It’s rare that we have the opportunity to work with a model over the course of a full year. And it's unprecedented to schedule three "final" sessions with a model, but such was the case with Bond
When he showed up at the studio on a frigid winter night last January, I had no reason to believe that Bond was going to become one of the most photographed models in the studio’s portfolio. His boyish features and demeanor gave no hint of the smoking hot model that was to emerge as he developed confidence and experience around the camera. Instead it was his enthusiasm and love of the work that earned him his first call-backs.
Indeed, it wasn’t until after a photo session in mid-summer that I began to take notice of his developing strength as a model. We had returned from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where we had done a series on a horse farm with Alex
and Bond when I first noticed his emerging inner hunk. It was while editing a black-and-white photo of Bond, standing in front of an open barn, that I took note of his changing appearance. At 25, his boyish features were yielding to a more mature look and, more importantly, there was an air of confidence in his pose that had not been there before. Until now I have refrained from posting any images from the Lancaster sessions. They are part of a larger project that will be months more in the making and I will hold back releasing more images until the project is completed. However, as this one image (on the left, below) figures so prominently in Bond’s story, I am releasing it as a teaser for the book Lancaster County
, to be published at a yet-to-be-determined date.
As Mr. John Lennon so famously quipped, “life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” No sooner than had I begun to appreciate Bond’s potential as a model and plot future projects for him, he announced he was moving to the West Coast later in the year. After three post-college years in New York, he was following the oft-quoted advice to the class of ’99: “Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.” I was determined to get one last session with him before his move to California.
In early October, literally on the eve of his departure from the city, we managed to get in a full day of location shooting in venues around New York but owing to a mishap with changing locks and untested keys, we were unable to shoot inside the studio. We settled for wrapping up Bond’s experience as a New York model by working on Roosevelt Island, not far from the [locked] studio in Long Island City. Fittingly, the city’s skyline at dusk served as the backdrop for the conclusion of Bond’s last photo session in New York (on the right, below). The next day he moved home to Buffalo to spend a few weeks with his family before moving to California in early 2015.
In an email from Buffalo a couple of days later, Bond announced that he hadn’t been able to pack everything in the car and he’d be making a return trip a week later. We seized the opportunity to get him into the studio one last time and scheduled a second
“last” session for him in mid-October.
The results of that mid-October shoot turned out to be our best work ever with the model. (See the Halloween post.
) Unfortunately, at the second “last” session, my camera malfunctioned. I did not realize it until starting to edit the images later that night, but if it hadn’t been for Alex shooting with the second camera, half of the session would have been lost. Once again events had conspired to rob Bond’s “last” session of its full potential.
The following day when I told him of the lost images, Bond once again came to the rescue by announcing that he’d be returning to the city “one last time” to attend a wedding in November. We wasted no time in booking a third “last” session.
Weeks later Bond returned to the city packing a tuxedo for the formal wedding he was attending. We asked him to bring it to the studio for his session and it’s with pleasure that we debut these images in February. As serendipitously as the orange and black palette of the October session had had yielded Halloween-themed images, a series of distinctly Valentine’s-themed images emerged from the red and white wardrobe of November's session. You can see the images from Bond's Third Last New York Session
here. And it is with even more pleasure that we announce that, once again, Bond has been featured on Favorite Hunks, appearing as their 2015 Valentine's Day Hunk
. (There is also a special feature on Favorite Hunks
with a series of behind-the-scenes shots from Bond's session.)
You can find all of the studio's published work with Bond by clicking here
. With Bond’s latest gallery we are also debuting a new feature at New Manhattan Studios: Fine Art Gallery Prints. A number of our photo sessions include work that can be described as fine art physique
or art nude
studies. Not all of our models pose for such work, but a number do and, for the most part, such work is featured in our annual portfolios, New York Models
(see Gramercy Square
). Increasingly we have been asked if it is possible to purchase individual prints of selected art. With Bond's Valentine's Day post, we are pleased to open the first such Fine Art gallery at New Manhattan Studios. You can access that gallery here
Meanwhile, please note that we are referring to Bond’s November photo session as his “third” last New York session. While Bond did, indeed, relocate to San Francisco at the end of last month, it most assuredly will not mark the end of the studio’s work with him. New Manhattan Studios maintains a presence in the Bay Area and our New York staff travels to California periodically to shoot models on the west coast. We are confident that Bond will continue to mature into an ever more photogenic model and we have already arranged to do a session with him in San Francisco this spring.
Of course, at the end of each of the three "final New York sessions," we shot what we thought were to be Bond's last pictures as a New York model. The first (above) was taken with the city's skyline in the background. The second was taken on black paper in the studio
. In the end, what turned out to be the true "final shots" in Bond's New York modeling career were a short series that we captured "for the studio, for the boys."
After 11 months, Bond and Alex (our assistant photographer), had become good friends. The two 25-year-old models put on matching underwear and stepped onto the paper together. Bond’s last shot in New York wasn’t posed in front of the skyline; it was standing next to his friend, Alex.