March 15, 2010

Introducing: Bruce Hulse

Bruce's tales of high adventure on the rough seas of modelling have always been good yarns for when you're sharing a few beers with your pals and wishing you could be handsome enough to be in front of the camera.

—Bruce Weber


Bruce is one of those truly memorable characters from the modeling industry.

—Mario Testino


Male supermodel Bruce Hulse has a career that spans decades and shows no signs of stopping. Currently residing in Pacific Palisades, he recently modeled on a job in New Orleans. However its photography these days that fills his time. That and his book. He can add accomplished author to his long list of accolades as he continues to promote his tome about his whirlwind life, Sex, Love, and Fashion: A Memoir of a Male Model.



So why a book on modeling? I’ve had a pretty remarkable career as model, filled with lots of adventure. I have a degree in Buddhist Studies from Cornell. I love to write, I have a philosophical nature, and this book is an inside look from a male model’s perspective of the industry. I sold the concept over lunch to Harmony Books division of Random House and it became much more than the journey into modeling business and memoir of my life – this book is really about who I am and the spiritual journey to find true love and happiness.





Favorite modeling moments? Definitely working with Bruce Weber was the peak experience for me. He was the mentor who inspired me to take up my own camera and start shooting. Anytime I was shipped away to an island - Mexico, the Caribbean, where I could bring my surfboard along was amazing. It meant I had time to go out and take pictures and surf. I also met my wife on a shoot with Uli Rose in the late ‘80s.



When did you decide you wanted to pick up the camera? Just watching Bruce Weber work was such an inspiration. He had such pleasure shooting pictures, such passion. He really sees everything and pays attention to every detail when it comes to lighting. It was infectious, and I ran out and brought a camera and started shooting. He would encourage me, I would send him pictures. I would pick the brains of assistants. He gave me a great piece of advice I never forgot, “Shoot what you love”.



What catches your eye when shooting? I’m always looking to capture the moment. I love shooting people in nature. I love shooting outside. I’m a water person and I love the reflection of the water. It’s something that’s never planned but always spontaneous. It could be some amazing looking surfer…a kid running down the beach…someone walking in the creek…a moment that captures my imagination.


So the big debate - Film vs. Digital…your thoughts? I started in film, which I loved, especially with black and white, but I’ve been shooting digital for about 8 years. I love the instant gratification. I don’t tweak my images because I’ve been trained to get the image when I shoot it. I love the crispness of the digital and I love getting that instant feedback. Having been a model for so long, I know how to make people comfortable in front of the camera. I just came back from a modeling job in New Orleans because I still model every now and then. I spent more time talking to the photographer actually about photography and he would have to tell me, “Okay you have to get back to work now!” (Laughs)