In 1996 he wrote the best-selling biography of Australian out gay footballer Ian Roberts ( Ian Roberts: Finding Out, Random House, 1997).
He began his professional photographic career in the mid nineteen nineties when his sensational and often controversial art nude portraits of sports stars and actors began appearing in the sophisticated photography publications Black And White, Sport and Blue, and continued to do so over the next decade.
His photos of Olympians are featured in the books The Sydney Dream (2000), The Athen’s Dream (2004), and Sportbook (2003), published by Studio Magazines. Sponsored by Olympus in 2003, his ad campaign for them won silver at Cannes and the gold Clio at advertising awards in 2004.
His first self-published photography book Bondi Classic, a collection of portraits of Olympians, sports stars, actors and models, was distributed worldwide in 2003 and won widespread critical acclaim. Bondi Urban (2005), Bondi Work (2006) and Bondi Road (2007), followed.
He has been regularly exhibited in galleries around Australia in solo shows:
Body Of Work, Taylor Square , Sydney, 1997
Olympiad, Byron Mapp Gallery, Sydney, 2000
Michael Klim , Chifley Towers, Sydney, & Melbourne Aquatic Centre, 2001,
Water And Sport , The Australian Maritime Museum, 2002,
and group shows:
25th Anniversary Exhibition, The Australian Centre For Photography, Sydney, 2001,
Australian National Portrait Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery Of New South Wales, 2004.
Paul’s photography career was featured in New York Times art critic Robert Hughes’ documentary series about Australia, Beyond The Fatal Shore, ( A BBC /NBC co-production), and on Australia’s ABC Sunday Arts program.
Hardcover: 197 pages
Publisher: Paul Freeman Publishing (May 14, 2004)
Amazon: Bondi Classic
Bondi Classic is an exciting and sensual eulogy, a tribute through photography to the Australian heroic ideal.
This thought-provoking collection of photographic portraits comprises a vast and varied array of some of Australia's top actors, models, sports stars and Olympians, (including a champion Ironman, Princess Diana's personal trainer, a Mister Australia body building champion, actors from international theatre and film, television soap stars, top players in the Australian Rugby League football code, an Olympic boxer, diver and wrestler, and an Australian Man Of The Year!)
Located within the ancient and moody coastal topography of Sydney, resplendent in its’ own drama, and liberally utilizing religious and classic art references, Bondi Classic takes us on an epic of unabashed male physicality. Maintaining a reverential distance from its’ subjects, the work revels in the paradoxes of masculinity; the subjects are strong yet sensual, courageous while provocative, violent whilst divinely innocent.
Hardcover: 216 pages
Publisher: Paul Freeman Publishing (October 15, 2006)
Amazon: Bondi Work
Bondi Work, the third book of the series, focuses on the Australian male in the blue collar work environment.
In exquisitely lit raw and dirty factory environments, with moody natural light often filtered through dust-laden industrial windows Freeman takes us on a gorgeously colourful photo journey that assumes that almost religious and painterly quality which so often infuses his work. This time the factory is his cathedral and the reverence is for the working man depicted therein. There is no altar or high mass garments but here the simple attire and classical poise and agonized and brutal elegance of the everyday working man is what is being raised on high as holy by way of Freeman’s sensitive eulogy through his photo artistry.
Once again apparent is the photographer’s remarkable relationship with his models, and that mutual artist/subject trust within the shoot environment, crucial to Freeman’s ability to captivate us with shared intimate moments of men who would not usually be found in front of a camera.
Hardcover: 221 pages
Publisher: Paul Freeman Pub (November 15, 2005)
Amazon: Bondi Urban
A more literal interpretation of the Australian male than Bondi Classic, the collection Bondi Urban seeks to capture something of that spirit of freedom. Despite its’ edgy and gritty sensuality and a more contemporary look to the models, the way they are directed and captured, the trademark use of lighting to elevate simple compositions into captivating works of art, and the extensive use of gorgeous subdued colour, often infuses the work with the painterly romanticism we got to know in Bondi Classic. The result is another wonderful series of shared intimate moments of male beauty and sensuality.
Publisher: Cowboy Mouth Publishing (November 15, 2007)
Amazon: Bondi Road
Bondi Road is the final book in Paul Freeman’s Bondi series
With its gritty contemporary urban edge and extraordinary models and set in a gritty ocean-side world inhabited by water loving itinerants and bohemian transients, this collection is another look at male sensuality and physicality, again emphasizing Freeman's reverence for, and revelry in the paradoxes of masculinity; toughness and sensuality, courage and sensitivity, provocation and innocence.
It is an exquisite collection of shared intimate moments of diverse male beauty.
Outback is the first in his new series of books featuring photographs taken throughout Australia. It is the fifth collection of his photography to be published.
To Outback: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1235877.html