Social Media Is Loving Fun Photoshoot Of Two Straight Besties

(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)

How much do I love this photoshoot?  I’m pretty sure this is the exact opposite of ‘toxic masculinity.’

Photographer Kait Lewis, who lives in Virginia, recently posted this collection of photos to Facebook featuring her fiancé, Devon (bearded), and his bestie since 8th grade, Trevor.

Lewis recently launched her own family photography studio, Honeybee’s Photography, and when Trevor (who lives hours away) came to visit, she suggested the fun, lighthearted photo shoot.

Both men are straight and have no issues in expressing their friendship.

And did I mention they’re both totally woofy?

(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)
(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)

“How hilarious is this session?” wrote Lewis on Facebook. “My fiancé’s bestie came to town so I jumped at the opportunity to capture their *unique* friendship!”

She prefaced the post with a ‘Viewer Discretion Advised’ tag which apparently confused a few folks.

“I LOVE these photos!” wrote one gay man in the comments. “It’s important to show two men can have a friendship like this and it be completely okay. Disappointed in the ‘viewer discretion advised.’ I saw that you said you’re a family-friendly business, but if this were a male-female couple, or two female friends the advisory wouldn’t be there. As a gay man, I’m disappointed because it only perpetuates male physical contact as inappropriate which encourages fragile masculinity and homophobia.”

Lewis later added that it was the inclusion of alcohol and the suggestive poses, not the men’s genders, that prompted the advisory tag.

“The viewer discretion was added because I am a family friendly photographer and the sexual posing and alcohol needed to be warned to AVOID offending people,” said Lewis. “It has nothing to do with the genders. Everybody’s interpretation on what is sexual and what is not is very different.”

“I stand by the advisory and will not be removing it,” she added. “I wasn’t anticipating this post to reach 6,000,000+ people in a matter of 2 days. Unfortunately, with a lot of views, comes a lot of opinions and you can’t please everybody.”

“If you are offended by ANY of this (the photos or the caption), feel free to keep scrolling.”

(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)
(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)

The photos picture Devon and Trevor walking hand in hand wearing daisy duke shorts, hugging it out, pouring beer in each other’s mouths, and even recreating a famous moment from the film Titanic.

Lewis playfully suggested in her post that Busch Beer should sponsor her.

(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)
(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)

And while some photographers may have issues with shooting same-sex couples, Lewis said she would “absolutely” welcome the opportunity to photograph LGBTQ couples and weddings.

“People who refuse clients for any reason regarding who they love is beyond me,” Lewis recently told Queerty. “It’s baffling, disgusting, and downright ridiculous. The sex of the people getting married makes no difference to me.”

Since sharing the photos on September 7, the post has been shared over 42K times and received 24K comments.

The vast majority of Facebookers applauded the fun and spirit of the shoot.

“Thank you for sharing the story of their friendship and your love together! I love it!” wrote one woman.

Another commented, “The photography is beautiful, the friendship is next level, and these guys are hilarious & adorable! It’s obvious they’re having a great time!”

(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)

More responses:

“Men comfortable enough in their sexuality to appreciate a bromance. It’s truly heartwarming. These guys are amazing.”

“These are fantastic.. a true friendship… bromance at its best. Good for them.”

Thank you for breaking down the barriers! I love when men are open enough to love their friends and show it.”

“If you have never been around men in the military then you might not understand the closeness that some men are able to share due to either a long relationship or a relationship forged in tough circumstances. I feel sorry for people that will never be this close to each other.”

Lewis and Devon plan to tie the knot on April 10, 2021. Congratulations to the happy couple.

You can view all the photos from the shoot on Honeybee’s Photograph Facebook page here and check out the official website here.

(photo: Honeybee’s Photography)

Short Film: ‘Frame Of Mind’ – Fashion, Elegance, And Questions

(screen capture from Frame of Mind)

Guest post by director/photographer Braden Summers

When it comes to commercial media and the imagery we consume, representation matters so much more than most people realize. The more we see of one subject matter, the more normalized it becomes for us.

In a dramatic example, imagine Barack Obama saying any of the obscene things that come out of our current President’s mouth – it would be shocking! But we have become used to Trump’s racist language, offensive comments, and self-serving ideology – it no longer shocks us.

With regard to commercial media, advertisers have an immense amount of power to feed the public ideas that become normalized. It is possible to use this concept for good, as opposed to growing numb to hateful perspectives.

