Awhile back I photographed Wes Ramsey who was fresh off his co-starring role with Steve Sandvoss in the great little indie film Latter Days. I photographed both of the guys in the months following the release of the film and as a result had an avalanche of fan mail coming my way that only in the past few weeks has started to finally slow down.
In many ways Latter Days was Steve's film and sometimes Wes got a little loverlooked in the rush to get to Steve. But for anyone who's seen the film there's no question but what Wes really jumped on out to the farthest tip of the limb and did a pretty cool little daredevil dance out there. He was charming and funny and energetic and brought something really fearless and authentic to his role as a gay West Hollywood playboy.
I met Wes in San Francisco where he and Sandvoss and Jacqueline Bisset were doing some publicity for the premier of Latter Days. His look had changed pretty radically from when he'd done the film and it took all of about six seconds to get the wheels turning in my head; yep, this was someone I very much wanted to photograph. The long hair falling down all over his face, the four day stubble and good gawd almighty, that six foot-fucking-four inch muscled body. You don't have to beat me over the head with a pretty stick to get my attention.
My dear friend Paige insisted I go up and meet Wes and when I got all shy and declined (I was sort of kind of drunk) she went over to him and struck up a conversation, returning a few minutes later with Wes in tow: "Tom, meet Wes. Wes ---->Tom."
It wasn't that I was star-struck or anything - I'd just had, oh, I don't know, a couple of bottles of wine with dinner and was sure that my eyes were crossing at that point. "Hi, I'm a photographer. Pay no never mind to the crossed eyes and slurred words - I'm really good at what... uhm, what was the question?"
So that was that - Paige practically sat Wes down in my lap so I had to pull myself together, which I managed to do somehow, and had a nice chat with this handsome, polite, articulate, intelligent, soft-spoken and uber-sexy guy with long hair who was wearing a sheer white linen shirt, jeans and flip flops. It was quite amazing, as it always is, to find the person in front of me in the flesh to be so totally different than the character he'd played on screen.
A few weeks later we got together at West Beach in Laguna to do some pictures and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable days of shooting ever. Wes, a Julliard graduate with a degree in theatre arts, is genuine, open and hyper aware of everything and everyone around him. Our work on the beach for several hours was a ton of fun and we had a lot of laughs and learned a lot about each other in the process.
You can see more of our work together here.
And you can visit Wes' website here.