Tag Archive for 'photography'

Aussielicious Interview – Justin Alexander

Last week I told you about Justin Alexander, the intrepid traveller who sold up all his belongings and took off on an adventure with no end deadline. Tonight I’m bringing you the short interview I did with Justin. He was kind enough to answer my questions after coming out of the wilds of the U.S. tracking wolves.

You “retired” two years ago at 32 and ran away on an adventure. How did you get to that point?
Freedom has always been my highest ideal. I’ve always strived for an unconventional, adventurous life, but I really caught the travel bug (and an intestinal bug) when I spent a month trekking in Nepal in 2006. Since then I’ve been trying to figure out a way travel the world full time. In 2010 I helped with a tech startup and had enough success that I was able to step away and have just enough funds to support the lifestyle I have now.
What are the deciding factors on working out where you are going to go and what you are going to do?
I want to spend my life creating the memories that I want to have as an old man. Mostly I’m driven by curiosity and/or excitement; people and places I want to experience firsthand. I have a thirst for the exotic.
How do you find families in Indonesia to stay with and become a Buddhist Monk? Things like that aren’t in tour guide books.
I have never opened a guidebook. I’ve probably missed out on some cool stuff because if it, but I don’t want a guidebook directed life. I have a family in Thailand and Nepal. The Buddhist monk story is tied into my Thai family in a little farming village 30 minutes by motorbike from Lampang, northern Thailand. Both are very long stories with long back stories and if I tell those I really want to do it right.
Generally I am very open to opportunities. When you are visiting another culture, be extremely respectful, learn the language, eat how that eat, drink what they drink, be polite, and people will invite you into their homes. I don’t have any other advice than that because my experience was so rare and specific.
The photos on your Instagram are beautiful and certainly not just happy snaps. Do you have a background in photography or is someone documenting your trips for you?
Thank you. I don’t have any photography training and have been shooting on an iPhone since I started Instagram. I just graduated to my first real camera a few weeks ago because I was frustrated with the low light capabilities of my iPhone. It was a big investment, and carrying a big camera (and computer and hard drive, and, tripod…) is not something I like to do. I actually totally hate it. I’m a minimalist and I carry everything I own, so adding more stuff to my bag is really annoying.
But for now I’m shooting on a Sony A7-2. Any pics of me on my instagram are either taken with a timer on my phone, or by someone I’m with at the moment. I travel solo but I’m not always alone.
What other destinations are on your list and why?
I want to travel the Silk Road from the Mediterranean to Mongolia. Overland and slow. Afterwards I want to explore Africa for a good long time. I have a fondness for Southeast Asia as well and have been to Thailand like 8 times now. I have too many places that I want to go.
I’m just going to do this American motorcycle adventure until it feels done. I really don’t know what’s next and try not to put too much energy into that kind of stuff. You can have breadth or depth with travel; but having both is a trick. I don’t want to rush around and just see every place, I want to really experience every place, and that takes time. But time is the one real commodity we have.
So, who knows? Maybe I’ll find a spot somewhere and have a normal life there for a year. If that’s what I want to do then I’ll do that. But after a few months in any place I find myself longing for the horizon, and when it calls, I must go.
Describe the feeling of giving up your possessions and running free into the world?
Not as dramatic as you might imagine. I had been traveling a few months per year since 2006 so the whole thing felt very natural and comfortable. I’ve been a nomad most of my life; rarely owning more stuff that could say, fit in a Honda Civic. Once I had packed all my possessions into my Civic in order to move from San Francisco to Miami. I had to immediately go on a quick business trip to France and while I was gone, ¬†the car was stolen.
I’ve never been too attached to things, and the only thing I regret losing was my journal. The freedom of having a life based on this kind of value system is absolutely delicious.
The overall theme of this blog Aussielicious is nudism and being comfortable nude, which you seem to be from your photos. Has that always been the case?
Always? Well, I was comfortable being naked as a baby, then not so much til recently. I spend a lot of time naked in nature; as long as the weather is agreeable that is.
Just this morning I woke up by a river in western Montana, and after the sun started cooking I spent half the day naked in the river and walking around in the cottonwoods.
The only annoying thing is… No pockets!
Anyway I don’t think I’m excessively nude in my pics. A couple from the Bolivian salt flats and then a hot springs or two. I like my body and think the human form is beautiful.
You are looking very fit. How do you stay healthy and fit when you are off in the wild?
Well thanks. I’d say I’m less healthy and fit than I used to be. I used to train a lot. Kickboxing, BJJ, lifting, running, swimming. Now I have a very laid back approach to life and am taking it easy. I tend to eat whatever I want and stay active with day-to day-adventure life stuff: climbing, hiking, carry packs and firewood. I’m not doing so much athletic training these days.
Once every month or two I get to a place with a gym and I’ll go lift some weights for a few days but it’s just for fun. I don’t have a daily schedule or anything.
I would run but when I travel I get skinny. If I start running again I’ll start looking sickly.
I tend to lose weight in the woods and then eat like a Viking when I’m in a town or smothering.