The more we see images of gay romance reflected in the commercial landscape, the quicker the public’s acceptance of LGBTQ romance grows. As we see Laverne Cox grace our screens in “Orange Is The New Black” and on the cover of magazines, the more we as the public come to accept her – opening up the idea (for some people anyway) that transgender people deserve our love and respect.

 

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A post shared by Braden Summers Image + Motion (@bradensummers) on

It is important for people who belong to a majority to see the faces and humanity of those in a minority – representation begets empathy, which begets acceptance. Of course, this is likely an oversimplification, but the root of the idea holds true. As an artist, I have witnessed the power of this concept and am always working to harness that power for the greater good. It is my job, as an ally, to create work that not only benefits my own rights but the rights of those that I respect and love.

I approach sensitive subject matter by viewing them through a beauty lens – ultimately creating political imagery that is meant to challenge my audience to expand their scope of acceptance. I inspire people to look, not look away, because it is beautiful.

As adults, I find that we are less open to new ideas or concepts than we were in our youth. Discussions around trans acceptance were not as common five years ago, 10 years ago, 30 years ago, as they are today. If you are in your adulthood and have never met a transgender man or woman, it may be difficult to understand how or why they live such a different life than your own. Their existence could make you uncomfortable and it may be easiest for your emotional state to avoid confronting the question as to why it is they make you uncomfortable or how your discomfort, in turn, makes them feel.

My work, and in particular the film Frame of Mind, is meant to draw you in with its rich sound, fashion, gorgeous characters, and elegant setting and, as a result of the interactions, challenge you to face a potentially uncomfortable question: ‘Am I transphobic?’

I created Frame of Mind to be a film that showcases the humanity of our transgender brothers and sisters. This film is shot in a four-minute, single-take, single-perspective, as one trans actress navigates the emotional and physical responses to her existence from fellow passengers in an elevator.

The goal is for the viewer of the film to associate with one or more of the characters and reflect for themselves how they might act in that same scenario. Do you identify with those strangers that act kindly to the protagonist? Do you identify with those that are indifferent? Or do you recognize yourself in the actions of the characters that are more negative towards the trans woman? How does associating with one of the characters make you feel?

One of the reasons that I wanted to create the film Frame Of Mind was a direct result of witnessing my own transformation. In my late teens, early twenties I came out as a gay man. I participated in parades, I danced in bars, I was proud to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community; and yet, I don’t think I fully embraced gender non-conforming members of this community until my late twenties.

 

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A post shared by Braden Summers Image + Motion (@bradensummers) on

Seeing Laverne Cox was a big catalyst for eye-opening transformation for me, as well as photographing some incredible transgender men and women like Aydian Dowling and Geena Rocero. The more people from this demographic I met and saw on TV, the more I realized that perhaps I previously had not truly accepted them as part of the same group – despite being lumped together in the same acronym.

I made a conscious effort to learn more about trans lives and empathize with the fact that they are who they are; I cannot change my sexuality in the same way that transgender men and women cannot accept that the physical gender they were born with does not match their identity. Who am I to pass judgment?

I want to use my work to help others realize that acceptance is a learned trait, by addressing bigotry through color, fashion, and beauty. I hope that I am able to reach a wider audience and ultimately, affect greater change.

 

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Braden Summers is a director and photographer, whose work alerts the viewer to the beauty in people and their environment. The undertones of his portraits are appreciative of diversity and acceptance, ideas that are fundamentally supportive of a more positive lifestyle.

His work has been featured in Marie Claire UK, on the sites of French Elle, French Glamour, Advocate and The Huffington Post. Marriott International worked with Summers on their latest campaign #LoveTravels, depicting love and family in the LGBT community and beyond.

For more information, visit: www.bradensummers.com

Liam Payne On Hugo Boss Shoot: ‘There Was A Lot Of Tequila For This Shoot’

Liam Payne (photo: Mert & Marcus for Hugo Boss)

Former One Direction crooner Liam Payne stopped the internet when he shared some snaps from his recent photoshoot for Hugo Boss underwear.

Six weeks ago, photographer Mert Alas teased the upcoming campaign with an outtake on his Instagram:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

coming soon with @liampayne

A post shared by Mert Alas (@mertalas) on

But that was tame compared to what was to come.

The ’Strip That Down’ singer clearly took his own advice for the shoot with Victoria’s Secret model Stella Maxwell that includes photos of Maxwell topless laying between a clearly naked Payne’s legs.

