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As with all my new work, the blog post will have content safe for Instagram. Any more explicit photos that wouldn’t be IG safe are on my justforfans page.
I’ve known the Tom Bentley lives in Seattle for a while now. I was definitely aware of his porn and followed him on both twitter and instagram, but I never really found the right time to hit him up. A couple of weeks ago, he posted something to twitter that I commented on almost directly after, it caught his eye, and we started messaging.
I got great feelings about him from the onset of our messages. He’s been very humble, kind, interested, and funny. He was super chill about whatever we decided to photograph, he chose to spend his one day off from his day job with me, and he loved the pictures I sent of my dogs. I knew we would probably have a pretty good shoot.
I really enjoyed our conversation we had as we were getting to know each other before shooting. Tom has lived all over the place, and we talked about our experiences moving to the PNW from other parts of the country. He’s just as friendly as he was in text, and he had an almost ever-present smile that I really loved. I found out about my journey as an artist and photographer, his penchant for knitting (and how he knits and listens to music between takes on porn shoots), and just about life and views in general. It was really nice.
There’s something about shooting people who are in sex work for me. I get hyper aware of how I’m making them feel. It isn’t because I think they are any different, but I know there’s been a lot of people who probably wanted to or assumed they could take advantage of them. I try to be the opposite of that. I want to be a space of love and warmth and understanding. I mean, I guess I try to be that for everyone I’m shooting, but I am more purposeful about it when I’m photographing someone who has or does sex work. That’s not to say that I pulled any ideas or didn’t propose anything with Tom because of that. Looking at the images, I actually feel that I let the sexuality speak for itself. I just feel as though I tend to be very thoughtful about how sexual everything feels in the process.
Normally I narrow down my shoots down to about 30-ish images, though I never promise to have that many because I make mistakes from time to time. With Tom, I couldn’t get myself to retouch any fewer than 62 images. He was a great model and we meshed, so we created some images I love.
While this was a Men in Monochrome shoot, Tom and I definitely connected on the ideas of the Masculinity and Body Image project as well as my Kinks, Fetishes and Eroticisms project. Look for those to come out in the future.
As always, I hope you love the images!