Shooting Andrew

As I posted last week, today was the day to shoot Andrew (Aquabluemodel on Instagram). We had a really relaxed and fun shoot and I think collaborated really well together. The first setup is this one that I’m showing you today. I had bought some silver fabric that when it was just hanging there looked super camp but when I had the industrial fan behind it and the lovely Andrew in front of it, looked fantastic. It was like a big liquid metal background that didn’t stop moving.

There was a second setup that I will show you another day but I’m very happy with how it turned out. Sadly Andrew lives in a different state so there won’t be too many collaborations but when we are in the same state, I will do my best to get him to shoot with me.

A new crush

Last night my housemate and I were flicking through Netflix trying to find something to watch. We finally settled on starting to watch the series Outlander. I got two episodes in before I had to go to bed. It was well before the end of the first episode before I found my new crush. Sam Heughan may have just made a serious move for Highlander Scotsmen to replace Vikings as my crush. Playing Jamie in the series he is a red-headed rugged boy next door with a cheeky grin and a body I’d curl up to in a heartbeat.

His wikipedia page is lacking in detail but I will certainly watching a lot more of Outlander to get my fix of Sam/Jamie. Given that Outlander is made by Starz who made Spartacus, there will no doubt be some nudity which is backed up by a quick google image search.

Today is the day

Once again, Australia is at the voting booths today. Will we have our 6th Prime Minister in 6 years or will Malcolm Turnbull be re-elected? If he is returned to power let’s hope he finally starts showing some backbone and making changes. If not, why on earth did he wrestle power from his incompetent predecessor?

I have voted for the opposition. Essentially most of their policies are vague and similar to each other but while Turnbull has stuck to his predecessor’s plan on a national vote on Marriage Equality that is non-binding and even some of his own party have said they will ignore, Mr Shorten has said that marriage equality is the first piece of legislation he will put to Parliament and it will happen in the first 100 days. This is a huge step in Australian politics. Both the PM and Opposition Leader support marriage equality but far too often they are held back by deals done with their conservative factions. For Mr Shorten to boldly state and promise to make the change, it is a defining difference.

Sadly we have a long way to go in terms of awareness. Speaking to my own parents this morning, they are voting for the current leading party which is up to them of course, but it means they are voting essentially to support a national vote on whether I am allowed to marry. I don’t get that right to vote on straight people’s marriages. Let Parliament do their job and avoid the national campaign which from the No team will be vicious and riddled with lies about pedophilia, beastiality, polygamy and scare tactics. I’m sad that even my own parents aren’t aware of the situation.

Inspirational talent.

We have all spent time looking for how to do something on youtube. These days you can find instructions for whatever it is you are trying to achieve. Along with that comes a lot of people who think they can teach but probably shouldn’t. I’ve given up on many tutorials because the person presenting is just awful and boring to listen to. Lately I’ve been watching lots and lots and lots of photography behind the scenes videos or instructional tutorials and this week I found Thomas Heaton. Thomas is a professional photographer in the UK who takes absolutely beautiful landscape photos.

Landscape photography is not my strong point. I haven’t really tested myself but it’s something I’d like to do more of and after watching Thomas’ videos on his youtube channel I want to bugger off into the Australian countryside more than ever with a tripod, my camera, camping gear and a sense of adventure. Thomas’ videos aren’t tutorials as such but videos of his adventures in Iceland, Norway, Wales, Scotland and all sorts of places camping and taking his gorgeous photos. He does go into some detail about what he’s doing with his setup and why so it’s been a fantastic insight into good landscape photography. Thomas also keeps his videos light hearted and relaxed rather than trying to show off or talk down to the viewer which makes it so much more fun.

Now I think I just need to grab my tent and drive for a couple of hours and see what Australia has to offer my lens.

Instalicious – Aquabluemodel

A month or two ago, a friend who lives interstate put me in touch with a friend of his on Instagram. Andrew, aka Aquabluemodel also lives interstate but travels for work quite a bit. My friend thought that we should collaborate on a photo shoot so last time he was up we caught up for a drink to meet, get a vibe of each other and discuss ideas. Andrew has done some great shoots and is a really lovely guy. Lo and behold, he’s coming up for this weekend so we are hitting the studio to do a shoot.

I haven’t really done any shoots for a couple of months and outdoor shoots aren’t really feasible at the moment because it’s very cold here and no sane model would say yes if I asked them to get nude outside. After giving some thought to ideas and the direction I want to take for a while I’m thinking a series of photos similar in vibe to my Shrouded series is the way I want to go. Studio based, interesting slightly bonkers props or styling and beautiful men.

Andrew and I are going to be working on two different setups this Sunday morning. It’s going to be great to get back in the studio. It’ll be a great warm up for the following weekend which will be full to the brim of naked LGBTIQ+ people braving my lens for the #barenakedtruth project.

I’m angry… with myself

With performances booked for this weekend, the weekend should have been spent rehearsing and running the routine. Sadly, my nerves kicked into over drive and I worked myself up into such a state over not being able to get through the routine that indeed, even in rehearsal I couldn’t get through it. So rather than perform a rubbish routine and hate myself for it, I’ve pulled out. I’m still very upset with myself but I was not going to do a good job.