Payne told GQ Magazine UK that the session “got very raunchy very quickly,” adding that he “hadn’t been properly warned about the amount of nudity Mert [Alas] and Marcus [Piggot] do in their work.”

The 26-year-old candidly shares in his GQ interview “there was a lot of tequila involved for this shoot.”

 

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#HUGObodywear #HUGOxLiamPayne

A post shared by Liam Payne (@liampayne) on

“It just ended up being a lot more naked than I thought it was – and for her as well,” he added. “She was also naked. And I was just, you know, ‘Don’t look!’ She was naked behind me and I was thinking, ‘Liam, don’t look whatever you do.’”

“I mean it was just a room full of five or six people and a hell of a lot of tequila to get me to this level,” he told GQ. “I was standing there and all of a sudden it was, ‘Right, OK, take them off.’ I’m like, ‘Really? Take them off? Off, off? Like on-the-floor off? Oh, my God.'”

Payne also posted this video clip from the shoot on his Instagram:

 

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#HUGObodywear #HUGOxLiamPayne

A post shared by Liam Payne (@liampayne) on

The singer says his mother wasn’t too keen on the shoot once he shared one of the more raunchy photos with Maxwell.

“She took one look at it and gave me a clip round the ear,” said Payne. “All I was thinking was, ‘I better not tell her about the London buses!'”

Hugo Boss announced the choice of Payne for the new underwear campaign earlier this year with this smoking hot shirtless pic.

In addition to the new ad campaign, look for Payne’s debut solo album, LP1, due out on December 6.

(source: GQ Magazine UK)

Photographer Charged With Drugging Male Models To Fulfill ‘Straight Guy’ Fetish

(stock photo – Alexander Dummer)

Nigel Wilkinson, a British photographer, is accused of luring straight male models to his home for photo shoots where he would allegedly drug and rape them.

The self-described ‘fitness photographer’ has been charged with one count of rape, one count of sexual assault, five counts of voyeurism, and six counts of administering a substance with intent according to The Daily Mail.

According to testimony, he would approach men on Instagram and offer to take fully-clothed photos of the victims as long he was allowed to also take a few “semi-nude, arty, tasteful pictures’ for his own use.

The prosecutor, Sarah Regan, told the jury, “It is clear that he tapped into the modern obsession with looking good and promoting the self, to add to the number of followers and likes on social media.”

His victims told the court he would offer them a drink, which they later realized was drugged, and would wake up naked, sometimes in the photographer’s bed.

One man alleges that he woke up the morning after a so-called photo shoot face down in Wilkinson’s bed unable to move, reports The Daily Mail.

“I wasn’t really capable of really moving, and I don’t think I could even really say anything,” the man told the court.

He added Wilkinson was “doing stuff” to him. The young man added, “I’m 99% sure he tried to have sex with me” as the photographer was behind him in an “obviously sexual position.”

In online Skype chats entered into evidence during the trial, Wilkinson apparently used the alias “Straight Boy Lover.”

In one chat, Wilkinson allegedly wrote “I love dumb jocks and guys stupid enough to sleep next to me.”

He also said he “liked to have sex with straight men – and that he liked to do it without them being aware of it.”

Telling another user he was “very much” into “drunk, sleeping guys,” he was asked if he had ever penetrated ‘a sleeper.’ He allegedly replied, “Oh yes, many times.”

In an October 2014 chat with another user, he said to an online user based in Romania, “I get a kick out of robbing a straight guy of his masculinity.”

The alleged assaults took place between February 2014 and December 2015.

The court case is currently underway.

(h/t The Daily Mail)

Former Obama Photographer Announces New Book “Shade: A Tale Of Two Presidents”

Former White House photographer Pete Souza has announced a new book of his photography titled, Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents.

In announcing the book earlier this year, the publisher shared that the book would contrast the two presidents with “unforgettable images of President Obama delivering new power and meaning when framed by tweets, headlines, quotes, and other material from the first 500 days of the Trump administration.”

In revealing the cover via his Instagram, Souza wrote, “If OBAMA: An Intimate Portrait is a coffee table book, then SHADE is an every table book. If you’ve been following my Instagram feed since the last inauguration, then you have an idea what this book is about (but of course there will be some surprises.”

With a drop date of October 16, you can pre-order the new book here.

The photographer, who currently has almost 2 million followers on Instagram, regularly uses the platform to troll Donald Trump via photos from Obama’s presidency and contrasting with whatever is in the current news cycle.

At one point last year, he shared a series of 15 Time Magazine covers captioned: “Someone has a lot of catching up to do.”

