Alex, the studio’s assistant, was in Florida and I had already warned Mason that he would be steaming his own wardrobe.  Hours before the session, a young lady was referred to me by a business partner.  To my happy surprise, she turned out to be a makeup artist as well as a competent production assistant.  When I seized the opportunity to add a bit of ghoulish body paint to the mix, I added a final complication:  meshing the calendars of more than just the four studio participants.  In the end, I wound up coordinating the schedule of an actor in LA with the class schedule of the baby sitter working for the makeup artist in New York.

On the day of the shoot, it all came off (as usual).  In the end, we scheduled two back-to-back sessions and delayed the start time by an hour to accommodate the makeup artist.  We had time to capture some basic studio shots with Mason before applying makeup and costumes.  Fortuitously, both the makeup artist and Ricardo arrived early and Ricardo came out of makeup about 15 minutes before the end of Mason’s session.  We had a brief, unplanned window to shoot the two of them on the paper together.

It would have been nice to have planned in advance how to best use a makeup artist for the project and to have had a viable concept for using two models.  But given the intended application of the work, the rather static poses we captured in a very brief time frame made it easier to find suitable background imagery for the composited images.  But this was a fun photo shoot for our friend Tye.  (All three of us have previously interacted with the owner of the Favorite Hunks blog.)  Our objective, above all, was to have fun with it.

For me, the partying was in celebration of two anniversaries.  Halloween marks the fifth anniversary of New Manhattan Studios.  We effectively hung out our corporate shingle on October 31, 2011.  Tye Briggs, the blogmeister of the Canadian-based blog Favorite Hunks, found our work online just a few months later when he asked permission to feature our photos of Drew on his blog. 

In the nearly five years since, we have developed a deep admiration for Tye and his labor of love.  He actively seeks out the work of new photographers and models and gives them world-wide exposure to his 25,000 followers.  The studio has gained impressive awareness through our relationship with his blog and Tye has had an outsized influence on both our creative product and our business model. 

Favorite Hunks is a well-curated site with a weekly flow of stunning images of attractive men and a loyal following that makes it a networking hub for emerging models, artists and creative ideas.  If you are not familiar with it, check it out here.  It pleases me to acknowledge that October marked the 10th anniversary of Favorite Hunks.  It gives me the opportunity to thank Tye for the invaluable service he provides to our industries.

I am grateful that the studio was in a position to create art specifically for Favorite Hunks as a thank you gesture as they celebrate their tenth anniversary.  I find it especially sweet that the art made its public debut on the studio’s fifth anniversary.  What photographer can’t appreciate the symmetry of that?  


The studio's recent work with Mason O'Sullivan will be released in early 2017.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Halloween art fitness goblins male model nude physique Tue, 01 Nov 2016 02:42:32 GMT
Captured Shadows #4 - The Kick Boxer Model September is typically a quiet month on the studio’s blog.  We are almost always in California on a fall trip to work with left coast models.  This year was no different, except that we added Los Angeles to the itinerary and on top of three photo shoots in the Bay Area, we shot five additional models in Hollywood.  You can expect to see that work in the coming months.

We’ve also been quiet as we’ve put the finishing touches on Captured Shadows #4:  The Kick Boxer Model, featuring Oleksandr, the Ukrainian model who first appeared as the site’s New Year’s Day model in 2015. 

To celebrate Oleks' appearance as the cover model on Captured Shadows, we are opening a new gallery featuring previously unpublished images from the session at which we captured the cover shot. 

Oleks is an unusual fashion model in that he’s also a kick boxer.  Our work with Oleks the boxer was featured in DNA magazine and online here in 2015.  We round out his professional portfolio, if you will, with a series of fashion and art nude studies taken in Central Park and an east side apartment/studio.  You've met the boxer, now meet the New York model here.

Captured Shadows #4 joins three previously-published portfolios of the studio’s physique art photography.  Find all four publications here.

Find more work with Oleks at All Things Oleks and click on the thumbnail below to preview Captured Shadows.  Additional work with Oleks will appear in Oleksandr:  The Private Portfolio, to be published in 2017.





