Damned distance

There are some amazing perks to living here in Australia. We are blessed with short winters, long summers, a fantastic outdoor lifestyle and much much more. One of the major downsides is just how far we are from so many people and places.

In the past few years I’ve become much more confident about approaching people to photograph them, even if I think there is no chance of me being able to work together because they are a professional model and too expensive or too far away. People travel a lot these days so you never know.

Niko Wirachman is a German model and performer living in London. I messaged him saying that I’d love to work with him if we are ever in the same place and he replied! He apparently loves my photography which is a great compliment from someone who has worked with some very talented photographers.

If my European adventures happen next year maybe I’ll try and swing by London for a day or two to photograph him and catch up with my friends.

Get Windswept

Two weeks ago, Perth based performer Sam Madame was in town to do shoots with myself and a bunch of other Sydney photographers. What do you do when you are presented with a beautiful, chiselled, handsome man with a good body to photograph? Make him really uncomfortably cold apparently.

We had found some reference that we both liked to use as our starting point. It helped Sam get in character as a windswept, lost figure on the bleak coastline because it was really windy and cold the morning we did the shoot. Sam was very tolerant of the ridiculously cold conditions given it was just over a week before the official start of Winter but when I asked him to get in the water, that’s when he really struggled. Not very nice of me I know and I wouldn’t like me after that, that’s for sure.

Thankfully we are both really happy with the results of the shoot. I promise next time I work with him I’ll keep it warm and comfortable in a studio environment.

If you want to buy Windswept or any of the other downloads, head to my shop and go for it.

Sorry

Sorry that posting has been a bit sparse this week. It’s been one of “those” weeks where I just felt a bit flat, stressed, tired and grumpy. That doesn’t make for good blogging.

There is still a lot of stress around the living situation at the moment. Through a breakdown in communication my current housemate didn’t realise I may not be able to get in to my new place til the end of July, so he’s got someone moving in at the end of June. So there is a chance that I may need to put all my stuff in storage and go and stay with my sister for 4-5 weeks. Obviously that’s not ideal.

I’m a bit stressed about the performance night the circus school is having because I’m supposed to be organising it as well as being MC and performing.

To be honest, nothing is a big problem. I’m just feeling a little swamped at the moment. I’m sure that once the living situation is all sorted and I’m in the new place and the show is done that will all settle down and I’ll be back to my cheery self. There is also the possibility that the sudden onset of cold weather here, late as it is, has made me gloomy. I’m definitely solar powered and happier in warm weather. At least, as vague and distant as the plans are, I have the thought of a European adventure to look forward to.

That escalated…

There is a very strange phenomenon online these days where when someone gets their advances rejected, no matter how politely they turn incredibly violent and abusive. In the most extreme cases it spills over into the real world with men murdering girls that have turned them down.

Last week I was looking at people’s Instagram stories when I saw a screenshot of the abuse someone received just because he wouldn’t send them nudes. “You’re ugly as fuck” “You look like you got HIV when you were ten” “You body is that of a 50 year old pensioner””I’ll slit your throat from ear to ear”.

How on earth do you go from being attracted to someone so much that you ask them for nudes, to threatening to kill them and being irrationally vicious about their appearance? What the fuck is wrong with people?

Thankfully I haven’t had to endure anything like this. We’ve all had some dodgy and slightly scary encounters online but this is absolutely vile.

Happy birthday Kylie

This woman has provided many amazing memories throughout the last 31 years. Since she released Locomotion in 1987 and was derided in the press for being a flash in the pan, she’s constantly proven herself tackling different styles of music and selling out massive tours. She’s not everyone’s cup of tea I know, but she’s mine. I’m not one of the new generation of fans that send death threats to anyone who criticises their idol but if anyone spouts bullshit about Kylie not being able to sing, I’ll shout you down.

One thing I don’t think she should be doing is acting. She may have found fame acting in Neighbours but she’s made some awful movies.

Regardless, today she turns 50 and looks absolutely incredible for it. She seems to have eased up on the botox these days which leaves her looking much more natural and still just as gorgeous.

In honour of her birthday, below is her new music video for “Golden” from her latest album of the same name. Now I’m just waiting for her to release tour dates for here in Australia. C’mon Kylie!

Philippe is available now!

I promise to keep up the pace of releasing a download every week for as long as I can. Today I photographed what may be the last outdoor nude until after winter. It feels a bit mean to be getting models naked outdoors in Winter which officially starts in a few days here in Sydney.

Today’s release is Philippe which I photographed a little over two years ago. He took me by surprise with his gorgeous looks and dark skin when he announced he was from the Ukraine. Quite possibly I’m a bit ignorant about geographic and racial mixes but I wasn’t expecting a black man to come from Eastern Europe.

The morning we shot this, you can see a yacht in the background of a few of the shots and it turns out it was some friends who spent the night on the water. Later in the day I spent the day on the water with them, naked as the day I was born. Bliss.

