By Mark Gauert
City & Shore Magazine
I had a feeling this wasn’t Josiah Graham’s first time in front of a camera.
Most of the 11 other guys had been a little shy about the photo shoot for our Men of Style story. Most of them have had no formal – or informal – modeling experience. They are all just trying to do some good, raising money for the 12 charities they represent, by stepping onto a mall catwalk later this month and “working it’’ for the crowd.
So even with some professional help picking out clothes to wear, even with some good advice on how to stand and look more Commander than Zoolander, they needed a little help loosening up for the photo shoot.
But not Josiah Graham, who I learned had appeared on The Bachelorette. Graham may not have gotten the girl this season on the popular ABC reality show, but the 28-year-old attorney from the offices of Kelley/Uustal in Fort Lauderdale knows how to get the shot – and how to leverage “the look’’ to support his selected charity, the Jack & Jill Children’s Center.
“Eyes to me, face this way,” photographer Pascal Ollinger said, directing the shoot. “Eyes to me.”
“OK,” said Graham, relaxing his pose, arching his eyebrows and flashing The Smile that got The Bachelorette’s full attention.
“Yes,” Ollinger said, “like that!’’
“You’re a natural!’’ Ollinger said, looking up over the viewfinder of his camera. “I think that you have done this before, no?’’
Ollinger had done this before, too. When he shot the Men of Style for us last year, I got a nice note from Steve Palmer, Chief Operating Officer of the Stiles Corp., who was working it for the annual charity event on behalf of his charity, Kids In Distress.
“These are some of the best pictures anyone has ever taken of me,’’ Palmer said. (Words an editor likes to hear).
So I was happy Ollinger was available again to shoot our story about the 12 men who’ll take to the runway this year, Nov. 30 at The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale. And, because we’re moving into the holidays, when so many of us are taking photos with family, I asked if he had any advice for putting subjects at ease.
“I do not have specific phrases or words when working with people,” says Ollinger, who grew up in Paris. “I just try to learn a little bit about their personalities, to make them feel comfortable and enjoy the experience.”
Good advice, I thought, for any family gathering – whether shooting photos or not.
“Let’s loosen up a little bit,” Ollinger suggested, “find another position.”
On cue, Graham took a seat and turned The Smile back on. He’ll return to TV in February in The Bachelor Winter Games – joining other fan-favorites from past seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette as they, according to E! Online, “take competitive dating to a chilling new level.” Chilling, presumably, because it’s set on the snowy slopes of Vermont.
“I don’t have any winter coats,’’ laughed Graham, born and raised in Fort Lauderdale. “But they said a lot of people have that issue, not having winter clothes; so they’re going to give us some money to buy some clothes.”
“That’s cool,” Ollinger said, looking up from his viewfinder. “I like it.”
Click. Click. Click.
Ollinger walks the camera over to show Graham his photos. You can see them here in the Arts Issue, and meet all 12 brave Men of Style. We hope you’ll join us Nov. 30 for the show, too.
“Oh, these are nice,” Graham said. “Fantastic – I like those.”
Words we all like to hear, after taking a photo, on or off a runway.