Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kelly and the ASP

Last week was full of fun parties, gorgeous models and of course, runway shows. Anyone who was anyone was there... except for me. Sadly I was not oggling awesome shoes or sipping champagne at any clubs with dark tall strangers. However I was busy having my own fun about 1000 miles from Paris in a little town called Hossegor.

The Assosiation of Surfing Professionals, or ASP as its known in the circuit, goes around the world competing all year round. I happened to catch the France portion down by ritzy Biarritz and had a fabulous time.

Kelly Slater, 8 time world champ, competed in the event and was I ever happy about it! He is gorgeous and athletic and gorgeous and strong and, well, you get the idea. So enough talk, here's some eye candy. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

All pictures by me.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Shark Water

Some time has passed since my last blog entry and so much has happened since then. I have spent the past month in Costa Rica with what I have lovingly come to call as Team Brazil: Juliano Allgayer and Bruno Rangel. We went canopy jumping, white water rafting and  cruised the Pacific coast visiting all the surf spots while soaking up the sun. More importantly however we were all affected by the shocking stories we learned about shark finning that was going on right there in front of us on the coasts of this gorgeous paradise.

We traveled around the country with my 16 year old brother Lamberto who is an avid surfer and shark defender. A surfer who loves sharks? How can that be? He's a smart kid, that's how. He's organized protests in Costa Rica, a country that hosts the second largest concentration of sharks in the world on the Cocos Island, to stop shark finning. His passion ignited my own and now I am obsessed.

Shark finning is the cutting and removal of fins from sharks in the open ocean. Most times the bodies of the sharks are thrown back in the water while they are still alive. The sharks sink to the bottom where they are eaten alive by other fish or drown because they can't move to breathe.

The fins are used to make shark fin soup, a delicacy in China that is served as a symbol of honor. It's served at weddings and important banquets as well as for important business meetings. The shark fin itself has no taste or nutritional value and is used merely for texture in a broth made of chicken or pork.

Every year 100 million sharks are killed for their fins. It is a multi-billion dollar business.

I probably sound like National Geographic article right now and you're thinking bo-ring. But lets get real. The fact is that sharks are an indispensable part of our survival. Yeah, OUR survival. Even though we have this fear of sharks (no thanks to Jaws) they are one of the key animals in our ecosystem. How can that be if they live in the ocean? Well 2/3 of the planet's oxygen, the air WE breathe, comes from the ocean. If sharks (the top of the food chain under the sea) become extinct, then it will affect the entire chain beneath it, leaving us without important underwater plants that give us what we need to survive.

Sharks have been around for more than 400 million years. To get an idea of how much time that is just think that dinosaurs existed about 150 million years ago. Sharks have survived the division of the continents and FIVE major extinctions. They are the perfect animal, unchanged in all that time, the kings of the ocean... and humans are killing about 15,000 of them an hour to honor tradition.

If you haven't already, please check out the documentary SHARKWATER (www.sharkwater.com). It is an amazing portrayal of what is really going on with the finning industry and the decline of about 90% of our sharks. The guy who made this documentary is an underwater photographer who also happens to be a biologist named Rob Stewart. He's only in his late 20's but he has already accomplished more than most people will in a life time. He spent the 5 years preceding this documentary traveling to 15 countries to gather information and footage of this barbaric tradition.

And for those of you who come to my blog for eye candy, Rob is super hot. So watch the film, educate yourself and do it enjoying the view of my personal hero, Rob. And if after reading this or watching the film you feel as pissed off about the subject as I do, then do something about it! You can learn how to help at www.sharkwater.com or www.seashpepherd.org

Top Pictures: Juliano, Bruno and Lamberto. All pics by me.
Bottom Pictures: Rob Stewart and sharks taken from www.sharkwater.com

Friday, July 4, 2008

pa pa pa parties

Fashion week parties are the best. I went to a few this season and had a ball. My faves this summer were the male model agency parties. I was sick all through fashion week but bore through illness in the name of... well, boys.

I always get excited for these parties and rarely turn one down. They are so different depending on the agency and location of the soiree...

One party was at L'Etoile club and served only whiskey or vodka. This was a "cool kids" party - everyone was dressed to the 9's and dancing to poppy tunes while checking themselves out in the wall mirrors.

Another party was at a small corner bar where everyone spilled out onto the street and the drink of choice was beer. Everyone was in casual wear having a great time laughing on the street and sneaking away to smoke one. It was very laid back and the most fun of all the get togethers.

Whether at clubs, bars or plain old on the street, the parties are way fun... So much fun that I decided to host my own a couple of nights ago.

I gathered up the usual gang and sent out invites for the newcomers and was very pleasantly surprised when a group of Brazilians showed up that included Max Mota, who I've been dying to shoot for a while. Max's latest campaign is Dior and can be seen on Avenue Montaigne at the store's front windows. He was super cool and even better looking in person.

But Max wasn't the only cute Brazilian present by far. I had already met Junior, a friend of Max's, once before but didn't really remember how hot he was until the second time around. In fact he's so gorge that mid party I got an urge to shoot him right there and then, so we did. Nothing better than an improvised 3 am shoot!

I have pics from the model parties but have them on another memory card that I left at home and now I am in Italy... so more pics to come later. For now here are a couple of the pics from the improvised shoot with Junior - gotta love that fish eye lens!