At first blush, Felipe is the (cute) boy next door but the resemblance to a popular cultural icon was striking. It caught my attention immediately upon our first contact on social media.
Clearly it was not accidental. With large, carefully-chosen wire-rim glasses and a mop of hair that dominated his face, he was aiming for a particular look. And why not? With a facial structure to support it, the model bore a family-like resemblance to the young wizard of Hogwarts... perhaps his cousin Terry Potter? Maybe his long-lost brother Gary Potter?
Felipe's session came on the heels of a body-painting session with Charles Zambrano. The South American student had waited patiently as the earlier model cleaned up and we rearranged the lights and studio for his more conventional photo shoot. When the second session finally wrapped it was late in the evening and we were all hungry.
Since models typically never eat before a photo session, the studio has a custom of taking models and staff out to eat afterward. We were heading out late that night and despite our mid-Manhattan location (and the fact that the immediate neighborhood hosts not one but three colleges), most of the local haunts had already stopped serving. Charles, a graduate The School of Visual Arts, of one of the local institutions, knew the neighborhood quite well and suggested a late-hour sushi joint. Felipe surprised us both with his familiarity with the nabe and had suggestions of his own.
Over a dinner of sushi, we were surprised to learn that this student from Colombia had worked at a pizzeria just up the block. Really? How unlikely was that? In another "small world" incident, Felipe admitted that he was a student in the college that shares the block with the studio.
Felipe didn't just look like the cute boy next door, he was the cute boy next door! Check out his gallery here and follow him on Instagram at @pipedel_18.