If you don’t follow him there, you should. He’s very clever.

Here are a few examples:

Podcast: Interview With Artist/Producer/InstaHunk Alex Abramov

(all images via Instagram)

Russian artist and producer Alexander Abramov lives his life out and proud on his Instagram account where over 300,000 people (including me!) follow him each day for a look at his woofy, furry goodness in action.

Alex has just released the first two volumes of a five-part series of revealing art photography books, Uncovered.

The hunky Russian has kept personal journals for more than 18 years and has drawn upon those memories to create Uncovered.

“My diary is about awareness of my homosexuality, about my experiences and explorations of the world: first feelings, first love, first sexual encounter,” says Abramov. “It’s also about human imperfection and struggle, drugs and fears, scars and past troubles.”

“On the whole, it tells of becoming the man I have wanted to be: a man who is able to inspire others to make changes for the better,” he adds.

A little background on Alex: he began his career in the media business as an assistant in a PR agency in Kazakhstan. He moved to Moscow in his early 20s where he worked as a producer of photo projects.

He also dabbled in fashion design creating collections that appeared on the runways of Russian Fashion Week.

Life eventually led to working in TV as an executive producer of a popular makeover reality series where he remained for five years before moving to the U.S.

“It’s been a long, winding road to where I am now but all of my past experiences in magazines, fashion and TV have contributed enormously to the making of this series,” says Alex. “They are all a part of the fabric of the man that I’m excited to reveal in ‘Uncovered.’”

I had the opportunity to chat with handsome Alex for my podcast, The Randy Report. Here’s a few takeaways from my chat:

Alex knows some folks just want to see him in the buff, and he’s ok with that.

“Some people wanted to see me naked,” says Alex. “Okay, people, see me naked. But only in the way I want to represent myself. I actually don’t have any issues with being naked. It was part of marketing and the story, to sell this book. Because, let’s be realistic – some part of people will buy this book because they want to know me better through my journal notes; some part of people will buy just because they want to see me naked. And I’m cool with this.”

What you see is what you get with Alex. How he appears today, how he chose the characters for Uncovered. This is all an extension of Alex.

Press materials reveal that he was somewhat sickly as a child. And at 6’2” and 130 pounds, he was skinny with health problems. Eventually, he found his way to a gym as a young adult. But not necessarily to improve his health. It was to get a man. The kind of man he liked.

“I was always attracted to, kind of like, muscle, big guys. I had lovers and I had experience when I was skinny, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. So, I start going the gym because I want to change my body to become more attractive to a type of guys who I really like.”

And that’s also how he chose the five characters in Uncovered. Each volume is named for the characters he portrays (Wrangler, Mercenary, Woodsman, Journeyman and Seafarer) and all represent masculine, sexual archetypes Alex has been drawn to all his life.

“It’s all about my, let’s call it, sexual fantasy,” says Abramov. “I was always into men. Like – men, men, men. You know, soldiers, cowboys, lumberjacks. It should be look like men and smell like men. It should wear clothes like men. I’m totally cool with different types in our LGBTQ community. All these different things. But my personal preference was always about men.”

If you’d like to hear Alex (and his charming Russian accent) talk about his journey to Uncovered, hit the play button below for the full podcast. We end up talking about a range of things including a bit of politics (I’m talking to a real Russian and I’m not gonna bring up “collusion???”).

In that he was born in the Republic of Kazakhstan and  lived his young adult life in Russia, Alex knows well the lack of LGBT rights in these countries.

For those reasons, he is donating 10% of proceeds of Uncovered to The Russian LGBT Networkwhich promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

You can find more information about Alex’s book series Uncoveredat his official website.
Let’s close with just a few snaps from awesome Alex’s Instagram account:

