In the Shadows of Manhood

22 September 2017

Photographer Sophie Hemels
Words Brogan Anderson
Models Ceaser and Friends

It’s an age-old story, a boyhood memory that resonates amongst our boys so well that you could probably put your own names on them. Sophie Hemels is a silent gazer, teetering on the edge of observation, precariously close to intruding on such a crisp interaction between young friends. The organic nature of true, effortless friendship is innate, born from a raw place of goodness and frivolity that only young boys know how to nurture. A friendship that knows no boundaries, where no judgements are held, only a warm companionship that will sustain, develop, and thrive in their evolution into men - such a bond is to be considered a rarity.

A timid temperament lingers on Cesar’s being. He’s still so unsure on his path of discovery, yet so curious and restless. Bounding through the streets with clumsy feet pounding the concrete beneath him. Scuffing his trainers on walls that get in his way while he climbs higher and higher. In his mind today, he is an explorer, tomorrow he is a rock climber, and in a week from now he is an experimental scientist - the possibilities are endless. To be young is to be fearless and he hasn’t lost this yet. The inevitability of manhood however, looms ominously in the distance. He is excited for it, but toys in its shadows for as long as his juvenility will allow, teasing it with his youthful and refreshing genius.

Lean on me. The boys’ tough exteriors are splintered, exposing a facade, as melting eyes reveal Cesar’s true maturity. They support each other’s growth – they’re in it together. Young being, politely shy, playing ‘grown-up’ like all the big kids do. Purity emanates from within, which dispels the mimicked brutishness of their attitudes; their walk, their talk - it’s all just a game - playing dress up in the big boys clothes. It fits them. They’re at that stage that a mother yearns her child to stay at forever. Idly adolescent, as their juvenile quirks still proves more endearing than punk-ish. For now, they are the boys that are young, but so ready to grow up.

Layout_21
Layout_32
Layout_42
Layout_51
Layout_61
Layout_72
Layout_91
Layout_111
Layout_12
Layout_13
Follow us on Instagram @boysbygirls
View The pink is a cacophony against the emptiness - a melody line paced in a second-hand birthday suit, easily hemmed... View And we are wild to make it stop: stuck in an empty booth, bold colours warming us up, no microphones... View He is light as a feather. Leather weighs heavy on him, adds ballast to his reality, suddenly makes it terrifying... View In the safety of a white suit, he blows himself about the empty space, spinning between instruments like a bird... View Like a hawk or an old hero, staring down the back of his future’s head, this boy takes to empty... View If change doesn’t arrive obediently, it will be chased down and hunted by the hungry. Peace is not prop for... View Falling apart at the seams and dripping onto the carpet of grass beneath bruised feet as the race for the... View Forget figuring out the bus routes, forge new passports with model mugshots and sprint for the border closing in around... View The traffic is stalled in the streets, halted by a punishing red light at every crossroads in every direction. City... View Tommy traces graffiti scrawled along paint, cement, and brick swirling in patterns denoting names and connoting beliefs while stylist Kayleigh... View Quitting a town named Stagnation in favour of an unfamiliar map revealing the temptation of breaking out into the unknown... View Rendezvous at the confidential hotspot for meaningful action. Setting the wheels in motion for an alternative living and imposing a... View Pushing through the crowd and negotiating the battlefield of elbows and toes, the commotion expands to a deafening silence. Chants... View This week’s exclusive Instagram editorial is ‘Standstill’ featuring Tommy Harragan at IMG models. Photographer Amber Grace Dixon captures Tommy’s standout... View A Renaissance man in every sense, @kalamaepstein writes/directs as well as acts and has a couple of shorts currently in... View View @kalamaepstein is photographed around Venice Beach, California - incidentally the location for one of his earliest projects, the short film... View View View Like a moth to a flame, some souls are drawn towards the light. Others seek solace dancing amongst the shadows...