Well this will be a no brainer, since I only revisited Colorado year after year for about seven years in a row, usually in the fall but one summer as well and was fortunate to see what the wildflowers there looked like high up in the elevations. I much prefer the fall seasons out there, although I learned my lesson after the first year out there, getting sick from allergies and having to cut my visit short, shooting a steam train on the way home and hallucinating from the fever that night in my hotel room in Amarillo. I just didn`t make it to Arizona and Lake Powell that first year due to the severe infection of rhynitus that I came down with after being close to a plant I was apparently highly allergic to outside the log cabin that I rented the first year. Oh well.
Even though I had to cut that first trip short, I was still able to photograph some very hot models while there. One of the standouts was Alex, a super nice guy that I met online one evening while planning my trip out there…and during our conversations, I discovered that he had modeled before for a photographer out west, who promised to help him get into some lucrative print work, and then didn`t do anything for him……so naturally he was a little hesitant to jump right in and work with yet another photographer who claimed to be able to help him as well. I am glad that he took a chance with me and showed up to shoot with me my second day there. After a brief visit with Alex and his buddy Steve on their arrival at the log cabin, we decided to start inside the cabin…. and after shooting some great windowlight for about an hour inside, we drove up to some pretty places in the mountains and shot some glamour and nudes…..we started at this outcrop of rocks next to the road with a commanding view of the valley below… …and the funny thing is, while he was up there along the road, everywhere we stopped in fact, carloads of babes were driving by and as soon as they caught a glimpse of Alex, they were whistling and catcalling to him…. ….but you have to admit, the scenery sure was nice up there…. …we drove on down the road til we came up on some neat fields and so we parked and walked up into the fields and with big fluffy clouds in the sky behind him, I shot him there in the tall grass… then walked over to the edge of the forest and took a few there as well…. and then we found a neat fence just inside the forest in a clearing…. We drove on down the road and came up on the old water tank that served the narrow gauge railroad trains that came up over the mountains from Fairplay to service the many gold mines in the Breckenridge area…the road we were driving down was the old railbed for the tracks…so we stopped and shot some photos of him around the historic water tank…. Again, we drove on down this historic roadway and came to a waterfall on the uphill side in a small fir forested area. I found a place to park and Alex decided to try some nudes in amongst the fir trees…. …we then drove back down to the cabin to wait for Steve to get back to pick him up…and took a few in the hot tub…. sure was a pretty hot tub too…. Another friend showed up just before Steve arrived to pick up Alex, and Steve told Alex they were going to spend the night in Breckenridge so we all went out to supper shortly after. A couple of days later, another hot guy that I had talked to beforehand, came up to spend a day or two with me…Troy told me he was originally from Siberia, where it gets very cold in Russia, he was raised in a logging family, and moved to Denver recently with the help from a family friend who relocated there years ago. Eugene stated Denver`s weather was similar to Russia in the winter and he was now working a factory job and liked things here alot better. He wanted to get into some modeling work and was open to print and video opportunities both, so we shot some photos at the cabin that morning first… and then decided to go hiking at a waterfall north of Silverthorne and shoot some photos at the waterfall as well. We arrived and parked around 2 pm and discovered the waterfall was on the other side of the lake, so we started around the north side of the water, and about halfway across, found out that the trail didnt connect up to the west side very easily, so we backtracked and took the south side trail to the west side of the lake til we got to the creek fed by the massive waterfall. We could easily hear it, and before starting up to it, I had him strip down to his underwear and make his way out on a giant log stretched across the creek…. We then started up the trail, which was no easy task, in rugged country climbing up the side of the mountain, I have Missy on a leash and I`m juggling my camera bag on the other shoulder, climbing over fallen trees every five to ten feet as we struggled up the six percent slope, until we finally made it to the base of the waterfall…we climbed up another fifty to hundred feet and were still nowhere near the base of the main falls, just a lot of smaller falls in front of us, but the heavy mist was wafting down the mountainside with the occasional breezes and the roar of the falls was pretty loud and deafening at times…I gave Eugene some brief instructions on posing and started taking photos of him… At any rate, my second fall season out there, I rented a log house again, this one on the west side of Breckenridge and very pretty, again with a hot tub outside to relax in after all the hiking I planned to do, and believe me, Missy and I took some hikes that year too. I was fortunate to be able to work with Alex again in the first few days and took him to a friend`s place near Alma, Colorado…another good friend Dave, who worked as a baker in Alma, had his own place and baked some of the best tasting cinnamon rolls I have ever ate…I`m a cinnamon roll connasseur let me tell ya…and his were some of the best I have ever had. I saw Dave frequently in the Alma area, because of the beauty of the place, there was Montgomery Mine and Lincoln Falls just north of Alma, right by the reservoir out there that feeds the city of Colorado Springs partially, and then there was the Sweetwater Mine just west of Alma, which has produced some of the prettiest rhodochrosite in the world, and yes, that is a beautiful mineral for all those wondering, cubed red crystals that are usually attached to nice sphalerite or even silver specimens, since it started out as a silver mine in general. Dave knew I liked nice areas to shoot at and old gold mines…. he had a friend near Alma with both beautiful scenery on his place and an old gold mine or two with a pretty stream running thru it all. I was invited to come out and shoot a few guys there my second year. The first guy I shot there was Alex…seen here on a rock ledge by the stream running through the property by one of many gold mines in the area….
