With over 100 models in the studio's portfolio, it's time for a shout-out to our Ukrainian models and the courageous and determined people of Ukraine.
It is challenging to pay tribute to the brave citizens of Ukraine who are so valiantly defending their homeland against all odds without appearing to be crassly profiting from the situation to promote the studio's work. That said, as photographers, we cannot think of a better way to express our solidarity with the Ukrainian cause than by featuring two of the studio's Ukrainian models.
Both Oleks Matvey (above left) and Sergey Sheptun (right) are proud, Ukrainian-born models who made their way to the United States in brighter times. As with most immigrants, they left a lifetime of memories, friends and family and have a deep emotional connection to the events unfolding in their homeland. They were 23 and 24 years old when the studio worked with them; both are prime examples of strong, fit, Ukrainian men. It would be no surprise to learn that either or both have returned to Europe to engage personally in the struggle.
Sergey has stood in front of the studio's lights on two different occasions, and we have featured his work extensively in the past. 35 full-page images are featured in our photo essay, Sergey. For his new 2022 gallery we have edited a collection of new images from his first session. Using Photoshop, we have changed elements of the studio (continuous paper, walls and V-flats) to reflect the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Sergey is still an active model who is now also an accomplished physique photographer in his own right. You can follow him on Instagram at @serg_shepard. The new gallery and examples from our previous work with Sergey can be found here.
A New York City runway model,
Oleks shot with the studio on five different occasions early in his modeling career. Unlike most models but very much like many Ukrainian men, he is an avid kick-boxing fan and an accomplished boxer in the ring. We did three studio sessions as well as a session in the ring of his boxing gym on New York's Upper East Side. He was one of three New York models that we shot in the stables and fields of a working horse farm outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Oleks has retired from modeling and given the possibility of his taking up arms in the current battle, we refrain from providing additional links. You can find his work with the studio here.
2023 UPDATE: Since originally we originally uploaded this post, we have made an amusing discovery. We thought we had 2 Ukrainians and 3 Russians in the studio's portfolio. While pulling content out of our archive recently, we discovered that Roman Khodorov, who we shot with on his way home from LA to Moscow, is not Russian! We found a photo of the passport he used as ID in the studio. It was a Ukrainian passport. The Ukrainians outnumber the Russians 3 to 2 in our portfolio!
Two years into the war, we still side with the people of Ukraine. We stand with the friends and family of Sergey, Oleksandr and Roman.
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Bond retired from modeling with a 3-day extravaganza of a photoshoot. These are the images from his last afternoon and evening as a model. The final work of a 5-year career. 60 images, NSFW. Hard copy magazines or instantly-downloadable PDFs.