Monday, March 28, 2011



There is a certain stigma that is attached to nude male modeling. And it could be argued that there is a lack of ethnic representation in the mainstream. So what do you get when you take a beautiful male Latino who is interested in both male modeling and being photographed in the nude? The answer is Marco, or as he is known in the modeling word, Oocelot.

Marco’s looks are not those of the typical pretty boy, nor are they those of the ultra bulked up bodybuilder that is often seen in artistic nudes. He looks like a man, as in one that we would be happy to find standing next to us in a bar, at the beach, or any other location that might lend itself to a casual hello with the hopes of something more. He is handsome, has a beautiful physique and yet there is that certain extra something that makes him appear approachable. This is someone that you could know, or at least feel you could get to know, without any hint of attitude or standoffishness. He is the type of man that many people would love to see represented more in male image photography because he is both sexy and relatable.

He is also a model that does not believe in limitations, which only adds to his overall charm.  His images reflect an undeniable openness to expose himself, and not just in the physical sense. He has been shot nude at the beach, naked on a public road, undressed in a library against a wall of books, lounging in a pool, and in various states of arousal. He will wear a suit or a speedo, a ball cap or a cock ring, glasses or a mask, and even just a necktie with no other garments. He will go for the subtle tease or the all out reveal, and seems as comfortable in some outdoor location as he is in the studio. He is the Latino everyman, and his looks and free spirit has been captured by some of the best male image photographers in the business, like Mark Henderson.

There are many models who feel comfortable showing all in a photo but not as free when it comes to opening up on a personal level. Marco is not one of them. He is frank, open, honest, funny, and above all, pleasant and very positive about not only his opportunities as a Latino model, but other’s as well. Looking at him has always been a joy, but getting to know a little bit more about him was just as exciting.

©2011 – Sean Dibble

photo: Christopher Hall


BLISS:  You are a natural in front of the camera. What do you like most about modeling? 

OOCELOT: Modeling is more difficult than I though. It let me meet amazing people but what I like the most is being naked in front of the camera.  

B: When did you first start modeling? 

O: I got my first assignment under MCS Photography's camera in 2009. 

B: What do you consider to be your best physical feature? Is this also your favorite feature? 

O: I think my best physical feature is my body, but my favorite one is my smile (laugh).

B: The assumption is that when a person looks the way you do, they are completely happy about everything, but in many cases, the model sees himself differently. If you could change 3 things about your appearance, what would they be and why? 

O: hmm!... Well, There is two things I would change... my nose because I think is a little out of proportion to my face, my freckles on my back because it is to distracted, and my height... I'd like to do runways. 

B:  Your physique is impressive. Is it from the gym, natural or from sports? 

O: Thank you for the compliment. I'll say 30% is natural, 30% is gym, and 60% eating healthy.

B: That’s 120%! But I get what you are saying. LOL. Do you have to watch what you eat to maintain your shape or are you one of the lucky ones who can eat almost anything you desire? 

O: Actually, I eat everything I want but in small portions. I don't like nothing fried, but I have to watch myself with sweets, my passion.

B: I am still surprised, believe it or not, when I meet models who have these amazing physiques and I discover that they are smokers or drinkers. Do you have any vices? 

O: hmm!... Let me think... sex..., sex,... and... sex, and maybe sex.

B: You live in Miami and I’ve noticed that there are quite a few Latino models emerging from Florida, but not enough from other areas of the US. Do you think Florida is the best place for Latino models to get recognized? 

O: South Florida is the preferred destination for Latin America. It doesn't surprise me that it is the best place to find potentially Latino models.

B: In general, I feel there is still a lack of ethnic representation within the industry. Do you think this is changing or are there still opportunities not offered? 

O: The world is getting easy reachable thru internet, so people are getting tired of the conventional standards. They want see new things, new interests. I think there are many opportunities today.

B: Your body proportions are perfect. When I look at your images, I always assumed you were at least 6’. How tall are you exactly? 

O: Lol!  Thank you again for the compliment... I am 5' 7". 

B: You’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing photographers, including Mark Henderson of Edendale Studios. What was that experience like? 

O: Mark is awesome professional. He is very meticulous, creative and a great person to work with. He made me feel in home from the beginning... It was a lot work and time consuming. It was so cold outside that we have to wait until to shoot. 

