Brendt was referred to the studio by a mutual friend. We had heard about him for a number of years. He was finally in front of our cameras.
The mutual friend was a model of the studio. We had first heard Brendt's name years earlier then when one of our new models began promoting his workmate and gym bud. They were both just out of college and worked together in New York City's hospitality industry. Their lives took them in different directions (and opposite coasts) before any introduction to the studio was made.
A year ago our old model was back in town, shooting with us again and still promoting his NYC bud as "the most ripped" dude that he'd ever worked out with in a gym. We encouraged him to invite his friend to join us for dinner after the photo shoot.
After three years we finally met Brent at one of the studio's favorite after-session dinner spots. It was hard to judge Brendt's physique seated in a popular mid-town restaurant but he held his own against stiff competition in a room full of dating-age New York millenials. He'd never modeled before and, with the encouragement of his friend, was considering the idea.
The mutual friend was Bond and amusingly, we were in a restaurant owned by the man they worked for when they met. After an evening of camaraderie with staff, models and fellow waiters, we parted agreeing "to set something up."
It was another seven months before Brendt reached back out to us to talk about scheduling a session. Co-incidentally his friend was heading back to New York a couple of weeks later. I suggested that we could schedule a session with him co-incident with his friend's return to the studio. When he heard what I had in mind, he agreed. His friend would be with him at his first photo session.
The friend is Bond. It was Bond who had been promoting Brendt since we first worked with him in 2014. Before Bond moved to California.
Now Bond was heading back to New York for a very special photo session. We were shooting him, finally, as James Bond. At the end of three days of shooting, we were going to be doing a body-painting session with Bond reimagined as 007 Bond, complete with gun and tuxedo. Body painting sessions are tedious affairs with a corner of the studio being occupied for two, three or four hours by the actual process of painting the model's body. It leaves a big, open studio that the photographers can be working in while the paint dries. Brendt agreed to fill that slot at the other end of the studio.
After nearly four years, it was worth the wait. I cannot vouch for whether Brendt has the most ripped body of Bond's gym buddies but I can say that his chisled torso is one of the top physiques to have stood under our lights. I had thought his dark skin might present a challenge to lighting his definition but I woefully underestimated the depth of his definition. All I had to do was turn on the lights. It was a delight working with him.
While we were able to conduct two co-terminus sessions over the course of several hours, the trains were not operating on schedule. It was Brent's first time modeling and we had agreed to a straight-forward fitness session. We got started later than planned and could not have been working more than 30 minutes when I needed to divide my time between documenting the body painting session and shooting Brendt. Eventually Alex took over Brendt's session while I focused on Bond.
The body-painting session was similarly off schedule. Eventually I had to pull Bond down to the other end of the room and under the lights, summarily kicking his friend off the paper. I was surprised to find the new model clad in a single piece of clothing (held in front of him) and he retreated into the shadows while we finished prepping Bond. We had a hard deadline. Bond was leaving directly for the airport from the shoot and we only had 40 minutes for the photography and his shower.
Eventually Brendt had a front-row seat at his friend's photo session: Bond, painted as the dashing secret agent. But now we're getting ahead of ourselves. Before getting to that gallery, treat yourself to Brendt's gallery. As with most of our model galleries these days, it will continue to expand as we edit additional images for publishing and promotional purposes.