My newest model, Laurens, is from Germany. He’s been living in the U.S. for awhile, and he just moved to Hawaii from California with his girlfriend. I met Laurens through one of my old girlfriends, Gina, who now lives in L.A. Gina has a very sharp eye for gorgeous men, and she’s connected me with some of my best models over the years. Dwayne and Thai Michael, for example.
Anyway, Gina e-mailed me some photos of Laurens which I thought looked pretty interesting, so when he got to Hawaii, he came to my studio and I got to meet him and look at his face and body. He’s handsome, and he has a nice, lean body, but even beyond that, there’s something really sexy about the boy. Anyway, I decided I’d like to try doing a photo shoot with him. I had been out driving the previous week, out toward Makapuu, and found a spot I used to go to years ago which is a pretty deserted beach, and I thought it would be a good spot to shoot Laurens.
So on a weekday morning we (Laurens, myself, and my surfing buddy Jimmy, who sometimes comes along to assist at outdoors photo shoots) drove out to that part of the island and traipsed around until we found a nice spot. We hiked from the road to the beach, which is not far but requires some navigating through thick bushes. I liked the bandanna Laurens was wearing so had him leave that on, and started by taking some shots of him shirtless. Then I had him get naked but leave the bandanna on. Very nice! This beach is not exactly lush and tropical–no palm trees–but there are some nice dunes and some green-leafed ground cover (don’t know the name of it), so some decent backdrops if you get a little creative. Main thing is, it’s a deserted beach, which is hard to find on Oahu!
Shot several rolls on the dunes, and got some nice stuff. Then we went into the water. Very rocky in this area, with lots of tidepools, so it’s really beautiful to work with. I had Laurens walk around on the rocks, perch on them, kneel on them, lie on them, etc. He’s easy to work with because he keeps moving, keeps trying stuff, which is what works for me when I’m shooting photos. It’s a lot of work to have to tell the model every move to make, which I often have to do. I can get good results that way, but it’s much easier when the model just lets himself be himself, move around and be playful. Laurens has the confidence—you could almost say cockiness—to do that. And it works.
We got really lucky weather-wise—we had a beautiful day, which is unusual lately because it’s been cloudy and rainy a lot. (That’s how it often is in Hawaii in January and February.) Anyway, the weather was perfect for the location: hot, bright, sunny. I got some nice images of Laurens wading and floating in the clear, shallow water of a tidepool.
Then I had Laurens get his surfboard and we did some shots with it, in the water and up on the dunes. He’s a shortboarder; his board is like 6’10, which to me is really short–I’m used to riding longer boards, like 8′ to 10′. He was telling me about some of the waves he’s ridden on the North Shore. Sounds like he’s pretty ballsy–which I can believe–and a pretty good surfer. It’s always nice when the surfboard is more than just a prop, but is actually a part of the model’s life.
The first photo session with a new model is always kind of exploratory. I’m thinking I got some good stuff, but also feeling like I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what I can do with Laurens. But that’s how I usually feel after the first session. Anyway, I have lots of stuff to work with and as always, I’m anxious to start drawing
By the time you read this diary entry, I’ll be on my way to Rio de Janeiro where I will not only be enjoying Carnaval and the summer weather, I will also be doing some drawing and painting. I’ve already begun a couple of drawings of Laurens, and I’m hoping to get some painting done as well, in between all the frolicking. When I return in early March, I’ll bring you all up to date.