B: You posed nude for Mark, and have done so for other photographers as well. I assume you are completely comfortable with being naked in front of a camera. Is this true? 

O: Absolutely true... I love be naked in from of the camera. 

B: Were you always interested in posing nude or is this something that evolved over time? 

O: Yes, I am...  over time only.

B: I have heard the experience described as liberating by many models, but can you tell us what your first nude photo shoot was like and how you were feeling? 

O: This is not a easy roll for many models. It is a "taboo" for many of models. There is nothing more natural than a human nude. That is the way we born... I got a hard-on when I saw my first nude! LOL!

B: You also do not shy away from full arousal in some of your images. How does posing with an erection differ from a standard nude photo shoot, and how do you maintain that state? 

O: It is more difficult than a standard nude shooting. I have to use a lot concentration. In other words, it is like workout in the gym with an erection. Sometimes I get some awkward postures that it makes it difficult so you need some stimulus... it goes back to my hand!   

B: The answers have been almost evenly divided when I ask models if they find the experience of shooting erotic images to be erotic in itself. Do you feel aroused during these sessions or is it something that you have to work up to? 

O: Yes, I feel totally aroused doing it. 

B: How far are you willing to go for a photo shoot? Would you show ejaculation or penetration? 

O: I love challenges. Everything is possible in business.

B: One of the themes that we always explore with models and photographers in BLISS is their view on the difference between what defines art and what pornography is. Do you think all images that have explicit sexual content are pornographic? What is the difference between the two mediums, in your opinion? 

O: People's taboos will see pornographic to anything associated with nude and eroticism. I think when sexual content doesn't involve art work it becomes an entertaining business (pornographic).  

B:   All the nude images I’ve seen of you were solo. Would you pose nude with another male model? 

O: Sure! 

B: Nudity seems to be the one barrier many models either choose to explore or tend to shy away from. You’ve broken that boundary already, so can you tell me what type of image you would like to do that you have not done yet? 

O: I would do any assignment... Let's people decides what they want to see.

B:  Your port showcases many different sides of you. If I asked you to pick 3 images that were the best representations of your personality, which would you choose? 

O: See attached

B: Do you have a favorite photographer that you’ve worked with so far? Is so, why? 

O: Oh!.. wow!... It is a difficult answer... Let me explain it this way, I love to see my work from different point of view, so my favorite photographer is the one I have worked with.

B: Are there any photographers on your wish list that you hope to work with in the future? Is so, what is it about their work that appeals to you? 

O: Those could add impact images to my portfolio. 

B: Off all the shoots you have done, which one stands out in your mind as being the best experience? 

O: All my shoots have been a unique experience so I cannot pick one that is the best. 

B: Let’s flip that and ask about your least favorite experience and what made it so. Obviously, you don’t have to give names, but can you describe the shoot? 

O: It was two days of shooting. I have to get a lot hard-on during the shooting so when we finished I got "blue balls". 

B:  We photographers often gain inspiration from the work of our peers. As a model, are there any other male models that you admire or emulate? 

O: Turk Mason, Chris Rockway, Luis S., Peter le, Michelanglo Corleone, R Luis, etc.

B: What is the biggest misconception you think people have about male models? 

O: "They sleep with anyone".

B: What about nude male models? 

O: "Pornography is the easier way to make money"

B: Many of us like to know the person within the image and not just admire the beauty. What are the 5 things you value most in life? 

O: Freedom, honesty, humility, forgiveness, friendship and peace.

B: Your Model Mayhem profile only shows a fraction of all the images you’ve done. What is the best way for photographers or other people interested in working with you to get in touch with you and see your work? 

O: Sending a message or email.

B: What are you most proud of, thus far, and where do you see yourself in 5 years in terms of your modeling? 

O: I would like to be an inspiration for those still haven't made a decision to be part of this awesome business.

B: You may not realize it, but you have quite a few fans among the admirers of male imagery. What would you like to say to them? 

O: I am who admire them more to stop by my images and contemplate them without any prejudices... Thank you so much for all your support!  

B: What’s next for you in terms of modeling? 

O: I am going to do a shooting about nude and nature. Also there is a project of some creative nudes... I hope you like them.

B: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this for us. 

