Originally published 1/19/15
Some models won’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day. The Belly Boys will be there for the promise of payment in ground beef.
The brainchild of photographer Fedora el Morro (see Home Sweet Home) who was seeking tattooed, male models for a photo series, el Morro began hearing referrals from women who wanted to see inked-up men with some meat on their bones…and the Belly Boys were born.
Featuring some local talent and national treasures, the men of Belly Boys look sexy as all hell while promoting body acceptance. Putting a whole new spin on the term BEEFCAKE.
Mr. January (Chance Wolf Koehnen) and Mr. February (Reed Carpenter) kindly gave STACKEDD the scoop on how they prepared for their belly-baring photoshoots.
How did you become involved in the project?
Chance: I was contacted out of the blue by Fedora. I think maybe a mutual friend suggested contacting me; I can’t quite remember.
Reed: Well, I’m actually married to the photographer so I was around for the entire thing from concept to production! I don’t think she originally had me in mind for the project because for one thing I’m pretty skinny and also she wanted to avoid any kind of favoritism…I think what happened was a model flaked on a planned shoot and I volunteered to cover, and thus Mr. February was born.
Did you have any reservations?
Chance: Yes, I did actually. I didn’t know the entire scope of the project and I was concerned, in part, about how much skin was to be shown and where the calendar would be sold. Also, I didn’t know Fedora. I don’t model for just anybody. Not that I’m modeling all that often. Ha! Anyway, a short meeting with Fedora before the shoot allayed all my concerns. Upon meeting her, it quickly became clear Fedora had good intentions and was a pro at her craft. Fedora is a stand-up gal and I’m glad I met her.
Reed: Well I’m no model, I have a hard time hitting a natural-looking pose and facial expression in front of a camera…fortunately Fedora is a badass photographer, she sort of walked me through things and I love how the shot came out!
What did you learn from the experience?
Chance: To be honest, I think the most challenging aspect of the shoot was riding my bike to Fedora’s place to meet for the shoot. I was running late and I had to sprint from Capitol Hill to – where was it? – roughly, 105th and Greenwood. I was sweaty and panting some 20 minutes before the shoot, but that all seemed to translate well enough. Plus, I don’t have the biggest belly ever, a little bowling ball belly I reckon. So, I had to PUSH my belly out as far as I could to stay within the theme of the project. Hahaha!
Reed: Confidence is sexy and being ashamed of your own body is a terrible and discouraging thing…skinny, chubby, tall, short, people are just plain amazing. I loved seeing this whole project come together, seeing how much personality came through from every guy in the calendar…it was an awesome experience being in front of the lens as well as seeing the calendar come to fruition.
What has the reaction from other women been like? How about your significant others?
Chance: The reaction I got from other women was positive. It seems most women were tickled that a belly boy calendar existed in the first place. And, yes, I reckon there was a bit of “ooh la la” commentary in my direction; be that as it may, I still felt respected. Significant others??? Ha! I haven’t had one of those in about 4 years. With that said, the stand-up women I’ve dated in recent years have mostly been amused by my participation in the project.
Reed: I should recuse myself from the second part of the question; my wife is a little biased! The reaction to my picture and to the project as a whole from other women (and other men) has been incredibly positive…people absolutely love the idea and love the photos, I think there’s a thirst for artwork and photos like these that don’t fit into the traditional cookie-cutter mold.
Buy the Belly Boys 2015 calendar for someone you really like here.