Eye Candy: It's Our Birthday!
Welcome to a very special Eye Candy. Why is it special? Because it's our birthday! Two years ago today, Eye Candy launched with one photo, 129 words, and a few hundred page views. Today, we have our own annual award (the Golden Iris), page views numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and (after moving to Gay.com last March) a worldwide audience. But the icing on the cake has to be model Chris Fawcett (left) bringing us a present in his birthday suit!
Okay, so we made up that last bit. But Chris was photographed by Rick Day, who in addition to winning the 2010 Golden Iris Award for Photographer of the Year, has been featured in more Eye Candy posts than any other lensman. After making that discovery, we decided to find out who else caught our eye the most over the past two years. The results of our investigation are below.
Last spring, we discovered the sometimes playful, sometimes epic, and always delightful work of German fitness photographer Ralph K. Penno. Since then, we've posted every session by the 2010 Golden Iris nominee that we've been able to get our hands on. There's no reason to believe that will change in 2011.
Third Most Featured Photographer: Richard Pier Petit
When reviewing past posts, we were a bit surprised to discover that photographer Richard Pier Petit was featured enough to land the number three spot. Not because his work is lacking in any way. In fact, he's one of our favorites, and Petit came very close to scoring a 2010 Golden Iris nomination. The real reason for the surprise is our failure to pay close enough attention to how big of a role the New York-based lensman has played in Eye Candy over the past two years. For that we apologize, and resolve not to take his beautiful work for granted in 2011.
Most Featured Model: Sean O'Pry
During the first year of Eye Candy, supermodel Sean O'Pry was a prime obsession. In fact, the column was occasionally renamed "O'Pry Candy," and the 2009 Fashion Model of the Year was featured in more than 20 posts. But by the spring of 2010, page views revealed that you guys were losing interest in the Georgia native, so we reluctantly moved on. But we will always regard Seano as an integral part of our early success. (Photos: Milan Vukmirovic , David Sims)
Second Most Featured Model: River Viiperi
In February of 2010, we posted our first feature on River Viiperi, a Spanish teenager who scored four fashion magazine covers in as many months of modeling. When Eye Candy moved to Gay.com last March, we discovered that the site's international audience was mad about this boy: Posts featuring River scored more page views than any other model. A little investigation into this phenomenon revealed that the nineteen-year-old has a large and loyal global gay following. That makes us very happy, 'cause we think of River as Eye Candy's sweet and charmingly goofy nephew, and want nothing more than to see him succeed. So we'll continue to watch enthusiastically as the Golden Iris nominee's career soars even higher, from booking his first campaigns to walking the runway for Thierry Mugler and Dolce & Gabbana. (Photos: Cameron McNee, Eric Sposito)
Third Most Featured Model: Miguel Iglesias
In 2009, we blathered on about how dreamy model Miguel Islesias is almost as much as we did about Seano. And we still think the Spanish stud is one of the sexiest men alive. His lower profile in 2010 is the only reason the number of Eye Candy posts featuring him have dropped. But Miquel just worked the runways at Fashion Week in Milan, so we're hoping there will be some new sessions to follow. (Photos: CarloPignatelli.com, Lope Navo)
Our Prediction for Most Featured Model of 2011: Daniel Garofali
Since discovering model/dancer Daniel Garofali last fall, we've featured the Physique Model of the Year in nearly a dozen posts. That's because the stunningly handsome Aussie knows how to work the camera like a top fashion model (and he personally thanks us for every post). Looks, talent, and manners? Daniel may very well be the perfect man. And you can count on us to continue championing him in 2011. (Photos: Greg Vaughan, Kevin McDermott)