UNB Photographer Profile: Will Simons with WS Images
UNB Photographer Profile featuring Will Simons with WS Images
We had the chance to sit down and talk with LA Photographer Will Simons of WS Images about his career behind the camera. You know his hot, steamy pictures very well. Now get to know the man behind the vision.
UNB Kyle: Thank you for sharing your portfolio with us. You have some beautiful shots. How did you start in photography?
Will: My first photo shoot was in 2009. I had recently bought a camera, studied it and read up on how it can be used. I’ve always had a love for photography and magazine ads and how stylized and put together they can be. So I thought of some fun ideas and asked my friend Mindy if she would get dolled up for me and then let me shoot her wrapped in a plastic bag with dirt poured around her. She trusted me and agreed. The picture was later titled “Body Bag” and is still a favorite to people who visit my page. Thank you Mindy!
Kyle: That is a good friend! Very trusting and what a creative concept for your first shoot. I can see where your creative mind is taking you. With your love of photography, what made you want to pursue photography as a career choice?
Will: I spent some time in front of he camera as well, and have always been a little curious about being behind the camera, but after that first time setting up and styling my first shoot “Body Bag”, I fell in love. I fell in love with the creative process behind it. The picking of the clothes my models will wear, what the hair and makeup will look like, or where the location is going to be. I love that part of it.
Kyle: Creativity is such an amazing gift and being able to transform a vision in your head to a visual masterpiece is quite an accomplishment. Have you had that breakthrough moment yet?
Will: Well, within the last year, my photography has taken an AWESOME turn. Here’s the thing, I’m a very sexual person and have always had a draw towards the naked body, males especially. Something about the rough, hard look they have in certain lights and poses, are gorgeous to me. This past year I have been pursuing a try at Set/Still Photography for the Adult Film Industry, and popular underwear brand companies as a staff photographer. I realized that I need shots that would best represent those brands, so recently I asked a friend to help me out, and we did a sexy shoot in jocks and undies, in a sleazy Motel here in LA and when the pictures were posted, I got a great response from all my followers. Not that I didn’t have it before, but I think that shoot really gave me the confidence to shoot my male models the way I envision it, so I would have to say that was a breakthrough for me.
Kyle: Although people try to shy away from it, I think many of us find the art of the naked body so appealing and visually stunning. I know I do, which is one reason I was so drawn to your images. Do you have a favorite shoot so far?
Will: A couple of summers ago, I shot my friend Marlon in Downtown LA on the roof of another friends apartment building. It was so hot that day, and we just kind of tossed it all together last minute, but in post I couldn’t stop smiling because he looked SO HOT! Something about the hot weather, he was sweaty, I poured water on him and with his gorgeous latino looks, the shots came out so good. One of my favorite shoots to date for sure.
Kyle: Sounds like there is some natural ability there on your part to bring your creative side out. What shoots have been challenging for you?
Will: I don’t think I have a particular shoot that was challenging, but the one thing I find a little difficult and a little challenging with most shoots, is finding locations, especially here in LA. When shooting guys creatively covered or in underwear/jocks or nude, you have to be in a place where you can have some privacy. I’m not one to shoot models in the same locations. I’m a stickler for that. I like a variety of locations, but even though it can be a little challenging, I kind of love finding new locations and going full Gorilla Style, which I recently did with my recent shoot with sexy model Paul Boulon. We found a park here in LA that had kind of a hidden ditch. Paul was a game to go full Gorilla style and we got some HOT jock, undies and NUDES! Not one person came by or noticed us, but I would have to say locations can be challenging sometimes.
Kyle: I can imagine location and unwanted spectators can be a challenge. Paul Boulon is a great man and his pictures from you are incredible! I would have loved to have walked up to that shoot! Are there any brands or models you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?
Will: I would love to shoot for Randy Blue. Chris Rockway has always been a favorite of mine, and I would love to do a shoot with him. I also love Aussiebum brand. Their shoots, with the beach and those hot Aussie models are great. Some models I would love to shoot include Gregory N. Albone, Rodiney Santiago and DW Chase…among others.
Kyle: Chris Rockway would be a wonderful addition! Very chiseled and defined man’s man. Let’s make that happen! How do you prepare creatively and determine your environment for the shoot? Is it determined by you, the brand, or a collaboration?