A golden opportunity

I’ve posted about my wish list of celebrities that I want to photograph a few times on the blog and now I have an opportunity to photograph someone in the public eye. He’s not hugely famous but a lot of people in Australia certainly know who he is. He apparently really likes my photography and wants to collaborate with me on a shoot. I’m not sure when the shoot will happen as he’s not always in the country. So now I have to come up with a concept to shoot that works for both of us. He has a very big personality but I don’t want to use that. I want to capture a more stripped back portrait of him.

If this shoot goes well it could very much open doors to other people in the public eye. He has a lot of contacts in the entertainment world and I’d be crazy not to try and make the most of this opportunity. I’m not going to say who it is, nor is it any of the people in the photo above. They are certainly still on my wish list.

The Manscapes of a mate

Last week I brought you the photography of Manscapes. I was put in touch with the photographer of Manscapes, John Bortolin by a friend who had recently posed for him. Nigel is a mate of mine who has posed for me a couple of times alongside his partner of many years. Nigel was very flattered that John asked to photograph him as, in his words guys in their 40’s don’t get asked to do shit like that. John has photographed some stunning men and Nigel was a bit intimidated by that but I think he’s completely held his own amongst the men of Manscapes.

Nigel and his partner moved up to the Byron area a few years ago and I’ve been up to visit them a couple of times. They throw really fun parties and neither of the guys are shy about being naked so staying with them suits me down to the ground. It was partly the knowledge that Nigel had done this shoot that gave me the guts to post my own frontals on this blog a few weeks ago. From what John has told me, I believe he’s photographing Nigel’s partner soon. I look forward to seeing those shots.

Sexy and edgy

This series of photos popped up on my tumblr feed a few days ago. The model is Eian Scully and he’s been photographed by Matthias Vriens-McGrath looking bloody sexy in the desert at night wearing just ankle braces to hang upside down. Eian seems to have a bit of a following on tumblr as well as his instagram. Maybe this is a party I’m arriving late to but I can see why he has a following. Chiselled good looks, rocking body and not a trace of shyness to be seen anywhere. A quick scroll through the tumblr posts show that he’s very rarely wearing a complete ensemble and this isn’t the only shoot he’s done frontal for. Bless him.

There isn’t a lot of information on his social media about his age but he graduated from University in 2013. Make of that what you will. Until then just enjoy the views.

The places you turn up

The very beautiful Nathan that I have posted about recently is over in Europe at the moment and just this morning he has posted an image on my Facebook timeline that he took in Berlin. While he was at Comet Club in Berlin they must project images on the wall, three stories high as he tells me and lo and behold this image popped up. I haven’t been able to ascertain whether they played the video for the Aussielicious Men book or they’ve taken a still from it but apparently Aussielicious was credited which is great. It’s great to see that people like my work enough to project it in a club on the other side of the world!

Aussielicious Men Trailer from Brenton Parry on Vimeo.

