Archive for category About photography
I’m not surprised by this outcome. While photographing people through the windows of their homes might be a lot of things (creepy, rude, presumptuous, tacky), it’s NOT illegal.
People think they have so many more rights to privacy than they do but here’s the deal: If you’re in public, you are fair game. If you are in your yard, you are fair game (Google didn’t get anyone’s permission to put our houses on Google Street View, nor did they retake photos if there were people in them). And if you are inside your home standing at the window with the blinds open, you have legally forfeited a lot of your privacy rights.
[All photos in this post by Arne Svenson.]
“The most brilliant thing about photography is that it’s a passport into any social situation whatsoever. It’s a ticket to photograph the President of the US, or a heroin addict in Camden, or a prostitute in Paris, or the biggest recording star in the world. Becoming a photographer is a way of finding out about people — finding out about life — and experiencing what they experience.” — Nick Knight, British fashion photographer, documentary photographer, and web publisher as director of SHOWstudio.com.
I’m not the type to criticize another artist’s work. And I do understand — and often appreciate — the understated artpiece. That said, I don’t always understand the purchasing habits of power art buyers. Not that I wouldn’t want to own a few of these (who in their right mind wouldn’t want an original Cindy Sherman?). But would I replace all of the art in my own home with all of them? No.
An acquaintance was over having a few drinks a few nights ago and he asked me what percentage of my models are straight. I was prompted to go onto my website and do a quick calculation: about 55% of the men I photograph are straight.
And truth be told, if I had my way, I’d shoot about 75 straight guys for every gay model I work with.
Straight guys who work out and look good enough to pose have a natural ease about themselves. They work hard to look good, and they know they look good, and they want their hard work to be appreciated. They are confident and and they don’t really care who is looking, as long as someone is.
Gay guys, however, can work out 30 hours a week but it’s still never enough to feel sure about themselves. They’re still afraid of being judged, their hyper-sensitive about their weaknesses, and they’re afraid that their friends — and even strangers — are going to either make fun of them or criticize them. And I’ve been around this community long enough to know that sadly, it happens. I’ve witnessed gay men saying and doing things to my models that are appalling.
Plus, there’s the other obvious issue: There is always at least a few minutes of awkwardness between me and a gay model, when he’s wondering if I’m going to hit on him . . . if I’m really interested in getting great images or if I’m just a dirty old troll with a camera.
I know my reputation in my hometown is strong. I’ve made sure it stays that way; the worst thing that could happen to me would be for a model to leave my studio and tell people that I made him uncomfortable or did something inappropriate. So if anything I give gay models a lot more space than I probably need to. But none of this matters when I’m working with a straight model. They know I’m not going to do anything.
Straight guys are also easier to use for nude work. If they’re comfortable enough to pose nude, they have no qualms about it at all. Not so with gay models. Some of them have to build up to it and spend an hour with me before they’ll get undressed. Some of them need to have a drink. Some of them agree to do it, but then the expressions on their faces are horrific, lips pursed and eyes watering and brows sweating, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the photography.
I guess it makes sense because once we’ve all seen the cock, the mystery is gone, to a big degree. And I hear this a lot from gay models, “You can photograph anything except my dick.” Not so with straight guys, who will just walk into the studio and immediately get naked and just stand there waiting for me to tell them what to do.
You wouldn’t think that would be the way it is, would you?
I want this blog to be about beautiful things — photography, mostly (whether it’s of fashion, architecture, hot men, nature, dogs, food, etc.). But I also want this blog to be about REAL things.
I loathe fake nudes of people. They used to be obvious but today more people have enough Photoshop skills that they’re getting harder to spot. If you see a fake photo on my blog, I want you to tell me about it; even though my reaction will probably be to delete the photo, if not the whole post.
The reason I keep this blog is to feature real people with real skills. And no, I don’t think being able to superimpose Channing Tatum’s head onto some nude model’s body to be a “skill.”
I keep this blog to inspire myself mostly, but I hope it inspires you, too.
I have a photo shoot in less than two hours. I haven’t been shooting a whole lot lately (hardly at all, to be honest). I needed to regroup and recharge and refocus a bit. This is one reason that lately, I’ve been posting a lot of other photos on this site. Sometimes, I don’t want to shoot photos, I just want to look at other photos that I enjoy and am inspired by.