●     ●     ●     ●     ●


This blog is primarily about the studio’s photo sessions and the models that have worked with us.  I rarely get personal here, but every once in a while the personal intrudes on the professional and warrants note.  This is such an occasion.  As I slide further into retirement, I am continuing to ease back the studio's pursuit of commercial work.  New Manhattan Studios continues, to be sure.  We will still consider commercial projects and proposals of specific interest to us and we always welcome recommendations of qualified models.  Our primary focus going forward, however, will be on creating photos for art’s sake. . .a position where most of us would like to permanently reside.    

This decision affects both the nature of the photography and the nature of the models that will be featured on the blog and website in the future.  As we move forward, you will notice subtle differences in our work and changes on the site.

The studio began its commercial life as a provider of headshots and portfolio work for the endless flow of models, actors and actresses arriving in New York.  Many of these sessions can be found in the Models Galleries.   Over the years, we met and worked with additional models on commercial fashion assignments, from fashion shows to photo shoots.  Many posed for physique art sessions and made their way into the studio’s physique art portfolios and publications.

As the recent trip to California indicates, we continue to shoot.  As we discontinue the studio’s commercial photography business, the emphasis is less on fashion/commercial photography and more on fitness and physique art.  We are both becoming more selective in the models that we work with and are freeing ourselves to work with qualified models outside our previous bicoastal, New York and California markets.

We continue to pursue our creative instincts and are spending more time on editing and post-production.  Our blog posts may become less frequent as Captured Shadows makes increasing demands on the studio’s time.  But we are far from slowing down.

We added a fourth photographer to the studio’s fold in September.  Keith Ingram worked with us on three of the Hollywood sessions and we plan to be sharing some of his work in the future.  Also shooting with us in the Bay Area was Wm Weyeneth, the Editor-in-Chief of Captured Shadows and, of course, Alex Corso, the studio’s second cameraman, was in front of or behind the cameras for all sessions. 

Work from all four of us will be appearing here in the coming months.  You can use the Subscribe button at the bottom left corner of this screen to receive updates (as an RSS feed) from the blog when new content is added to the site.


Wes Triplett, Lead Photographer

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Iggy Marco New York City Oleksandr art model new model nude physique Fri, 14 Oct 2016 13:34:14 GMT
First Time on the Paper

It was the model's first session and he didn't know quite what to expect.  Pietro was yet another model to find his way to the studio by way of our assistant and second cameraman, Alex.  The two are friends, from neighboring towns, and Pietro had expressed an interest in having a photo session at Alex's studio.

For a first-time model, having a friend on the set can be both reassuring and inhibiting.  The studio neither encourages nor discourages models from bringing a chaperone to their first modeling session.  It's all about building trust and we permit a model to be accompanied by a friend if it is cleared in advance and the guest promises to be a quiet, non-participating observer.  

In particular, a model who has agreed to do a nude session with a photographer he has not met, can find it reassuring to have a friend on hand in the event the photographer turns out to be less than totally professional.  I have heard many experienced models talk about shoots gone awry. As well, this photographer can tell tales of stage mothers (literally mothers) being present at their son's shoot and girlfriends earnestly promoting their boyfriends to the point of plying said boyfriend with beer on the set.

How comfortable the model may be once work has begun is another matter.  Often the friend will wait in the dressing room, in full earshot of the activity in the studio but out of sight.  Others sit in the back of the studio, quietly observing from the shadows. Depending on the relationship of the model and the guest, the dynamic can be supportive or inhibiting.  Even under ideal circumstances, most new models are self-conscious and awkward when facing the camera for the first time.  We let the model define the boundaries; it's all about all parties building trust in each other as professionals.

In the case of Pietro, Alex's presence was an easy given.  He knew of Alex's role in the studio and having a friend there to guide him along the way was obviously a comfort.  There was an easy camaraderie that led to a lot of laughter and the relaxed, natural smiles that follow.  That Pietro was at ease and enjoying himself reflects in the work we captured.  It couldn't have been a better first session.

We put Pietro through the hoops in three hours. We captured over 1000 images on two cameras and added another Italian to the studio's growing international portfolio.  

Inspired by the photos from his first professional photo shoot, Pietro has hit the gym and is intent on future work with more definition on his trim, 19-year-old physique.  We look forward to it.  We may yet fill out a long-discussed book on Italian models in New York!


Check out Pietro's Gallery here.