The stream was quite pretty, wish I had taken some time to look for gold nuggets, that area and the county to the south is supposed to be a high producer of gold nuggets and dust from streams and creeks in the area.
I shot Alex in some underwear there by the stream, as well as the nudes…he has such a hot look and build and smile, and he is quite comfy walking around nude, even Steve, his partner, told me that.
I know one thing for sure about Alex, he is one of those guys that I knew could do anything he wanted to in modeling work, and do it well. I knew I would have no problem whatsoever finding him work with other photographers and by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I had him hooked up with several of my photographer friends and he was well on his way to getting into whatever he wanted to do.
While we were there at my friend`s property, we noticed the old gold mine and machinery all over the place and did some exploring while there. I think Alex was as interested in that stuff as I was.
Eventually we walked back down to the creek and found this neat old stump, knarly and curvy with the roots, and next to the stream, and so I had Alex climb up on it and take a few arty poses for me, first in his underwear…I apologize for the heavy red cast to the images….
and then nudes….
..one of those locations, you just wish you had spent more time, had I had the extra time, to do more with the location and the beauty there….cause you never know if you`ll be able to return to it or not…
That afternoon, a young man I had worked with in the Kansas City area, came up to shoot with me…I was able to help him get into some good paying print and video work with a producer friend of mine, who at the time was based in the Kansas City area…Ben was one of the hottest looking redheads I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He had the fairest colored skin and freckles everywhere, and his red hair just glowed brightly all the time…he had decided to move out to California because he was starting to pick up a lot of work out there and was tired of flying back and forth from Denver where he had been living the past year or two…so he stopped off to shoot with me one more time, for a website, and then continue on westward to Los Angeles. He arrived early enough that we were able to get a good hike in…Dave my baker buddy from Alma, was going to take us out to the old Montgomery Gold Mine and Mill, where a beautiful waterfall was located, the stream from it emptied into a large reservoir just downstream and within sight of the old mill, and we found out that the road leading to the mill and reservoir was popular not only with tourists, but fishermen and four wheel drive and off road enthusiasts as well. When we arrived, we decided to hike up the mountain a little ways and see if we could find some nice vistas up there to shoot at…Dave led us up to a little glass shack that was used as a shelter for hikers and skiers, it sat up on a little rocky area high above the valley floor, built much like a big sunroom with a few bunk beds and it even featured a swing inside with a great view outside the windows…Ben, another free spirit, sat on that swing and practically glowed from the light through the wall of windows next to the swing….
We actually got to the shelter just in time, as it began to storm as we arrived and soon after hailstones the size of golf balls started coming down as well…luckily it only lasted for about ten minutes and soon the rain stopped as well. We went outside and I shot Ben up on the shelf of rock next to the shelter with a nice view in the background…
We then hiked back down to the old mill and found the crowd of tourists had thinned out quite a bit…we also met many off roaders driving up the mountain as we were coming down…Dave said they would drive back in and campout overnight most likely. As we walked around some of the rooms upstairs in the old mill building, I noticed the late afternoon light spilling in through the windows and it was absolutely beautiful as you can see in the next few photos of Ben….
We then walked up the stairway that led to the enclosed crossway section that is like a big wooden tunnel, to the shaft entrance….the light was dimmer at the beginning, yet on the mine entrance side, it was so bright it washed out everything on Ben but his glowing hair…..
…we walked on over to the shaft entrance which was carved out of rock and Ben climbed up on the rocky shelf to pose….
I shot several photos of him in the mill to make sure I had some good shots in the low but gorgeous light….as we left, he looked so good in the mill doorway that I had to shoot this one as well…
We then returned to the house and finished up the shoot there, I had actually shot two layouts of him, one at the mill and one at the house…the website of course, liked both and gladly purchased both of them…they said no one had ever shot at such an exotic location for them before…Ben really liked the master bathroom with the jacuzzi….
After a long day of shooting. we all went downtown and had a good supper before Ben once again hit the road.
