John Bortolin Photographer

Five years ago when I first began this journey I couldn't have guessed how far it would take me, both creatively and professionally.

When I began, I had three passions that drew me to the project: the beauty of the local landscape, the stunning power and vulnerability of the male form and the subtle art of photography. I decided to combine these loves into a book of male nudes producing my first book “Manscapes”.

But then tragedy struck. In October 2015 one of the models from the Manscapes book, Rhys McNaughton, sadly took his own life. It was a complete shock to everyone who knew him. Rhys was a handsome, generous young man in his final year of University studying to be a sports science school teacher. On the outside it seemed to many as if he had the perfect life. But he had his demons and in the end he was not able to battle them any longer.

So I decided that from now on the Manscapes project would be about raising awareness of men's mental health and suicide prevention.

I have teamed up with Brisbane based charity called A Chance For Change, which is all about raising awareness of men'’'s mental health and building support for men in need.

Their slogan is "Speaking Up Is Manning Up", and I hope I can encourage men to do that through my work.

I'd like to thank the men who have participated in my Manscapes projects. Your support is paving the way for men to be able to speak up and express their feelings. In many ways getting naked in front of a camera is very symbolic of a stripping away of ego and fear.

If I could make any difference to any of these young men, or the people who look at the book, then I would be honouring Rhys and all of those men who feel trapped, unsupported and unable to express themselves.

Even though I’ve always loved what I do, I feel now that I have somehow uncovered my true purpose.


Manscapes 2018 Calendar Manscapes 2018 Calendar

Manscapes is a fine art male nude portrait book produced by esteemed Byron Bay photographer John Bortolin.

This artistic celebration of the male body features 25 of the Northern River’s fittest men, photographed nude in the beautiful Byron Shire and its surrounding areas, with the lush semi-tropical hills, hidden creeks, farms, waterfalls and spectacular beaches as their natural studio backdrop.

The 152 page soft covered large format book measures 297mm by 420mm in size and contains both digital and film camera images.

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