Beautiful Manscapes

John Bortolin has spent the last couple of years working towards the goal of publishing his own photography book and with Manscapes, he did it and did it beautifully. The 152 page book features 25 different models all captured beautifully around the Byron Bay Shire in Far Northern New South Wales.

I had seen bits and pieces about¬†Manscapes online early this year and then saw the stand that John had set up at Mardi Gras Fair Day and I wondered how he’d done it. John and I were recently put in touch by a mutual friend who has recently been photographed by John, who thought we could benefit from each other’s experiences. One thing that I’ve struggled with as a photographer of the male nude is the constant reluctance of guys here in Sydney to go frontal. It’s not something I have to do with every shoot but as a photographer sometimes it’s limiting when models won’t pose frontal. John has clearly had no problem with that as just about all the guys in the book have gone frontal.

I’ll be doing an interview with John about his creative process, his photography and the men he photographs in the next couple of weeks but in the meant time, enjoy these beautiful photos of stunning men. You can also go and order your copy of Manscapes by visiting www.manscapes.com.au.

More Mikael

I thought I’d share a few more of the shots of Mikael that I took that day in Klampenborg. If Mikael and I are ever in the same place again I will definitely be doing another shoot. He loves being nude so there is a real ease to shooting him. There’s no problem shooting guys that are a bit more modest but when a guy is comfortable nude then he’s naturally more relaxed on the shoot.

Mikael

In Copenhagen I had the pleasure of finally meeting someone I’ve been chatting to online for years. Mikael has been reading Aussielicious for some time now and then we started following each other on Instagram which then evolved into being Facebook friends.

Mikael had some time off while I was there so, very kindly played tour guide for me walking all over the city telling me about things we saw while we chatted about different things. It had been Mikael that told me about people skinnydipping quite legally in the harbour in Copenhagen. As well as showing me a great nude spot on a canal and other cool parts of the city, Mikael and I planned for him to model for me.

So it was on the Wednesday Mikael and I found ourselves walking through a beautiful huge park near Klampenborg just out of town. There are hundreds of deer in the park and we were lucky enough to see two beautifully magestic stags who calmly looked at us then wandered away.

Mikael was a trooper. It wasn’t very warm that day and we had to keep an eye out for cyclists, walkers or horse riders. Even though Denmark has some very liberal attitudes towards nudity we weren’t sure how legal it would have been to have him nude in the park. It wasn’t a well planned shoot on my part as I didn’t know the area but ultimately we got some photos that I’m very happy with. I’m not sure what will happen with them but it was great fun to do them.

A bit more Nathan

I’ve had a chance to go through some more of the photos of Nathan and edited a few more to share with you. Nathan was very popular when I posted his images a few weeks ago so I hope this keeps you entertained while I’m away. When this goes live I’m not sure where I’ll be but I can guarantee I’ll be hoping to be as nude as Nathan is in these photos.

Book it in!

The very talented and lovely Joel Devereux is coming to Sydney in just over week and still has some bookings free for photo shoots. If I were in town I would be booking a shoot myself even though I’m no model. Joel is a very creative young man who does a lot of photography in the Burlesque world and has shot some gorgeous men including my mate, the very sexy Marty.

Personally I think having professional photographs done by a photographer whose work you like is something we should all do at some stage in our life. Having that record is a great thing and it helps people see themselves the way others see them. Joel will definitely show you in your best light so quickly, get in a book a shoot! Book in through Joel’s website or through Facebook.

Blake and his universe

Blake Lawrence is a photographer and artist and traveling free spirit who lives in Sydney. I found him residing in the wonderland that is tumblr when I came across his photos bathing under waterfalls and enjoying the freedom of nature as is best done, nude. With lots of his photos on his tumblr, I couldn’t work out if he was in them or had taken them. Now it appears that it’s some of both.

Blake seems to have that slightly hipster, very alternative aesthetic with his photography. There are lots of aged looking images and abstract photos of feathers etc. I hope he keeps posting because the images are lovely and have a free-spirited honesty about them.