Photographing the gorgeous Philippe nude that morning was just so lovely. He’s now enjoying some success in the U.S. Sadly I don’t expect to see him back here in Sydney any time soon because it would be fun to work with him again. If you want to see all of Philippe, and he does go frontal in this series, head on over to my shop to buy the download.

It was bound to happen

Sharing my life like an open book on social media is fraught with a little danger. While I was looking for work I put my personal Instagram account on private as well as my Facebook account. Now that I’m safely in a permanent role in a great company that is very liberal in it’s thinking I have restored my Instagram to public.

Up til now my colleagues had found out about my Photography Instagram and my Wedding Celebrant Instagram and that was that. Yesterday I found out that a few of them have now found my Personal account. Yes, the account full of nude selfies and naked travel images and silly shenanigans.

Thankfully they all just laughed it off as fun, no problem whatsoever. They also didn’t make fun of my butt or my back fat so we are all good.

Getting Itchy Feet

Given that I have not long started a new job and won’t really be able to plan any decent holidays this year I’m now looking towards next year.
In the past I’ve spoken about my plan to do an international trip every two years with a domestic in between. So far the domestic plan hasn’t worked out with one “domestic” year being hijacked for a trip to Bali for a friend’s 40th which was great fun. This year’s is being sacrificed to the working gods.
Of course, my travel plans always include some options for getting naked as much as possible and the timing works well for escaping Australia’s winter and enjoying some warmth on my butt in Europe. At this stage after a conversation with a  well travelled, nude-inclined friend of mine I’m thinking of Corsica or Sardinia, Sicily, Portugal and possibly finishing off with a few days in a gay clothing optional B&B in the South of France that I’ve read about.
Obviously it will depend on costs and timings but I think it’s workable. There is also the option of doing another Saltyboys gay clothing optional sailing trip and after speaking to them they are likely to do a trip in Sardinia or Corsica which would work perfectly.
The spanner in the works is that I’m also thinking of a safari in Africa. SO much of the world to see.
Anyone got any suggestions?

Carry on…

In all the years that I’ve been quite open about my naked tendencies I’ve become acutely aware of just how uncomfortable some people are with nudity. Anyone that has read this blog for a while will realise that I’m pretty much an open book. Oversharing is probably a term that some people might use. When I finally acknowledged that I was into guys it was only six months later that I had come out to everyone in my life at the time.

Through that openness about my love of being nude, I have met many people who are also keen to strip off. Tonight one of those friends, who I have photographed a couple of times, posted a photo on Facebook. He is travelling for work and staying in a hotel where the minibar attendant walked into his room and found him nude. The photo he posted was an apology note and a bottle of wine to say sorry. I have absolutely no doubt that the poor woman who saw him was way more concerned about the situation than he was.

Of course, if someone else is not comfortable with the nudity of the situation then that makes me uncomfortable. This is the reason that I don’t walk around nude in front of my current housemate. Being caught naked is one thing but forcing nakedness on someone who doesn’t appreciate it is another thing entirely.

My friend has done well out of it though. A free bottle of wine for something that caused him absolutely zero concern is a pretty good result.

It’s not a monopoly

A few years back I heard of a photographer asking a model not to work with any other photographers. Now I might be wrong but isn’t that how modelling works? You work with a bunch of different photographers over an extended period of time for a bunch of different projects and call it a modelling career. Back in the day a model used to be contracted to one fashion house just like movie stars used to be contracted to one movie studio. That system fell apart a long time ago.

Even if you have the rare fortune to become the muse of a particular artist and work with them over and over again, often providing them with their inspiration, it’s rare that you would never model for anyone else.

Tonight I’ve had a conversation with a model who has been put in a tricky situation by a photographer he’s worked for a few times. The photographer thinks the model is diminishing the photographers point of difference by posing for nudes with other photographers. Unless you sign an exclusivity contract and pay that model a living salary you can’t expect them to not work with other people. The only area you can complain about is if they do a shot that very closely emulates your work in style and execution. Even if a model uses a prop that you want to use with them, it’s probably in a very different way and you can’t say anything, especially if the model owns the garment or prop.

Thankfully I am on really good terms with a lot of the other male figure photographers here in Sydney and while we all have our favourite models we are happy for the most part to pass on contacts and introductions. It’s a small place and if you play hardball you’ll stop being invited to play.

Find your Balance!

Just a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to photograph the beautiful Antonio. As I mentioned in a previous post he was absolutely adorable and I may have fallen a little bit in love with him. Of course he’s back on the other side of the world performing and I’m fairly unlikely to see him again sadly.

Well now it’s your turn to enjoy the photos I captured of this beautiful man in this week’s download, BALANCE. I’m really happy with these photos and even happier we didn’t get arrested taking them. We were seen as it was a fairly public place in Wollongong on a beautiful morning. To be able to witness first hand this incredible athlete in control of his body, upside down and nude was a genuine privilege.