Additional shots of Pietro can be found in the Fine Art Gallery.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) New York City first-time new model physique Thu, 01 Sep 2016 00:58:04 GMT
Bond: Wet! NMS Photo by Wm WeyenethNMS photo by Wm Weyeneth It’s always a delight to go rummaging around in a long-closed folder.  You never know what overlooked gems you might find among the raw files.  It’s a special treat when the name on the folder is Bond.  Working with this model is always such a delight that just looking at any series of his pictures brings back memories of sun-filled, laughter-filled afternoons.  Such was certainly the case here.

I had reason to dip back into a 2015 folder in order to pull a set of images of Bond around the pool for Tye Briggs to feature on Favorite Hunks.  This was not hard.  All the images had been edited a year ago; I just had to select a dozen or so.  I was surprised to find that there had been very few distinct set-ups in the series.  There were a lot of insurance shots, but precious few unique shots. 

I remembered the day.  We had been working with Bond and a friend at the pool in late morning when the afternoon model arrived early.  I had handed my camera to Bill, our West Coast affiliate, who was assisting on the shoot.  I had suggested that he and Bond work together for the remainder of his session while I started setting up with the afternoon model.

Bill and Bond left the pool and headed into the shower.  Knowing the space, I had been skeptical of their success.  Architecturally the shower is impressive.  As a venue for shooting a model, it has its challenges. Principal among them is the very uneven distribution of the light:  bright light from bare windows in the top half of the frame, deep shadows in the lower half.

Last summer, when I had first reviewed the photos captured that day, I had quickly dismissed the shower stall series as a noble but failed attempt.  The series had been underexposed and many photos showed motion blur from shooting at the slow shutter speed required.  In my pass through the files that day, I did not flag any of the series for further consideration.  Many of the other shots that day made their way into Captured Shadows #1, devoted exclusively to one model, Bond.

This summer, while searching for additional images to augment the pool shots, I tumbled directly into the shower series which had followed the pool shots.  Near the beginning were two captures that appeared to have been throw-away shots, taken at the start of a session as the photographer adjusted his settings. 

Staring at the dark image of a man seated in the shower, I slid the exposure setting on my software to brighten the image by two f-stops.  Revealed was an image of stunning light and beautiful simplicity.  But it was the light that gave me pause.  This was the light I associate with the Dutch Masters.  Glorious light flowing from a window into a dark space.

"Wet!"  This might work with the pool shots.  Were there more?  I had not taken these photos, I did not know what to expect as I moved through the folder searching for more images that might have this same, beautiful ambient lighting.

In the end, I found and tagged two dozen files for editing.  More importantly, a nearly-lost collection of beautiful art has been rescued and shared.  In the folder that I once thought contained a failed experiment done in a challenging environment, I discovered some of my favorite work done with this model during 2015.  “Wet!” will be published as an uncensored photo series in an upcoming issue of Captured Shadows, our quarterly physique art portfolio.

Bill has had his art featured on the website and in Captured Shadows before.  But this exceptional series warrants our rarely-bestowed byline.  New Manhattan Studios photos by Wm Weyeneth.

Click on the links below to view the Wet gallery.  Additional images from this series also can be found in our Fine Art Gallery.

I find it fitting that these two photo sessions, the pool and the shower, are being presented together.  We were making use of the presence of a charming young lady at the pool that day but we had no idea as to if or how the images would ever be used.  Ultimately, in search of a way to present them, they achieved a noble purpose by leading us to a cache of images that otherwise would have been lost.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Bond Bond Brown Captured Shadows art male model nude physique showers Mon, 15 Aug 2016 11:08:29 GMT
Dancing at the Bridge

We first met and worked with Gabriel in California last summer. A professional dancer, trained in contemporary dance, he had just graduated college in the Bay Area.  The photo session was one of our rare duo shoots:  Gabriel and a fellow dance classmate and friend, Frankie.  Our work with the two is featured in a gallery and blog post, Two Dancers Two.

This was not Gabriel's first trip to New York.  Late last year he and his troupe were in the city, performing at one of New York's premiere dance venues.  It was a delight to see him dance, but we had been discussing working in the studio since our session in California.  Watching this graceful athlete on stage only added to the frustration at not being able to squeeze time out of his busy rehearsal and performance schedule for a session in the studio.