Shooting Nathan again

Nathan is a guy I’ve known for a couple of years now. I knew of him before I actually met him and then we met before Burning Man two years ago. He was in another Aussie camp that was going and we’d all catch up for pub chats about the adventure. Then I photographed Nathan last year for my Tribe series after also bodypainting him in the window of a gallery a few months earlier.

This shoot took place a few months ago at the tail end of our Summer. The idea had been to tell a story of someone stranded on a beach and to do a video along with the series of photos but to be honest I haven’t done a great job with the photos and the video footage isn’t very good either. It’s something I really want to work on more and clearly I need the practice. Thankfully Nathan is a lovely guy and was happy to do a shoot “just because”. There are a handful of shots that I’m happy with but overall the shoot wasn’t a huge success and the blame is squarely on my shoulders.

Now selling!

Today I sent off the first prints from my TRIBE exhibition. It took me a little longer than anticipated to get them out the door but there are now prints on their way to California, England and Queensland, Australia. There haven’t been any more sales yet after the first week but that’s ok. I’m thrilled with the reception that the series got and the fact that people liked it at all.

Over the weekend I signed up for an online store which is now live. There are still some bugs being ironed out but you can order limited edition prints of all the images from all three of my exhibitions, Shrouded, Freedom and Tribe. The home page shows the Tribe series but you can use the drop down filter to see the specific exhibitions or click Catalogue and see all of the images I’m offering for sale. The smaller sized prints for Tribe are yet to be included but they are available. If you would like one of those, feel free to email me.

How could you not?

A lot of people have accused me of being only attracted to really beautiful guys. Who doesn’t love a beautiful guy? For me it’s not just about a great body and a strong jawline though. They help but it’s not crucial. Two things that will get me every single time are eyes that sparkle with life and fun and a great smile. The two are usually related. So often you see “beautiful” guys smiling in photos but the smile is forced and doesn’t reach their eyes at all.

Today while browsing a site that I stop by from time to time, Summer Diary Project, I stopped in my tracks when I saw Fraser Robertson. Sure, he’s beautiful but it was his big bright eyes and a smile that would brighten the darkest day that got me. All the rest of it came later. I could be wrong but I believe you can tell when someone smiles a lot. By the time you get to my age, the evidence is in the creases around your eyes but there is a look to someone who is always ready with a smile.

Fraser looks like one of those sexy little pocket rockets that may not be very tall but has boundless energy and a cheeky smile that would get me into trouble. These shots were taken by Chris Parkes in London. Those sexy eyes and that smile top off a rocking body covered in gorgeous freckles. Such a sexy guy. You know there’d be some fun nights full of laughs with him.

Not for your ego

Every now and then someone approaches me to ask about modeling for me. As I’ve done more and more photo shoots and got a bit more publicity around them, that has increased. Some of the guys that approach me are absolutely stunning and I’m happy to do a shoot with them. An interesting demographic of guys that approach me are guys that may genuinely believe that they want to be a model but really, you can tell it’s about validation or making them feel attractive. There’s a guy in Sydney that has thrown out the line “You’ve never asked me to model so I must be hideous.” Um no, but we’ve never met and I don’t ask everyone. This guy at one point invited me to like his page on facebook which was entirely devoted to selfies of himself. Mostly from the same angle.

I generally approach guys that I think I could photograph well or that I think will bring something interesting or fun to a collaboration. I’m not here to stroke someone’s ego by asking them to model for me. A guy messaged me this week asking if I would be interested in helping him boost his portfolio. I asked to see photos and asked where he was. Turns out he lives in Seattle. I said that I don’t live in the U.S. so it probably wasn’t going to happen. Either he’s terrible at geography or he just really wanted to do a shoot. He kept asking what I thought of his photos and eventually I was honest. He had a lot of work to do on his body if he was going to be a model and even then I don’t think he’d get any paid gigs. Sometimes it’s a harsh industry but I’ve been messed around too many times doing shoots with guys who have then changed their mind about letting me use the photos.

Feel free to approach me about collaborating or commissioning me to do a shoot but don’t expect me to beg you to model just to satisfy your delicate ego.