WEARING LEATHER HAS BEEN PART OF OUR SOCIETY EVER SINCE HUMANKIND LEARNED HOW TO USE ANIMAL SKIN FOR THEIR OWN PROTECTION AND WARMTH. BUT SINCE LAST CENTURY, LEATHER HAS TURNED INTO A SUBCULTURE OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH SEXUAL BEHAVIOR. FOR MANY LEATHER HAS BECOME A TO DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES FROM MAINSTREAM SEXUAL CULTURES.
The passion for photography often start during the childhood years. And almost just as often it is only until much later that those who have that enthusiasm turn it into a more life filling activity. Graham Martin is no exception. The UK based photographer first sought creative expression in the arts, including music, drama and fine arts. But recently he decided to return to his first love: photography. He found that this medium was just perfect to translate his other passion, which is the love for the male form. Always looking to create more than just a beautiful image, to express that passion and a boldness that make the viewer sit up and pay attention eventually led to the launch of his website MenArt in the beginning of 2012.
Graham Martin is often told that the men in his photographs look very artistic and sexy which reflects his intention to do more than just snap beautiful men. And so Graham is always open for new ideas and themes. Such as Leather Underground. Recently Graham had a friendly conversation with model and stylist Ladi McKenna Lawson. Ladi is one of those people who loves leather and wears it like it is a second skin. They chatted about how exciting leather and fetish gear is and concluded that it’s not just a lifestyle but a way of expressing oneself. To allow inner emotions to be released though apparel and accessories. They also realized it is not just the leather gear in isolation, but the combination with environment and location. Emotions are eased and teased as much by the atmosphere as by the excitement of wearing the apparel.
Motivated by their conversation Graham and Ladi agreed to do a shoot that would showcase their vision of a world of fetish and leather. But to do so they needed the right people on board. It didn’t take long before they came to a narrow selection of 4 models, including Ladi himself. Like Ladi, Daniel Tai, one of the other guys, is no stranger when it comes to leather shoots. Daniel is a ery experienced model who started about 3 years ago. And no stranger to the loyal BeautifulMag reader either. Ladi began modeling at the age of 18 but stopped after one year on order to focus on his studies and traveling. Since then he has worked for numerous companies and graduated with a Bachelors Honor in Film and Scriptwriting. Now, at 31 Ladi works as a marketing manager while still completing his masters in scriptwriting. And obviously he returned in front of the camera.
No leather shoot is complete without Kevin. Scottish born Kevin works as an architect during the day and fills his free time with modeling. His strong muscular and hairy body made for the perfect casting. That and the fact he looks amazing in a cap. The fourth choice was Jackson Aleksander, who drifted into modeling following a chance encounter with a photographer who immediately recognized the potential of the handsome guy. Jackson has a natural predisposition for not wearing too much in a way of clothing. That and the fact that he likes to be the center of attention made him an instant hit with casting directors and photographers ever since. Graham Martin selected his 4 leather muses and took them to an North London underground set with brick walls, stone stairs, netting, locker rooms and a boot polishing chair that all felt right to create that special atmosphere he was looking for. And even though Ladi made a big effort to handpick the special outfits, it became clear that the excitement of both surrounding and garments soon led to playfully taking it all of and adding a higher sexual charge to the shoot. After all, boys will be boys. –BM-
Models: Ladi McKenna Lawson | Daniel Tai | Kenny | Jackson Aleksander.
GRAHAM MARTIN | BEAUTIFULMAG