The studio session finally happened months later when Gabriel made a trip to New York on a more relaxed schedule.  Not only was there ample time for the studio session, but we had a chance to do some sight-seeing together (with camera) that resulted in the photo at left.    

We had walked over the Brooklyn Bridge for dinner and were exploring Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo, the rapidly-gentrifying old industrial waterfront area found Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.  Pausing to admire the 133-year-old bridge, the camera came out and soon Gabriel's inner dancer sprung into action, spinning in the air and leaping off park benches.

As the sun was setting, the crowd in the waterfront park watched the dancer.  I remember thinking that we were just a couple of sailors short of recreating a scene from On The Town.  But upon noticing the splayed fingers in the finished work, another classic New York movie springs to mind.  I'm sure I'm not the only one to think that Gabriel could qualify for the remake of Spiderman.

A few days later we celebrated two birthdays after the studio session, Gabriel's 25th and my . . . my. . .where did I put that slip of paper?  

The studio session did not disappoint.  There is just something about dancers.  They even know how to stand still gracefully.

Gabriel may not get cast as Spiderman, but the birthday present he received while in New York was word that he's just been hired by a prominent Midwestern dance company.  He'll soon be moving from San Francisco to the upper Midwest.  In time, we hope that he makes it all the way east.  



  • You'll find both Gabriel's 2015 California session and the 2016 New York session here 
  • The blog entry for Gabriel's first session can be found here.
  • A selection of images from the session can also be found in the Fine Art Gallery.
]]> (New Manhattan Studios) New York City dancer male model physique Thu, 28 Jul 2016 20:18:50 GMT
Waving a Flag of Diversity

When we first shot Adoniis in the spring of last year we had the foresight to do a bit of work with a red-white-and-blue scarf that we had found in our travels.  (Yes, the flag you see at the left is really a scarf; all the better to catch a breeze in the studio.)   When we opened Adoniis' first gallery last year, we held back several of the images that we are debuting today, intending to use them last July.  Time and the tides got the better of us, and July 2015 passed without posting Adoniis' holiday-themed images.

We are happy to correct the situation in 2016 and Adoniis can now be found waving the flag on our website just in time for the 4th of July.  We are debuting several new edits (including some without the flag) and the new images now lead the offerings in Adoniis' Fine Art Gallery.

In a year of increased awareness of the nation's diverse ethnic heritage and traditions, we are pleased to note that not only does the Puerto Rican model represent the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of the nation whose flag he proudly waves, Adoniis also embodies the diversity of the studio's work.  As we look back on the nearly 100 models that we have shot over the course of the past five years, we find not just ethnic diversity, but models representing nearly two dozen nationalities, from Russian, French and German to Cuban, Canadian, Colombian and Chinese.  

To a large extent the variety of models we have had the opportunity to work with is attributable to the local modeling pool and New York's role as a center of fashion, modeling and media.  Aspiring and established models are drawn to the city from all over and we are perfectly sited to be able work with some of the most beautiful people in the world.  The studio's work is all the richer for it.  Similarly, it is obvious that the city thrives on this robust cultural mix of ideas and talent.  Indeed it is why so many of us are attracted here. . .and attracted to the nation we are fortunate to call home.

Happy Fourth of July!

Come back in a week when we debut work that carries this theme forward.  Our next model is a contemporary dance artist.  Mexican-American, he has recently landed a role as a dancer with a prominent dance company in the Upper Midwest.  That new gallery will open in the next few days.  

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog by clicking on the "subscribe" link at the bottom left of this page to receive blog posts when new work is debuted.



]]> (New Manhattan Studios) 4th of July New York City physique physique art Mon, 04 Jul 2016 00:26:05 GMT
Model on the Stairs

Matthew is the walking embodiment of the classic American mongrel.  Part Mexican, part Polish, this fitness buff and model projects a timeless All-American look.  Fittingly, he calls Washington, DC, home.  

We did Matthew's session on a recent trip to Washington and the northern Virginia suburbs. It was a session almost a year in the making.  We had started corresponding in the summer of 2015, but our respective schedules did not align until months later. 

Each session is as different as the model on the paper, or in this case, on the staircase.  Our Polish-Mexican-American model had a commanding physical presence.  Clearly this man spends a lot of time in the gym, but from which side of the family he gets his hulking 6'3" frame, we didn't ask.  We just set about looking for the best light to capture a classic torso.  The formal nature of the home in which we were working lent itself well to the classic physique poses that we were pursuing. 