The next day, Missy and I got up early and drove over to the Aspen area to meet up with a buddy of mine who wanted to shoot some outside nudes at a canyon south of town where there was a beautiful waterfall….what Lee failed to tell me was that would be about thirty six degrees there at first light of the day and we would be down within the rock canyon walls…meaning it wouldnt warm up very fast where we would be shooting…worse for him since he wanted to shoot nude…but camera shake can really kill a session too. We met him in the parking lot off the highway and luckily there was no one else around as we hiked up the trail to the waterfall…we would have to be careful where we were shooting at because in certain areas, one is visible from the highway…as it was though, we never did hear much car traffic up above us so we basically had the place to ourselves….we started up high on the rocks while the traffic was non existent…
…then he came down to the mid point on the big waterfall….
…and then worked his way down to the base of the falls deep within the canyon walls….
As we were leaving the canyon, we met about half a dozen hikers going up the trail…we finished up the shoot just in time, and from there Missy and I drove over and photographed the Bells while in the area, another very pretty and very popular place to photograph.
That afternoon, another hot guy that I worked with that trip, was Reyfe, a hott Latino who drove up from the Denver area and spent the day with me. I was staying in a beautiful log home that had exceptionally great window light on the south end of the house and since I like to shoot windowlight and available natural light whenever possible, it made shooting there a breeze…
Reyfe had a very sensual sexy look to him and a very tightly defined swimmers build, he was the type of model most of us want to work with all the time, just like Alex was, and the type you can take anywhere with you and shoot all day long, inside or outside…they make shooting models an enjoyable passion…and like Alex, Reyfe was very comfy shooting nudes as well as underwear and jeans…he just loved showing off everything…
He could even make hot tubs look artsy as well….
We became good friends and he returned the next year and shot with me again and spent a few days with me that trip…we got in some good hiking to some of the beautiful waterfalls around Breckenridge and let me tell ya, some of those hikes are pretty steep and long, but there is some great scenery out there, specially in the fall….
…and normally you get to see some very pretty cloud filled skies as well…
I stayed in a nice log house that year over on the east side of town and halfway up the big hill, and this house had great windowlight as well.
I had a few assigned shoots this trip, was shooting for a well known website at the time and when they found out I would be out in Colorado, they asked me to shoot some models out there for them. One of them was Timmy Thomas, who came up from Denver one morning to shoot with me…I had talked to him a few times and really wanted to work with him outside at one of the waterfalls nearby but had two shoots that day and the other model showed up way early, so Timmy told me he would come back another time I was out there and we could go hiking then…so we just shot a couple of layouts inside for the website….
The model that showed up early, came back after doing some shopping with friends who brought him up to shoot with me…Garrett, new to modeling, had a sexy look and worked out to be a very good model for me that afternoon…
…and decided that he wanted to get into some nude modeling work, so we mainly shot some nude work that afternoon utilizing the excellent windowlight again….
…often going from room to room….
From here I normally drove over to Page, Arizona, sometimes by way of Durango where the Durango – Silverton Steam train was, and sometimes through Moab, Utah, both very scenic areas in their own rights, but both very different landscapes as well. The second year in Colorado, I met up with a hot guy named Kurt at Moab…Kurt is actually from Utah and drove over there to shoot some photos, interested in getting into modeling work. He arrived at the hotel shortly before I did and after freshing up a bit, we drove out to the Fisher Spires, a local tourist spot along the south side of the Colorado River about twenty miles east of Moab. It requires a little bit of a hike to get to the base of the spires and while we didnt hike that far in, we came to a pretty spot where the spires were clearly visible in the distance and had some nice smooth large rocks that Kurt could pose on and around…
…you cant see it in the photo above, but while we were there, there were a couple of guys climbing up on the spires, rock climbers we found out soon after as they came down the trail returning to their truck as we were preparing to leave as well. We chatted a bit with them and found out some good local spots to eat at.
On the way home, I stopped off near Sedalia, Colorado, for a few days to rest up and do some shoots as well, for the website. Having never been to this area of the state, I wasnt sure what the terrain and landscapes would be like, but needless to say I was quite impressed with the diverse beauty of the area there. I was scheduled to photograph three guys those few days there, but wound up only working with two of them. Ryan was the first guy to come down from the Boulder area and I remember wishing that he had more time to stay and shoot some more…he turned out to be one of the sexiest guys I have had the pleasure of working with. I rented a unique house a few miles west of town, and it was literally built up in between large rocks…and when I say large, I mean LARGE….boulders of granite as big as a house and several of them…a very pretty house both outside and inside…Ryan and I talked for a bit first as he was new to modeling but knew that he wanted to get into as much print and video work as I could find for him…and we got started soon after…with a beautiful day outside, we shot for about an hour inside, shooting in about every room….
I soon realized I had quite a flirt on my hands, and a natural model as well, very easy going and great to work with….we soon went outside and found some more huge smooth granite rocks to shoot around up on the hill behind the house…