O: Thank you very much. I really appreciate let me be part of Bliss Magazine. 

©2011 - Sean Dibble

Photo Credits:
Christopher Hall

Michael Kilgore
Mark Henderson
David Arnot
GLiMPSe visual

Monday, March 14, 2011




It is almost impossible to put the images of XCESS STUDIO into a defined category. To pigeonhole it as an output of male erotic images is an easy assumption, but doing so would show only the viewer’s focus and not that of the artist. Yes, there are quite a few spectacular photos of males in various states of undress, including those that feature full on arousal, but there are also elements of athleticism, portraiture, fashion, editorial themes and standard headshots that any actor, model or other performer would be proud to display as part of their portfolios.

There are many artists who are well rounded and have the ability to excel within a variety of formats, but there are also those who are defined by a particular genre because it is the one that best showcases their talents.  XCESS STUDIO is among the first group and I view him as an amazing chronicler of the male model, in whatever form that may take. His images do not feel overly poised, even when the positioning may not be a standard one, and the expressions of his models, along with the comfort and confidence they display are a testament to an artist who takes his time understanding the person behind the picture. It is a distinction that can mark the difference between a good photo and a great photo.

One of the best things about interviewing fellow artists whose images I admire is discovering the work that goes into creating their art. Even more intriguing is learning how they view themselves within the context of their output. My introduction to XCESS was on a industry networking site that is heavily geared towards erotica and I was impressed by what I was seeing.  After viewing the XCESS STUDIO blog, I was introduced to a different type of work and realized that this was an artist who could think outside the box but not allow his photos to be confined to one.  He does not focus solely on it in his work, nor is he willing to let that be his definer within the context of an interview, which means that some of the questions were left unanswered.  He wants the viewers to look beyond the obvious and see the vastness of possibility when it comes to his work.

And so I did. And I am all the better for it.  Once I moved past the sensational aspects, I was able to concentrate on the richness of his photos, as well as the finer details like skin tone, lighting, seamless editing, angles, cropping and overall composition.  Even within the vastness of location shoots, his subjects remain the focal point and never disappear into their surroundings.  Here is an artist who understands how to please the viewer, but is in tune to making the model happy with the final results.  I would venture to guess that his own satisfaction with the photos he creates also figures prominently.

And that is never too much.

©2011 – Sean Dibble

To see more from XCESSSTUDIO


BLISS: When we think of excess, overindulgence comes to mind, yet your images work up the viewer and makes them want more. What does XCESS mean to you in terms of your brand?

XCESS STUDIO:  It’s just a name. I would have changed it but it seems too late now. The work has taken a sexy, sporty direction over the years. Now I see it’s a look that’s being done with many other photographers.

B: Your work is very broad in appeal in that you do head shots, fashion, and editorial photos, but you also cover erotica. Have you always been such an eclectic artist?

XS:  I can’t stay in one place at one time.

B: A few of your models are very familiar to our readers, like John Ryan, but they have not been displayed as boldly as they are in your work. Each of them exhibits a clear comfort in these sensual poses, which is a reflection on you as a photographer. How do you create this mood with the men you photograph?

XS:  It’s a process like any other. Each model is different. I simply go over what we’ll do and take it from there. How it evolves depends on the moment.

B: Many photographers exhibit a certain style and props or locations pop up in many of their images. There’s a hallway that many of your models have been featured in. Is this a signature look for you?

XS:  These spaces come out of necessity. The hall has great natural lighting and just the right amount of architectural detail.

B: You do not shy away from full on sexuality, including erections. How do you prepare your models for these shots?

XS:  They simply happen naturally. It’s up to the model.

B:  Have you ever worked with a model that was initially uncertain or unwilling to do these types of images?

XS:  Sure, yet they surprise themselves in the process of the shoot.

B:  There are models that like my own work but are under the impression that they have to take their clothes off simply because I have nudes in my port. In a few cases, I had to actually reassure them that nudity was not a necessity. Have you encountered this situation?

XS:  Yes, they tend to focus on what stands out.

B:  The other impression is that an erection negates the artistic aspects of a photo. How do you address this misconception?

XS:  Art is subjective and means something different to each individual. Studying art history and the trajectory it has taken may shed some light on where things are going.

B: Very few people can just pick up a camera and start shooting erotic nude images. There is always a journey or progression to that point. When did you first get interested in photography and what types of images were you shooting?