Matthew's was the second session that day and by late afternoon we had explored most of the home's nooks, corners and crannies.  One unused option stood in front of us:  the entry hall's grand staircase.  I wasn't sure what challenges it might present in our attempt to shoot such a tall model from either above or below, as would be necessitated on the staircase.

It had been an intermittently cloudy day.  The hall was filled with a beautiful, soft light as we studied the possibilities.  No sooner than did we start snapping—one from photographer from above the model, one from below—than the sun came out.  The room’s ambiance changed totally and suddenly our camera settings had to be changed.  Sixty seconds later the light changed again.  And the cameras.

Then again.  The peekaboo sun in the fast-moving April sky was wreaking havoc on the set.  It was like having someone constantly turning the lights on and off.  In the end, I capitulated and turned the camera on automatic and kept shooting even though most of the time the model was standing in mottled light as sun poured through blinds on a Palladian window high in the entry hall.  I was skeptical that anything of value was being captured.

What prompted it, I’m not sure.  But not only did the light surprise on the staircase, so did the model.  Gradually he edged into more provocative poses and the final work has a distinctly different feel from the images captured during the first part of the day.  (I'm not sure, but I suspect it may have been "the staircase effect."  Staircases have been known to bring out the diva in many of us.)

And the dreaded mottled light turned out to impart a mood that augments the softly erotic nature of the model’s work.  I can picture him standing in an old home in the French Quarters of New Orleans. Listen closely and you can almost hear the old ceiling fan slowly turning. 

Check out Matthew’s gallery here as well as the additional pictures of him in the Fine Art Gallery.  And who knows?  More pictures from other parts of the house may eventually make their way into a future issue of Captured Shadows.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Matthew Washington malemodel new model physique Wed, 08 Jun 2016 12:57:17 GMT
Captured Shadows #3 - Spring 2016 Captured Shadows #3 We celebrate the arrival of spring by slapping a picture of a snowstorm on the cover of Captured Shadows #3.  It’s a way of setting the stage for the first three portfolios in the studio’s quarterly physique art publication. 

The shirtless cover model braving that snowstorm is Timothy, who had just arrived for a week in New York.  Ultimately, Timothy never left and the issue features a series of photos taken of the 23-year-old model during his first year in New York.

The issue also features portfolios on Ricardo and Willi.  Ricardo is seen in a photo fantasy series that blurs the line between art and photography and invites the viewer to supply a back story for the pouring rain and flashing lights. 

We’ve pulled some previously unpublished work with Willi from our vault.  To balance off the late winter snowstorm on the first pages, the fifth portfolio captures the 27-year-old Californian around a shimmering blue pool.

Click here to preview and purchase Captured Shadows #3.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Captured Shadows New York City Ricardo Timothy Willi model physique Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:36:00 GMT
It was a Dark and Stormy Night In what is a new twist for our art, we are debuting a photo fantasy series in the third issue of Captured Shadows The magazine features a shoot done in the studio with Ricardo that starts to blur the line between art and photography.  We've labeled the series "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" and invite the viewer to spin a back story for the rain and flashing lights.

With his killer physique, Ricardo has become one of the studio’s most popular models.  The session we’re showcasing here was his fourth visit to the studio.  Fortunately, the younger brother of the studio’s production assistant and second cameraman is relatively easy to schedule.  He can catch a ride to work with brother Alex.  As we turn more and more of our time and attention to physique art, Ricardo has become one of our “go-to” models when it’s time to try new concepts and lighting techniques.

The timing of Ricardo’s last shoot with us, at the beginning of winter, was very much determined by the seasonal schedule of snow birds.  For some time, I have been eyeing a metal sculpture that has appeared as a prop in our photo sessions going back as far as the summer of 2014.  Normally the huge metal globe resides in the studio/office of a friend, David, who has permitted us to shoot in his space on a number of occasions.  The room the sculpture calls home is too confining to adequately showcase such a large prop in a physique art pose and for some time we have been seeking an opportunity 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.  Perhaps my favorite picture of the day, however, was one of Alex's last shots as Ricardo's clothes were coming off.  Alex's picture of his kid brother at the top of this page inspired the series we’ve dubbed, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.  Alex wasn't around for the rest of the series, but you can find the full collection in Captured Shadows #3

Other images from the day can be found in Ricardo’s gallery and in the Fine Art Gallery on the website. 