Will: Usually a collaboration between me and the model. I always ask “Is there any look or shot that you want to capture?”. My main focus when shooting is to make sure that my models are happy at the end of the day. I want to make sure that they have looks they are happy with and can use for there own profiles and pages. Sometimes during a shoot a model will say “I really want to get a shot like this..”, and I will make it happen. Obviously if I’m shooting for a certain brand I will make sure to capture what the brand wants and then some.
Kyle: I love that you take a model’s wants into consideration and make that happen. Such a great collaborative effort and probably really builds the relationship. Shows that you are in it for them and not only yourself. Now you mentioned you love the nude body and you do a lot of photography that revolves around underwear and nudity. How do you make the models feel comfortable to do these revealing shots?
Will: Like I said, my absolute main concern when shooting my models is to make sure they are 100% comfortable with EVERYTHING. Being a former gogo dancer and model, I get it. I know what its like to be approached by photographers and asked to get half naked and do a shoot. For models I would say, make sure you are comfortable with your photographer, staff and your surroundings. Know what your photographers intentions are for the shoot. I take my photography very seriously and I always tell my models to let me know if they are ever uncomfortable, and if they are, we stop shooting instantly. Comfort and understanding are above all my main concerns with ANY shoot and should be with everyone.
Kyle: Comfort is key or the shot wont work. It helps that you have been in their shoes, or sometimes no shoes, too. You mentioned you have done some modeling too. Tell me about how that part of your career started.
Will: Oy…like many of my models I was a gogo dancer for several years, and photo shoot offers popped up…among other things. I did a few shoots with some photographers, but my life took a turn and I stopped, but yes…I have.
Kyle: Well, you have some good experience on both ends. Do you have a preference on whether you are in front or behind the camera? What are the best parts and worst parts of both sides?
Will: Currently I prefer being behind the camera. I’m a little older (NOT MUCH!) and I’ve had my life change into a more professional mind set. I feel like as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more professional and creative. I think I’m at a place in my life now where I can say this is what I want to do. With that being said…don’t get me wrong, I still work out and take care of myself, and occasionally will be caught with my best ASSet towards the camera…my booty! I got an ass on me, and I don’t mind sharing it with the world. Check my Instagram, lol.. ..Back to the question, I don’t think there are any bad or worst parts to either sides. However I do think the BEST part of being in front and behind the camera is the freedom you feel in knowing there is nothing bad or wrong in what you are doing. Whether its sitting still for a painting, posing for a photographer, doing hair and makeup at a fashion show or…being a taxidermist. There is no wrong way to create art. Do what makes you happy!
Kyle: I like your mindset. Rewarding on either side and about doing what you love. Apart from the camera, what interests do you have?
Will: My interests include fitness and working out. My time at the gym is so relaxing. Reading. I’ve been so busy recently, I haven’t had a chance to dive into a good book, but when I do, it’s great.
Lastly…Television and movies. Nothing better than a TV series you can’t get enough of and have to binge watch.
Kyle: Love a good television marathon! Your portfolio does speak for itself but what are some of the things that you feel set you apart from other photographers in the market?
Will: I don’t think there’s anything that sets me APART from other photographers. I have a strong belief that each photographer is different because we all choose to see art in different ways, which is why we all like getting our work out there…to show the world what we see, and what we love…and who doesn’t love the male body.
Kyle: I think I can speak for many people when I say those of us who do not photograph definitely love the creative and stunning work you put out there for us. Thank you for showcasing these beautiful shots and bodies. Lastly, any tips for people wanting to get into photography?
Will: Passion. Make sure you have a passion for it. If this isn’t a passion and a drive you have, your shots wont matter. If this is just something you want to try or maybe just a hobby you want to pick up, stop and re-evaluate the idea. Don’t waste your time. I personally never thought this would be something that I would think about every day. I learned about it, I fell in love with it, I embraced it and even then I stepped back and asked myself if this something that I would want to pursue? ART is funny because you can find it in a lot of different things. On a canvas, in a sketch book, in a hair salon…taxidermy, Its everywhere! Just find what makes you the most passionate and run with it! Photography is my passion and I am going full Flo Jo!
Check out more of Will Simons with WS Images below.
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