XS:  It seems you too are hung up on the nudes. I shoot everything in my path that appeals to me. I’ve always had an eye for it and have been a natural at composition and concept. I’ve learned to work with models over the years to make them look their best.

B: I’m not hung up on the nudes, but these types of images are often a focal point in BLISS, if the profile is of a photographer who works in the medium, and the process surrounding such shoots is one aspect that the readers are, naturally, curious about.

Where do you find you models? Have you ever approached someone on the street?

XS:  Mostly online or word of mouth.

B: Much of my own inspiration comes from admiration of other artists. Do you have any favorites and/or influences? If so, what is it about these photographers that speaks to you?

XS:  My earlier photographs were often cropped, horizontal and asymmetrical. That has changed over time.

B: If a model or another photographer is looking at your work, what perception would you like them to come away with?

XS:  That men as are as sexy as women are commonly portrayed in our society.

B: As much as people love the final result, there is always a curiosity regarding how a particular image came to life. Can you describe what a typical shoot is like?

XS:  With a new model, the first hour of shooting (after clothes, hair and make-up) is focused on coaching models on facial expression and body posture. Then we shoot using the clothing and props we have decided upon and let the shoot evolve from there. Part of the fun is not knowing where a shoot is going.

B: We have all worked with models that are fantastic in their photos but not so compelling in the personality department. Have you ever worked with someone that was so difficult that you would not work with again? Obviously, you don’t have to give names.

XS:  Of course. It’s the same in every working environment.

B: There are also models that have all the physical attributes but are unable to project that to the camera. How do you guide these models to achieve the image?

XS:  I focus on the positive and exploit that in the photos to make models look their best. For example, if a model looks great smiling but not as much when serious, then I will mainly shoot them smiling.

B: Like parents, we shouldn’t necessarily have favorite models, but we all do. Is there a particular one that fills this role for you?

XS:  Any model that is genuinely a nice person is great by me. I enjoy working with models that are interested in the process, that love posing for the sake of posing and want to have a good time. Models that are too preoccupied with what they are going to get in the end, actually often leads to poor photos. It’s a partnership between a model and a photographer. Both have to be present to what is happening in the moment.

B: What are the physical requirements you look for in a model? Do you have a specific type?

XS:  I like models of all ethnicities. Still looking for a Native American.

B: One of the things I love most about your work is that there is something for everyone, regardless of personal taste. I applaud that you feature all ethnicities. Do you feel like this is lacking in the ports of other male image photographers?

XS:  We all gravitate towards one thing or another.

B: You’ve worked with Turk Mason, who was also featured in a special edition of BLISS that focused solely on him. What was that experience like?

XS:  It was fun. We shot out of doors on a hiking trail. Working outdoors is hit or miss depending on the light and the weather. I remember it being mid-day. I prefer shooting in the afternoon.

B: Is there a model that you have not worked with that is on your wish list?

XS:  I don’t know until I meet them. Personality is where it’s at in the end.

B: In addition to photography, you also offer retouching services. Do you enjoy the editing process?

XS:  Yes, retouching is a lot of fun. Transforming a model during and after a shoot is what I enjoy the most. Editing is laborious, yet choosing the right images from a shoot is very important.

B: These days, it is easy to manipulate a photo, as well as the person in the photo, with incredible results. Do you think that photoshop has created opportunities for guys who might normally be passed over to get into the field of modeling?

XS:  Sure, if they are doing print work.

B: You prefer natural light, as well as natural looking results. Is this something that models seek out when working with you?

XS:  Models that have worked in only studios seem to want to balance their portfolios with shoots done in natural light. It’s a challenge working with sunlight because it is constantly changing but I do my best work in it. I prefer working in the afternoon.

B: I’ve discovered that many of these guys who most of us would describe as physical specimens of beauty are intensely insecure about their looks. Is this true for you as well?

XS:  It’s human nature.

B: If a guy approached you about getting into modeling, what advice would you give him?

XS:  To gain experience by working with different photographers. Then work with a photographer repeatedly. Become each other’s muse. Working with one person over a period of time can lead to some amazing results. You don’t know until you do it.

©2011 – Sean Dibble

To see more from XCESSSTUDIO

David Costa