Captured Shadows #3 goes on sale on May 1, 2016.

Up next month:  a new model, Borgia.  He has yet to explain his choice of a modeling name but I hope to have that story by the time we debut his work later this month.  Subscribe to the blog using the button on the lower left corner of this page to be notified when we add new content to the site (approximately twice a month).

Click here for all things Ricardo at New Manhattan Studios.



]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Alex New York City Ricardo art body brothers builder nude physique Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:46:39 GMT
Viva l'Italia!  


For those of us of a certain age, many of the brightest stars in the firmament of international media celebrities have Italian names.  

In the decades immediately following World War II, Italian cinema flourished and names such as Fellini and Antonioni were world renown.  Italy defined la dolce vita (the beautiful life) for the world, from design, fashion and cuisine to the cinematic arts.  Italian cinema reeked of cool, sexy chic.  Italian beauties Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida were international sex symbols.  

Heir to this tradition is Marco, a 6'1", 22-year-old model from Naples.  At the time of his sessions, he was studying acting at one of the leading drama schools in New York; appropriately enough, the alma mater of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Marlon Brando.

We can’t vouch for his acting skills, but having worked as a model in Europe, Marco is a natural in front of the camera.  But if looks count for anything in this business (duh!), watch for this face.  Marco backs up his contemporary European sense of style and sexy jock vibe with traditional Italian good looks.

We had the good fortune to schedule two sessions with him during his time in New York.  The first was our year-end post in 2014.  The second session was captured less than a half year later in early 2015, before the end of his term at school.  

Marco's is one of several 2015 photo sessions that are just now being brought out of the vault.  Whereas his first session had more of a fashion focus, Marco's second session was a physique art session that included implied and partial nudes.  A number of the images are available in the studio's Fine Art Gallery  and still more in Captured Shadows, the studio's physique art portfolio.  Marco is one of three models featured in Captured Shadows #4.

We hope you enjoy this follow-up session with one of our favorite models.  With the opening of his second gallery, we have written Marco to make sure we get on his calendar for one of his future trips to New York as a model or actor.

Since we started by talking ‘60s names, I’ll toss in another for you.  I have refrained from using any pictures of myself on the blog, but the shot below of Marco at work in front of two panels (being used as light modifiers) was my favorite behind-the-scenes shot from his session.  So just this once, I’m making an exception.  Let’s think of my visage on the right as a tribute to the famed 60s director, Alfred Hitchcock.  (If you’re old enough, you’ll understand.)



]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Italy New York City actor model physique Thu, 31 Mar 2016 13:54:53 GMT
A Colombian Leprechaun



After the well-received feature starring Norm on Valentine’s Day, the powers-that-be at Favorite Hunks suggested that we conjure up a St. Patrick’s Day-themed photo series featuring the model Alex who also serves as the studio’s assistant and second cameraman.


When we accepted the challenge we quickly found ourselves racking our brains as to how to turn a very Hispanic-looking Colombian into a Leprechaun. 

No matter how hard we tried, we could not think of any rainbows and pots-of-gold scenarios that didn’t seem trite or contrived. Ultimately, we narrowed the ideas down to two concepts that seemed to convey the über-Irish theme of the day. 

The first half of the session was devoted to capturing physique art shots in a more classical vein, using green fabric on the model and green gels on the strobes.  The second, with a slightly more erotic bent, involved painting shamrocks on the model and turning up the green heat under the guise of “Kiss Me I’m [obviously not] Irish.”

The green fabric and lights fell into place easily.  To my surprise, the shamrocks turned out to be the creative challenge of the day.  With Alex in front of the camera, I had invited a friend of the studio to help out at the session.  An architect by profession, we decided that the artistic nature of his day job qualified him for the job of shamrock body painter.  Unfortunately, none of us had ever worked with body paints before and it shows.  Oh, well.  It’s the spirit that counts and hopefully the green shamrocks on Alex’s torso might be bright enough to attract a Leprechaun or two.

