All About Japan

Bodybuilder Muscling His Way into Stock Photos

Photography Sports Comedy

Akihito Ohara had a problem many modern creative types can relate to. No matter how many free-to-use stock photo sites he scoured, none of them had what he was looking for. So if no one else was going to provide them, Akihito figured it was up to him. So he recently launched Muscle Plus, a free-to-use collection of images of macho, muscular men.

In the beginning, Akihito himself was the only person present in the Muscle Plus photos, but he’s since brought others with suitable physiques into the fold.

Given that each and every photo on the site is meant to display the models’ musculatures, it’s not surprising that many of them involve fitness activities and bodybuilder poses.

But a good stock photo site needs to represent a variety of situations, which is why Muscle Plus also includes scenes of office work…performed shirtless, of course. Unorthodox wardrobe aside, the body language here is a pretty good example of proper Japanese business etiquette for exchanging business cards.

Dating scenes are also a staple of stock photo collections. For example, here’s one of a thoughtful guy bringing his girlfriend a bottle of hot tea as they spend time together in the park, on a day when it’s chilly enough for him to wear mittens, yet nothing at all on his upper body.

You can even find resources for more unusual situations, like slapping some dude upside his head or a hitchhiker holding a sign asking for a ride to the nearest gym.

Or a buff guy in a box saying “Please take me home” like he’s an abandoned kitten.

Akihito is fully aware that many of these are things that most people will never need a visual representation for, but for those who do, there’re photos of a sort they’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Aside from Internet writers and advertisers, Muscle Power has also been getting a lot of illustrator visitors looking for reference photos, and the site is happy to welcome one and all as part of its stated mission to “Add some muscle to your daily life.”

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