Today’s should be a good shoot. The model is one of my favorites, and he’s a good friend. If nothing else, I enjoy hanging out with him. And he has few boundaries, so I can do what I want.
Here’s another story about my photography: For a long time, I was looking for a gloryhole because I wanted to shoot a series of photos that would be kind of like the one below. I never did it. Partially, that was because I never found a good gloryhole — the guys in Indiana who are inclined to have a gloryhole don’t have a REAL gloryhole (men here go the really tacky route and have what I call the “ghetto gloryhole” . . . a sheet in a doorway with a hole cut out of it). Not that I’m an expert on gloryholes — okay, I might have a story or two, but that’s not the stuff I write about on this blog.
Anyway, I also decided that any photos I’d shoot at a gloryhole would look just about like any other photos taken at a gloryhole, including this one. There’s only so much you can do with such a limited setting. The idea is still hot though. It’s erotic and seedy and private and raw and vulnerable all at the same time. And so I like the idea. [Click to enlarge.]
Model and photographer unknown.
To me, most wedding photos are either boring or they’re forced — and an attempt to be creative just leaves the couple looking like fools. However, this is one of the best, most authentic wedding photos I’ve ever seen. It truly represents the personality of my friend Steffanie. This image just rocks in every way. [Click to enlarge.]
The photo in this post is by Danielle McCormick.
NFL running back Dave Kopay was the first professional athlete to come out of the closet, in 1975. George Dureau took this photo of Kopay. It’s a fantastic figure study.
Dureau’s work is incredible; he is best known for his male nudes, which often feature street youths, dwarfs, and amputees. My mentor in New York, Michael Alago, introduced me to his work. Michael owns the original version of the photo below. [Click to enlarge.]
Yep, some of these describe me so well that I feel like some stranger has been watching me for a month. (And yeah, I probably date me.)
1. THEY’RE WEIRD: Photographers are artists. And that should be self explanatory. You might find yourself at a restaurant table with a photographer who is looking deep into your eyes. Well, don’t be fooled. He’s probably thinking about your best angle.
3. THEIR FAVORITE DAYS ARE NOT YOURS: Like most people, you probably enjoy a bright, sunny day. Well, photographers enjoy foggy, gloomy mornings that would make most people sad.
6. YOUR VACATION LUGGAGE WILL LOOK LIKE YOU’RE MOVING: That’s because no photographer who respects himself will go on vacations without at least 50lbs of gear.
7. WATCHING MOVIES TOGETHER WILL NOT BE AS EXPECTED: The reason for that is because photographers will constantly criticize choice of color and frame composition in a movie.
11. THEY SPEND TIME WITH COOL PEOPLE: You might be an interesting person with interesting friends, but photographers spend most of their time with models, stylists, designers and other cool people.
14. THEY ARE CONTROL FREAKS: They like to control the position of anything. Whether it’s you or the coffee cup on the table. It has to look good.
16. THEIR COMMUNICATION IS AWKWARD AT THE LEAST: They might not return your phone calls or Facebook messages, but you can be sure that if you check their Instagram account, it will be active on a daily basis.
22. THEY HATE IT WHEN YOUR FRIENDS ASK PHOTOGRAPHY QUESTIONS: One thing photographers hate being asked by newbies, are questions about camera purchases. They get irritated when someone wants a camera “that takes good pictures, but it shouldn’t be anything professional”.
28. THEY STARE AT PEOPLE IN PUBLIC: If you catch your date staring at someone attractive or, just as well someone different, don’t worry, they’re not having any dirty thoughts. They’re probably just imagining the photo they would take of that person. It doesn’t make it any less awkward or embarrassing though.
29. THEY FIND BEAUTY IN THE WEIRDEST PLACES: That includes dirty alleys, places with a lot of poverty or just about any other location normal people would stay away from.
31. THEY WON’T PHOTOGRAPH WHAT YOU ASK THEM: Think having a photographer partner will bring you advantages? Think again. Photographers are very proud and stubborn creatures and they will rarely photograph anything they consider unworthy, unless it’s paid or they like it.
38. YOU’LL TURN INTO A MODEL, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT: It might seem like fun in the beginning, but don’t be fooled. Whenever you’re out for a walk and the light will seem interesting for your date, you’ll have to pose for at least one portrait. And no, the clothes you’ll be wearing won’t matter.
To see the whole list, visit PhotographyTalk.