Separately, I am coming to appreciate how Alex’s vision as second cameraman has had a greater influence on the studio’s art than I had realized.  Often he will be taking shots from the side or rear of the studio as the model on the paper is focused on the lead camera in the front of the room.  His shot is of a model is posing, but not for him.  At times the shots are quite wide, and capture the mood and ambiance of the studio.  

It has been from staring at the many striking images that he has taken from unorthodox angles and perspectives that I have begun to appreciate the art hidden in the casual studio shot.  I have started paying closer attention to the behind-the-scenes shots and throw-away jpgs such as those taken while tweaking lighting.  

Many of Alex’s “blog shots” (our term for the behind-the-scenes shots you see on our blog pages) have justifiably been included in our galleries and I find it amusing that I am the one whose career started in photojournalism and it is Alex who is creating art by documenting the model at work.

Image With Alex in front of the camera for the St. Patrick’s shoot (and no second cameraman to “capture the moment,” as it were), I found myself searching out some of Alex’s perspectives to get some of his style of shots.  Examples of such documentary work are included in the St. Patrick gallery. 

Two such images warranted additional editorial time to coax the art out of the shadows.  The first was taken before the session began.  It’s a shot of the model, waiting quietly on the paper as the lights are being tweaked (above, right).  The second is a similar shot taken in the middle of the session:  the model, waiting yet again, as the body painter prepares the paint.  You can find that picture here.  The last two pictures on this page were taken moments later.

You can find more images of Alex St. Pat in the St. Patrick Day gallery.  For a limited period of time, a selection of photos from Alex’s St. Patrick’s Day session will be available in the Fine Art Gallery.

Alex is featured in Captured Shadows #2.  This special double issue features Alex's work in front of and behind the cameras at New Manhattan Studios.  You will find 90+ pages of Alex and ten other models.  You can preview it and find All Things Alex at New Manhattan Studios by clicking here

Click Here to See Alex's St. Patrick's Day Feature on Favorite Hunks


]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Alex Colombian Favorite Hunks Irish Leprechaun New York City St. Patrick physique Tue, 15 Mar 2016 16:00:02 GMT
Lights. Camera. Shakespeare.

Spotlights, scrims, stage lighting and theatrical poses seemed appropriate for our second session with Strauss, this time in our New York City studios.  It was a sharp contrast from the largely soft and refined look that describes our first work with him in a gracious home in suburban Washington, DC.

We first worked with Strauss in the summer of 2015.  He was referred to us by another photographer with whom we shared a photo shoot in July.  (The work from that first session can be viewed in Strauss’ Virginia gallery.) 

In possession of one of the most ripped physiques we’ve shot lately, we were pleased that day when Strauss agreed to come to New York later in the year to round out our portfolio with some formal work under the studio lights. 

Once in New York and in the shadows of Broadway, the spotlights and bold colors of theatrical lighting seemed entirely appropriate to showcase an established Shakespearean actor and his costumes.  Many of my favorite images captured in the studio, however, were the candid, unposed shots taken by Alex on the second camera. Increasingly I am beginning to see these images for the art they are in addition to the story they tell. They comprise a disproportionally large share of the images in Strauss’s edited New York work.  There are some interesting compositions and striking pieces of art in captures grabbed from the sides of the studio.

Strauss spent a Fall weekend shooting with the studio in New York City in 2015.  Studio work and shots captured out-and-about in the city round out the second gallery (the New York gallery).  In addition to work in the studio the weekend included the obligatory trip to the Broadway Theater for this actor who’s pounding the boards in regional theaters in the mid-Atlantic region. 

We hope to entice the actor back to New York in the near future to continue working with him on various projects.  All of his hard work in the gym needs proper documentation!  If you have any doubts about the physique, check out the half dozen of Strauss' images that have been added to the Fine Art Gallery.

And in the meantime. . .

Opposite.  Entering from stage right. . .is Strauss.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) New York City Strauss model new model physique Tue, 01 Mar 2016 03:50:29 GMT
2016's Valentine's Day Hunk In 2014, Claudiu carried the studio's big box of Valentine's chocolates.  Last year Bond earned the title of the romantic Hunk of the Day-Devoted-to-All-Things-Amorous.  This weekend we happily hand the studio’s banner for Valentine’s Day, 2016, to our 19-year-old, body-builder model, Norm.  

