IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE MAP OF THE WORLD, YOU REALIZE EUROPE IS ACTUALLY A VERY STRANGE AREA. EUROPE IS DIVIDED IN MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES THAT ARE RATHER SMALL IN COMPARISON WITH COUNTRIES IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA AND THE FAR EAST. SEEN FROM ABOVE IT ALMOST LOOKS LIKE A SPIRAL AND THE FURTHER YOU MOVE FROM THE CENTRE THE LARGER THE COUNTRY IS. AND, AGAIN SEEN FROM ABOVE, THAT CENTRE, THE AXE AROUND THAT SPIRAL TURNS, WOULD BE SWITZERLAND.
Switzerland. Country of snowy mountains and warm summers. Of chocolate and cuckoo clocks. Of yodeling and the Matterhorn. And the country of Michel Gelin and Philipp. Michel was born in Zurich in 1980 and as almost every child he was given a camera in his young days. Inspired by the beauty around, Michel took his first photos of landscapes and architecture. Almost never of people. That interest would come later during one of his travels to neighboring country Austria. There, in Vienna, he visited an exhibition by Andreas H. Bitesnich and it was that experience that sparked the inspiration to focus on fine art and nude photography.
His first self-training in photographing his surroundings are the base on which Michel Gelin now has built a wonderful portfolio of male model photography. So it is no miracle Michel is very comfortable setting up his equipment in natural surroundings. But also his studio work is breath taking. His work shows often artistic nudes, sometimes dressed models. But always portraits that are modern and contemporary, tasteful and of beautiful quality, taken with – yes – Swiss precision. His recent work with Philipp is no exception.
Switzerland is not a big country, but still it is divided in four different language areas: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Michel Gelin comes from Zurich, which is located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Also located in this area, about 21 kilometres north-east from Zurich lies Winterthur, a beautiful old town with a name that could have been taken directly from the Game of Thrones. It was here, or to be more precise to the hills surrounding Winterthur, that Michel took Phillip for a location shooting. Switzerland knows warm summers and this year was no exception save that one day they chose to go into the hills.
Michel Gelin and Philipp had been in contact for 2 years prior to last summer’s shoot, but never found an opportunity to actually meet or work together. So you can imagine, when they finally had set the date and it turned out to be a cloudy day despite the beautiful summer, they decided to make the best of it anyway. After a short ride by car and some 15 minutes of walking they reached a nice clearing in the forest. While Michel prepared everything while Philipp readied himself for the shoot, the sun broke through and created a beautiful soft light that seems to hug Philipp’s well built body. All together, the days turned out of be a success and the series Michel Gelin shot with Philipp not only a wonderful addition to both men’s folio’s, but also a true homage to the beauty of Switzerland. –BM-
MICHEL GELIN | BEAUTIFULMAG