👨🏻💭 [ First image like a first step ] HI guys, today I finally can introduce you to my very #personal #project titled: ‘UNCOVERED’. 1️⃣0️⃣ months in the making, 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣➕ hours of photo shoots at multiple locations 🏞🌄🌅, more then 5️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ pictures taken 📸🙌🏻 by my good friend and hugely talented #photographer Dima Bocharov | @dmitrybocharov | comes 5️⃣ #artbooks 5️⃣ different #characters and only 1️⃣ story – My Story – the story of a man who wasn’t afraid #speakup, follow thru with his #vision and be #uncovered, both #body and #soul. 👨🏻👉🏻🔛 Put your profile #notifications #ON, every day I’ll post more information and images 🐻💪🏻 #photography #imnotafraid #cowboy #cowboyhat #bodyandsoul #introduction #monday #mondaymotivation #dmitrybocharov #storyofmylife #beardman #betruetoyourself #betrue #mirrormirroronthewall #eyesisthewindowofthesoul
A post shared by Alexander Abramov (@abramov_lex) on Mar 26, 2018 at 7:50am PDT
🐻💭 day 3 of our first shoot last #summer with @dmitrybocharov [ 5:30 am at Joshua Tree National Park ] 💭😌🙌🏻Me completely #naked in #boots and a #Stetson with a #rifle on my shoulders. 🧐🤪💭Now I’m trying to remember what I was even thinking about, but I can not. 😝😬 Totally sleep deprived, but yet in the #moment. 🐻🙌🏻 What I do remember it’s how I was feeling. 😈👊🏻 “#Wild” – a word which will explain to you guys my mindset that #morning. 🐺An #animal. 🐺A #hunter. Alone in the middle of nowhere amongst the #wildlife and sounds of the #desert waking up to the #newday. 🇺🇸🌅🙌🏻 The picture doesn’t show you now all #beauty around me in this #July morning in the east #Southern #California, but I #promise, the pictures in the book, will… #photography #imnotafraid #cowboy #cowboyhat #bodyandsoul #introduction #dmitrybocharov #storyofmylife #artbook #wrangler #uncovered
A post shared by Alexander Abramov (@abramov_lex) on Mar 26, 2018 at 6:08pm PDT

Photography: Alexander Abramov’s New Art Book Series “Uncovered”

I’ve featured woofy Russian artist Alexander Abramov many times on The Randy Report via his must-see Instagram account.

Now, Abramov has a five-part series of art books, featuring photography by Dmitry Bocharovwhich, which chronicle his journey as an adult gay man in the world today.

From his official website:

Alexander Abramov bares all in Uncovered, his coming of age story about a man who isn’t afraid to speak his truth, follow through with his vision and be exposed, both body and soul.

The five part series of art books tells the story of Alexander Abramov. The Russian artist and producer portrays different characters in unique worlds full of action and emotion.

Through images and notes from his personal diary, Alexander explains to the world who he really is.

“I started keeping journals 18 years ago. My diary is about awareness of my homosexuality, about my experiences and explorations of the world: first feelings, first love, first sexual encounter… It is also about human imperfection and struggle, drugs and fears, scars and past troubles. On the whole, it tells of becoming the man I have wanted to be: a man who is able to inspire others to makes changes for the better.”

10% of proceeds will go to The Russian LGBT Organization.

Abramov will be attending a book signing event in Palm Springs, April 28th at 12pm at the Papa Pool Party hosted at the Renaissance Hotel.

Pre-orders are now available through Abramov’s official website here.

News Round-Up: February 27, 2017

(photo: Joan Crisol)

Some news items you may have missed:

• Check out the Instagram account of acclaimed international photographer Joan Crisol (Rolling Stone, Zero, Playboy). Color, texture, and sensual staging are all front and center in his gorgeous imagery.

• Don’t miss the premiere of When We Rise, a four-night mini-series chronicling the journey of LGBT rights in America. The series begins tonight on ABC at 9PM ET.

• The father of slain Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens refused to meet President Trump at Dover Air Force Base when Owens body was returned to his family. “I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him,” Owens said Friday, speaking out for the first time in an interview with the Miami Herald. Owens has now requested an investigation into the events which caused his son’s death.

• President Trump’s family trips have cost taxpayers nearly as much in a month as President Obama in an entire year. Remember when he criticized Obama for “wasting” the taxpayer’s money?

• White House press secretary Sean Spicer is now conducting “random phone checks” with his staff in an effort to find the source of “information leaks” in the West Wing. Spicer recently called an “emergency meeting” in his office and when staffers arrived they were told to dump their electronic devices on a table to be checked for outgoing messages.

• This weekend 17-year-old Mack Beggs, a trans high school student from Euless, Texas, won the state wrestling championship in his weight class. Beggs was forced to compete, however, in the girls division due to the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which oversees high school athletics in public schools in Texas, which ruled he had to compete as the gender listed on his birth certificate. Parents are now upset that Beggs seemed to have an advantage over his female opponents thanks to his testosterone treatments. UIL rules only allow such substances to be used if they’re part of a medical treatment, which they obviously are. Beggs has stated he would prefer to wrestle in the boys category.

Texas high school wrestling champ Mack Beggs