Ah, it was déjà vu all over again, as Mr. Berra would say.

As I edited the photos from Norm’s third session with New Manhattan Studios, it was impossible not to compare them to the “red and white” session that we had done with Bond a year earlier. 

The elements used in Bond’s session—a tuxedo he had brought to the city for a wedding he was attending, red accessories on-hand in the studio—had led us by chance to doing work that we ultimately saw as our first official Valentine’s Day shoot.  It stands out as one of my favorite sessions from 2015.  Norm’s shoot was more deliberately planned; Bond had left big footprints to follow. 

Norm and Bond were both at similar points in their modeling careers at the time of their respective Valentine’s sessions.  In each case, it had been close to a year since the model’s first session with the studio and, having done little more than some basic physique modeling, neither yet had much experience modeling.  Bond was a natural athlete drawn to modeling on a lark with encouragement from friends.  Norm had been introduced to the studio by his gym buddy, Alex, our model/stylist and assistant photographer, who had watched the 18-year-old’s steady and impressive progress in the gym. 

While we had haphazardly wound up in February-14th territory with Bond, from the very start of Norm’s last session we discussed doing work that might be used as a Valentine’s photo shoot.  I needed assurance going-in that this young, new-to-modeling bodybuilder would be comfortable posing in this manner and with having the images broadly circulated. 

Sitting at the counter in the dressing room before heading out into the studio, we leafed through the published work from Bond’s session and I told Norm that if he was up for it, we’d be aiming for a similar Valentine theme.  I showed him that Bond had set a high bar and that the work had a bit of an erotic edge that would require teasing the camera and some nudity.  I assured him that his work in the gym had paid off and that he was eminently fit for the challenge. To my delight, the young bodybuilder appeared genuinely flattered that he was being considered for such an assignment and assured me that he was “in.”

As usual, we spent too much time on the initial set-ups, but such is the nature of warming up for both the photographers and the model.  Norm seemed comforted by the fact that his gym-buddy Alex was working the shoot.  He knew Alex was an experienced model and he was attentive to the directions and pointers being offered by his friend.  Coming from the same town and gym, not only did they have a bit of personal history in common, Alex’s cool and professional demeanor was helpful in putting the new model at ease.  As Norm relaxed, he started getting into the mindset of the shoot.  The camera recorded his blossoming confidence as he started turning on the charm and making eye contact like a pro. 

Ultimately, any two photo sessions are as different as the models working in the center of the floor and the casual viewer isn’t going to see many similarities between Bond’s unplanned Valentine’s session and Norm’s more plotted “red session.”  That said, both men met the challenge and delivered striking sets of photos, well-suited to inspiring fantasies of ideal dates for February 14th. 

A pair of red-flannel long johns inspired the pursuit of a retro feel in Norm’s Valentine’s shoot.  Part of Bond’s session had a similar mid-century pin-up flavor, too.  But there was a more amusing commonality between the two sessions that might be apparent only to the most attentive viewers.  Bond’s borrowed-from-Dad tuxedo and Norm’s purchased-for-the-occasion red flannel long-johns were each visibly too big.  Any number of clamps and pins couldn’t hide the fact that the models were swimming in the clothing. The solution in both cases was the same:  grab a few establishing shots and then get them out of the ill-fitting clothes as quickly as possible.  Both men did so with panache as the camera’s clicked away.

I am happy to report that not only did Norm enjoy creating some old-fashioned Valentine’s images, but everyone loved the results, including Tye Briggs at Favorite Hunks.  Upon receipt of the first shots from the session, Tye accorded Norm the honor of being the 2016 Valentine’s Hunk at Favorite Hunks.  Tye loves behind-the-scenes shots and provided several on his blog [Click here and here].  We pulled together still more and created a behind-the-scenes video presentation for his readers.  You can view it here.  And be sure to check out Norm's new photographs in the Fine Art Gallery.

And we saved the best news to last:  We are confident that we have not seen the last of Mr. Norm at New Manhattan Studios.  He’s already asking when we can do it again.


Click here for All Things Norm at New Manhattan Studios.

]]> (New Manhattan Studios) Bodybuilder Bond New York City Norm male model physique Fri, 12 Feb 2016 22:51:36 GMT