Friday, January 16 was the day of the big storm. At least that’s what all the media here in Honolulu said: The island of Oahu will sustain gale-force winds and heavy rains, they said, and they closed the schools and lots of businesses in anticipation of the tempest. Meanwhile, I had scheduled a photo shoot with my new friend Antonio, who was vacationing from California and had exactly one day available to model for me, the last day of his stay here—Friday, January 16.
I awoke at 6am and called Antonio, who was staying at a hotel just a block away. It was still dark out, but was starting to rain, and chances for a decent photo shoot looked slim. But at 630 I picked him up at his hotel and we decided to take our chances. We headed for Diamond Head with our fingers crossed. When we hiked down the trail to the beach, it was looking pretty grey and cloudy. Antonio was sucking down coffee like he really needed it—only after the photo shoot was over did he tell me that he’d gotten less than an hour of sleep the night before…
As we walked down the beach to the spot where I usually like to set up, I surveyed the morning sky. Pretty cloudy, but surprisingly, not that bad. It certainly didn’t look like a huge storm was about to hit. But you never know, and these things can happen fast, so I hurried Antonio along so we could get started shooting before the weather went to hell.
I started shooting Antonio in the grey light of dawn and while not ideal, I was getting some useable shots. Then, suddenly, while Antonio was running naked down the beach, the clouds parted, and the light of an intense sunrise shone through. I couldn’t believe our good luck.
Now Antonio and I really sprang into action. We didn’t know how long we would have this fabulous light–it could disappear at any moment—so I had Antonio running, jumping, somersaulting, diving into the ocean and running out again, basically wearing himself out—while I tried to keep up by snapping photos as fast as the camera would let me.
Amazingly, we continued shooting in this wonderful dawn light for two and a half hours, and no storm hit. I guess I must be living right, because the gods were really watching out for me that morning. I shot almost 2000 images of Antonio, and not only was the light great, Antonio was an exceptionally good model. He was relaxed and fun and had great energy right from the beginning, and as the photo shoot continued, he got even better.
There’s a certain kind of straight-boy street-kid attitude that I find really sexy (and I’ll bet I’m not the only one), and at one point in the shoot I asked Antonio if he could do that, and he fell right into it. He started walking toward me with his shorts falling down, sometimes even falling OFF, and giving me that Latin-boy I’m-gonna-fuck-you-up, or maybe it was I’m-gonna-fuck-you, attitude, but whatever you wanna call it, he totally nailed it. And me too! I had to take a few deep breaths to compose myself…!
As I said, we were able to shoot for 2 and a half hours and the light stayed great. Partly because the weather was such a pleasant surprise, and partly because Antonio was so much fun and did such a great job, this was one of the best and most fun photo shoots I’ve done in a long time. I now have a wealth of beautiful images of Antonio and my plan is to release some of them as photographs before I even begin drawing from them. They’re so great I want to start sharing them immediately.
Update to this Entry:
In May 2012 I published an e-book called “Antonio” which contains over 60 uncensored photographs from the photo shoot discussed above. You can purchase it for instant download here.