Antonio is a great example of someone shaking up preconceived ideas. I’m not usually into a lot of tattoos or piercings on a guy but he has fairly modest stretchings/plugs in his ears and a lot of tattoos but he carries it all off very well. When I saw him perform in the show Limbo he looked almost cocky but in person he’s softly spoken, genuine, and just divine. Apparently I’m still not over my crush.

Head on over to my shop to buy Balance and any of the other prints or downloads available there.

Getting scared

As usual, I’ve been excelling in procrastination. Even the occasional procrasturbation.

Today that stops. I’m heading out to my circus school to start putting together my performance for the naughty, more adult version of the performance nights that the school does. I’ve been campaigning for this to happen for years and it’s happening. Unfortunately one of my talents is not rehearsing enough and negative self-talk. The dialogue in my head says I’m shit at performing but that’s because I never rehearse enough. I don’t rehearse enough because I get so nervous about performing. Vicious cycle much? It’s not fun.

The trouble is that when I come to putting a routine together I worry that I’m not going to be able to do all the tricks that I have in my head so then I default to old tricks. Yawn. Time for some intensive rehearsal, workshopping and training.

I’ve decided that I’m too good at negative self talk in general. Making jokes about how old I am or how out of shape I’m feeling is now far too habitual for me and it’s a self perpetuating prophecy. So this afternoon is the first step in fixing all that.

"Entangled" Dress Rehearsal from Brenton Parry on Vimeo.

I wouldn’t know

We all know how Grindr works. Mostly endless chat with very little mutual gratification, often served with some attitude, rudeness or if you’re lucky a few nice cock shots.

Even though it is usually about getting naked and getting off I have heard of some mythical beings meeting their partners on the apps and forging a relationship which is nice to hear, as it is to hear that people actually get to meet someone for sex rather than the time wasting etc that seems so prevalent.

Over the weekend someone messaged me and we were doing a tiny bit of chat. He asked what I was looking for which at the time was some quick casual no strings fun. He said he was looking for a boyfriend. Sure, it’s not unheard of on Grindr. Then he asked me how to go about it and that my friends is when I was stumped.

Firstly he was asking someone whose profile clearly says “single” on it how to get a boyfriend. Possibly not a great start, especially had he known I’ve been single and had barely any dates in 7 years. Secondly, isn’t asking someone on Grindr how to find a boyfriend like going to McDonalds and asking for weight loss advice? It just doesn’t seem a natural fit to me.

Points for trying mate.

Checking in…

My family isn’t one to talk about feelings a lot. I have never been left in doubt that they love me, even when my mother wasn’t quite coping with me coming out all those years ago.

So it was a little bit unusual to get a text message from my sister starting with “Just checking in.” There was more to the message and it was all very casual but I started to think about why she might not have thought I was ok. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. That is an entirely possible scenario but while I was thinking about it I thought about my social media activity lately. It would be fair to say that I’m going through a lonely phase and there may have been a couple of statuses on Facebook that would hint to that but I didn’t think I’d been all “Woe is me” about anything but quite often people around you see you more clearly than you see yourself.

Anyway, I am fine but it’s given me a bit of a kick in the butt. Even though I joke about being old, fat and chronically single I don’t mean it but there is definitely a bit of cynicism about those things. I’m not enjoying certain elements of getting older at the moment and struggling to see the positives in being single and a “Mature aged gay”. My mental health is ok, I’m not suffering from depression or anything but I do feel like I need to be aware of these darker phases and not let them become too habitual. See them for what they are but always look for the positives.

It was very nice to know that my sister is looking out for me. Having seen a lot of sibling relationships that are awful at worst, a bit rubbish in other cases, it’s great that I get on with my sister and her husband and kids so well.

This wasn’t a post looking for sympathy or anything, just saying.

Garage out now

It’s Sunday afternoon here in Sydney and that means it’s time to release another download. This week I’m way back in the archives for another mini download of Kieran. It was his second shoot with me and once again we were in the middle of the night in a cold and unwelcoming environment.

Kieran seems to have deleted his Instagram account which is a shame so I can’t send you all there to look at him some more but I will forever be grateful to people like Kieran who took a chance on an inexperienced photographer who wanted them to do stupid things like get naked in a parking garage.

Last week I caught up with Brad who I credit with setting the tone for my Shrouded exhibition and a lot of my work since. November next year will be ten years since I took the image of Brad with his head wrapped and we’d lost touch but now he lives literally around the corner. We are trying to work out a way to do something for the tenth anniversary of the shoot, paying homage to it but not just recreating it. It’s exciting.

These images are grainy because of the lack of light and I think it really adds to the mood. If you want to buy Garage or any of the downloads, click here.

Aussielicious TV – Episode 3 from Brenton Parry on Vimeo.