Originally Published: May 2, 2016 6:01 a.m.
Hey, girl. You don’t need Ryan Gosling with Tim the Whimsical Woodsman around.
Photos of Tim Wilson, a wildland firefighter from Prescott, are taking the internet by storm. Shot by buddy Chad Castigliano of Chronicker Photography, they feature a bearded Wilson in skivvies, suspenders, hiking boots, a helmet and not much else. He flaunts his – er – assets in a series of poses.
“It was pretty tough not to laugh in some of those poses, for sure,” Wilson said, adding that his wife Sierra helped him out with appropriate facial expressions. “Just hanging out in the woods in my underwear – no big deal.”
The Tim the Whimsical Woodsman pictures are part of a trend known as “dudeoir” photography – shots of scantily clad men, often in tongue-in-cheek poses.
“If it isn’t a thing yet, it should be,” said Castigliano’s wife, who was in on the 90-minute-long photo shoot in Cherry.
These particular photos were taken to support Books to the Rescue Yavapai County, a charity Jasmine started, based on a similar pilot program in Ohio.
“The goal of Books to the Rescue (BTTR) is to put books and other comfort items in first responders’ hands,” she said. The idea is that a first responder can offer comfort or distract a child from listening to a parent retell an incident of domestic violence.
Jasmine, a former teacher, owns Northern Arizona Brain Integration and works for Usborne Books. BTTR combines all of her interests.
Castigliano figured that if he could get the photos to go viral, he could raise money for BTTR.
“I’ve never had a viral post,” he said.
That changed April 17. Castigliano posted an album from their photo shoot on the Chronicker Photography Facebook page. At last count, it was up to 40,000 shares. On Tuesday, April 19, SheKnows.com picked up the story. SheKnows Media is the No. 1 women’s lifestyle digital media company, including SheKnows.com, BlogHer.com and Stylecaster.com. New content is produced every day by experts, bloggers and social media influencers.
Turns out – perhaps unsurprisingly for those who’ve seen the photos - Tim the Whimsical Woodsman has legs.
The story has also been featured on the Scary Mommy blog, Mashable.com, APlus.com (a digital media company co-founded by Ashton Kutcher) and InsideEdition.com. Cosmo picked it up on April 26, running an article titled “This Man Absolutely Nailed His Sexy Lumberjack Dudeoir Shoot.”
“It was a lot of fun,” Jasmine said of the photo shoot.
She said Wilson was nervous at first, and it didn’t help that the Castiglianos’ 3-year-old kept saying “I see your underwear.”
But once they got past the awkwardness, everyone had a good time.
“He’s genuinely a good person and I think that comes across,” Jasmine said.
The response to the photos has been incredible, Castigliano said.
Wilson, who was tagged in the photos, started getting a ton of friend requests – mostly from women. Castigliano also has gotten comments and compliments from strangers. One that stands out: A woman wrote to thank him, saying she hadn’t laughed this much since her husband died last year.
“I’ve had a flood of requests for a calendar just with him,” Castigliano said.
Not one to disappoint, he had folks vote for their favorite photos and put the top vote-getters in the calendar. It sells for $15, or $17 for a copy autographed by the Whimsical Woodsman himself; it can be ordered online at https://squareup.com/store/chronicker-photography/. Proceeds go to BTTR Yavapai County.
Castigiliano also has several other dudes lined up for photo shoots: a welder, a solar installer, a chef, stonemason and tattoo artist.
“I’m going to try to make a thing out of it,” he said.
As for Wilson, who’s been a wildland firefighter for 15 years, he’s adjusting to the newfound attention.
“Most of the people don’t know how to react at first,” he said, adding that at his son’s recent ballgame, he noticed a lot of snickering.
No one said anything, though, until one of the coaches said he had a photo he wanted Wilson to sign. That broke the ice.
“It’s just crazy that it’s getting so big so fast,” he said.