FACES: Some Northern Rivers resident, who are non-professional models, are featured in John Bortolin's Manscapes calendar 2019.
FACES: Some Northern Rivers resident, who are non-professional models, are featured in John Bortolin's Manscapes calendar 2019. John Bortolin

PHOTOS: What goes on during a male nude calendar shoot

TRIM, fit and handsome, the men of Manscapes have bared it all, and now you can purchase the 2019 Manscapes Calendar and help support men's health.

Only some of them are professional models, most are regular Northern Rivers residents who are professionals or serve you at local cafes around the area.

Northern Rivers photographer John Bortolin will launch his latest project this Friday, and part of the profits will be donated to QUAC (QLD Aids Council), who will allocate the funds to men's mental health programs.


John Bortolin agreed to tell The Northern Star what happens behind the camera, and how he convinces these men to pose for him.

What happens during the photoshoots?

The guys know before the shoots that its going to be a totally naked shoot, including full frontal nudity.

They know exactly what they are there for, so there are no surprises on the day.

During the shoots, it's just the two of us.

I don't want to have any distractions.

Some of the models have asked if their partners can attend the shoot but I say no.

I want to capture the true essence of the person and if their partner is around it will be too much of a distraction for both of us.

Where is the most unusual place you have approached someone for modelling?

I'd say it would be asking my osteopath. He has fingers like a magician and looks like the character Jon Snow from Games of Thrones. He was flattered, so we did a shoot inspired by that character.

I also have photographed a lot of the guys who work at Quattro restaurant in Lennox Head. Three of the staff appear in this calendar.

Have you ever got any negative feedback about your calendars?

90% of the feedback I get from the calendars are very positive. The other 10% criticise the full frontal nudity.

I tell them that my work gives them permission to look at a man totally naked.

Why should the penis be hidden and seen as taboo? Its part of who we are.

We see a lot of female genitalia and breasts, and its accepted.

I'd like to break down those barriers. I say its time for us men to shine.

Has any of your photo subjects gone to pursue a career in modelling after you discovered them?

A few of the guys I've photographed would like to pursue a career in modelling.

A lot of the guys I photographed knew Rhys McNaughton, who sadly lost his life to his mental health struggles.

There is one model who I photographed who is currently in the process of pursuing something very big. You'll have to watch this space to find out.

How do you scout your models?

I scout them from different sources. Mostly, I approach people that I have met through a friend or at a party. I'm always on the lookout. So, if you're reading this and interested, message me through my John Bortolin Photographer Facebook page.

I also use Facebook and Instagram to source some of the guys. I get a lot of guys messaging me of their interest or I get recommendation from friends.

Mostly, the guys want to do it to support the men's mental health cause, plus the pictures also give the guys more confidence in themselves.

What sort of commitment do they need to make with you? Are they all models?

95% of the males I photograph are not models. They are guys that haven't been photographed before professionally. This is there first photo shoot, and its naked, so it can be confronting.

The commitment to my shoots is to be photographed totally naked and in return I give them some beautiful images of themselves.

  • At Lennox Arts Collective, 2/72 Ballina Street, Lennox Head, this Friday from 5.30pm. Free event. Visit manscapes.com.au for details.

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