An article came to my attention a few weeks ago that I read part of. Sadly I didn’t have time to read the whole thing but it was discussing the tendency of a lot of gay men to sabotage their own happiness or success. Now that is far from a universal truth but I do think it’s a common thing. I’m very talented at it. The performance is a good example. Rather than just force myself to rehearse, I let my nerves take over and talk myself out of doing a good job. That then gives me a reason to be more nervous next time. Vicious circle isn’t it?

So. My plan now is to keep rehearsing this routine that I was putting together, refining it and making sure I can do it all the way through without getting stressed about it. I’ll do it often and get myself to the point where I can’t even remotely tell myself I can’t do it. I’ve done bigger and more difficult performances in the past.

"Entangled" Dress Rehearsal from Brenton Parry on Vimeo.

Does the world feel a little crazy?

There are certain things that have happened in my lifetime that are great that I never thought I’d see. The Berlin Wall coming down. The end of Apartheid in South Africa. Marriage Equality and LGBT rights advancing rapidly. That kind of thing.

There are other things happening right now that absolutely terrify me. The fact that Trump is even a candidate, let alone the Republican nominee to run the U.S. is one of the most scary things I’ve ever seen. He is so arrogant, ill informed, violent, quick to lie and racist that he will have the whole world at war in about a week and a half and then tell you he’s winning as America gets blown up. His tweet to Scotland saying they were happy to leave the EU was just an example of his irresponsibility.

Britain voting to leave the EU isn’t quite as scary but it’s a ridiculously ignorant thing to do. The financial ramifications are already being felt. Ireland and Scotland will probably push to become independent as well. I honestly don’t think a lot of the UK knew exactly what they were voting about. All of the free movement through Europe they’ve enjoyed for 40 years will cease. What will happen to all the Brits living in Spain and France? Interestingly in the 24 hours since the vote, the second most common search about the EU on google within the UK has been “What is the EU?” Shouldn’t that research have been done before voting?

Our own government is promising a costly and stupid public vote on Marriage Equality if they are re-elected next weekend but now they have announced that they won’t bind their Members of Parliament to vote along with the public opinion when it arrives in Parliament. What’s the point?

Where did common sense and doing what is right for the population go? I know that politics is full of self serving egotists but this is getting out of hand. Intelligence and practicality have been squashed by PR and news sound bites.

Going to be fun!

Sometimes technology is a terrifying thing. With facebook algorithms now following what you’ve searched for online to target advertising to suit you, it gets a bit annoying. I kept getting advertisements for villas in Bali after we’d booked one and been on the holiday.

Tonight however, the targeted advertising has come through with the goods for me. I’ve been thinking I want to try slacklining for a while now and I’d done some searches a few weeks ago to see if I could find anywhere in Sydney to do it. There were a few vague mentions but not real classes. Tonight however a post popped up on my feed for a three day (over three weeks) course for beginners in Slacklining here in Sydney. It is even in a beautiful part of Sydney overlooking the harbour. Can’t beat that can you? Fingers crossed for good weather.

I’m under no illusion that I’ll be amazing at it but I need a new challenge and this could be a lot of fun.

The naked Slackliner in Munich from alpinfieber on Vimeo.

A bit of relief

After a heavy, serious post I thought I should lighten things up. Broadway Bares has just happened for 2016 a few days ago and a couple of my friends were lucky enough to be there. I’ve always wanted to see it and one day I will.

This is a video of all the highlights of the show. Lots of flesh, campery, sequins and more skin. Sydney would really benefit from something like this I believe and it never hurts to raise money for HIV Research and care which is exactly what Broadway Bares does. Each year it looks like the budget gets a bit bigger and the production a bit better.

Like most burlesque shows, they leave a little to the imagination. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Broadway Bares 2016 Highlights from Broadway Cares on Vimeo.

It’s not going to be pretty

Unlike the U.S. system where the Supreme Court ultimately decided to legalise gay marriage, here in Australia we don’t need to change the constitution. We just need to tweak the marriage act. Ireland had a public vote in the form of a referendum to allow gay marriage and our current ruling political party have decided to have a Plebiscite. A plebiscite is a non-binding national vote to gauge public opinion. There is a growing discontentment with this vote. It’s going to cost $160million (if the same political party is returned to power after our election in two weeks time) and it is going to be a dirty and nasty campaign from the anti-gay community.

Today we saw our Treasurer say he’d been exposed to hatred and bigotry because of his anti-gay beliefs. Seriously? A white, straight, middle aged christian wouldn’t know what bigotry is. Well technically he does but from the side dishing it out.

I’d like to address a couple of points that are constantly brought up by the anti-gay side. “Think of the children”. I’m not sure what they think happens when gay people get married but their friends certainly don’t steal children from straight couples and give them to the happy couple as a wedding gift. All kids deserve male and female role models in life sure, but that doesn’t need to be parents. Besides, kids of gay parents often end up with two dads and two mums!

“It will destroy marriage”. If I were to get married it would effect exactly zero straight marriages. It’s not a nightclub with a one-in, one-out policy. Not one straight marriage will be destroyed by gay marriage. There’s just nothing else to argue about that.

With this plebiscite there will be a huge number of kids being told that they, or their gay parents are wrong, evil and not to be tolerated. It won’t be good.

Could I actually do it?

With a circus performance imminent in my future, last night at class there was talk about the upcoming routines. In the past I’ve floated the idea of a more adult show. The shows at Aerialize are usually full of friends and family and there are teenagers doing routines, kids in the audience and the whole thing is fairly PG.

There are quite a few of us that would like to see a more bawdy approach. Burlesque and circus go hand in hand and it would be great to have a bit more scope. One of the guys in my class said he would be happy to go completely nude. It’s interesting because he’s not a nudie in the rest of his life. I don’t think he’s ever been to a nude beach but here he is saying he’d be keen to do a nude routine.

I go to nude beaches all the time and while I love the idea of doing a nude routine I don’t know if I actually could. When I do exercise and when I get nervous my cock retreats out of harms way. When I’m on a beach I have no real cares about how it looks because I’m relaxed in the sun which helps. Being the centre of attention, nude doing a circus routine I don’t know that I need anything more to be nervous about. Having said that, I love the idea of nude circus and how many opportunities do you get?

Do I get a say in this?

This week I had a friend request out of the blue on Facebook. Thinking it was for the photo shoot project, I accepted. It turns out it was a guy that thinks he’s seen me on Grindr. He starts flirting and telling me he thinks I’m hot etc which is all very flattering but I look at his photos and his details and he is less than half my age.

Now before you all jump up and down at me and say there’s nothing wrong with an age difference, you are right but just the way this guy was communicating emphasised how young he was. When I told him I wasn’t interested because he was way too young he said “What’s the problem? I wouldn’t have messaged you if I wasn’t interested.” That’s great but do I get a say in that? I’ve come across this before where someone gets offended when you aren’t interested. They just expect that because they are interested then it’s all on.

He then followed up with “Not often you find a nice guy and then his not even interested.” Ignoring the bad grammar I pointed out that I get lots of guys not being interested in me. It’s kind of expected in the world of Grindr etc isn’t it? When he realised I wasn’t going to change my mind he got a bit sulky and unfriended me which only confirmed that he was too young for me. It was an interesting interaction first thing in the morning.

Beautiful self portraits

When I find an image I like somewhere I try and figure out who the model and the photographer is. Sometimes they are the same person.

This week I came across the image above on Tumblr and very thoughtfully whoever had posted it had posted a caption telling me that it was a self portrait by Nick Turner. That image in particular was attractive because it’s a hot body, nude in nature. It wasn’t wildly creative but it resonated with me. Of course I went searching and googled “self portrait by Nick Turner” and that’s when I found his beautiful self portraits with and on some beautiful horses.

Nick first started taking self portraits when he was in Iceland and found himself on an isolated beach. Growing up with a grandmother who was an artist and living in Europe as a child has influenced Nick’s creative approach to viewing the world. That approach was also influenced by growing up around horses which he clearly has an affinity with.

I hope that Nick keeps shooting both self portraits and other imagery because he is a talented man.

What’s your Bare Naked Truth?

You can’t hate someone when you know your story. That’s the premise behind #Barenakedtruth, a photography project I have agreed to be a part of. Over four days in July I will be photographing up to 100 nude portraits of members of the LGBTIQ+ community and we are hoping that we will get a very diverse group of people who identify somewhere along that rainbow spectrum.

After the tragedy in Orlando a few days ago it feels even more timely to celebrate diversity and every face of the LGBTIQ+ family. The photographs will be simple and hopefully elegant, and at the same time as the subjects are being photographed we want to learn their stories. If the straight community hears our stories, especially those straight people who might vote against marriage equality or might cringe at the thought of two men kissing, they might realise just how human we all are and recognise all our similarities rather than our perceived differences.

There is a rationale behind the portraits being nude. When our walls come down and we peel back the layers it is our unifying qualities that are exposed. We become freed from fear and are empowered to be authentic. Putting a face on LGBTQ+ issues humanises the experience and will help to educate, enlighten and inspire others. I’m very proud to be a part of this project and I can’t wait to celebrate our unique community.

If you are in Sydney or can be in Sydney and want to be a part of it, RSVP to the Facebook event here to show your interest!

Gymspiration for the challengers

I’m a bit disappointed that there are only two of us taking part in the Fitness Challenge. I expected at least a couple more of you to take up the challenge. Remember the goal isn’t to look like a Men’s Health cover model. Damien and I are just training to feel better, improve our health and fitness and get back some of that movement that youth took with it when it left.

This gif is serving up some gymspiration for anyone struggling to get to the gym. Who cares that the vast majority of the world doesn’t look like this guy? No, this gymspiration is more inspiring you all to get to the gym and after a great workout, hopefully see some guy that looks like this drying off nude in the locker room. Why not? It could happen surely.