I want to send a big thank you to the team at The Bob Mizer Foundation for including my series with Devin in their latest issue of Physique Pictorial, Number 62. Back in my coming out years, I remember being completely transfixed the first time I discovered Physique Pictorial on the shelves of the gay bookstore in Seattle. This was well after the magazine’s publishing heyday, but I became obsessed trying to discover all I could about the photographer behind the then nostalgic photos of virile young men with their privates covered by a modest posing strap. Not an easy task in the years before the Internet. A decade later I did manage to get my hands on what were either VHS or DVDs of a couple Bob Mizer films which I remember enjoying repeatedly. Flash forward to today when I receive my issue of Physique Pictorial 62 in the mail, featuring my work. Needless to say my mind is officially blown! It is a real honor to be included in the pages of a classic magazine that helped inspire me later as a photographer.
Here’s My Interview with the Magazine
How did you get into shooting men?
Shortly after I got out of photography school, and during the years I was working on fashion editorials, I got up the nerve to post an ad online looking male nude models. This was a couple years before the internet, so I had to publish in the classified section of the LA Weekly and other papers around southern California. I remember the models actually had to mail me a photo of themselves so l could determine if they had a look I was wanting to capture. Pretty crazy to think about these days.
What are three essential skills you think any physique photographer need to have?
First and foremost is communication. You have to have the ability to immediately make your models comfortable and feel secure with your intentions for the shoot. People skills are a must. Second, you have to be able to think on the fly and be ready to make adjustments at any moment. The best laid plans for a session can go out the window for any number of reasons, so you need to be creative when they do. Finally, keeping an eye on your subject’s frame to make sure they always look good, and finding creative new ways to explore the beauty of the male form.
What attributes attract you to a model?
For me it is all about the face and what a model can express. A sexy pair of eyes and killer smile wins out over the perfect body any day in my book. Not to say I don’t consider a guy’s physique when casting, but the absolutely ripped bod isn’t a necessity for me. My guys just need to be fit, whether skinny or muscular or in between.
How did you find Devin, and can you describe what it was like shooting him?
I contacted Devin online through his Model Mayhem profile while searching for guys to work in Los Angeles before my move to Spain. We chatted in advance to get a feel for each other and determine what his limits were, which I always do before a shoot. Though he didn’t have a lot of experience modeling, he was surprisingly natural in front of the camera and very expressive with his body.
Where do you like to shoot?
I love to shoot in interior spaces where I can get a little editorial with my photos. My favorite thing is to show up blindly at a model’s place or miscellaneous room and work on the fly.
Do you let models see shots during a shoot, or wait until after?
If the guy has never posed before I will share a few frames once we’ve gotten the shoot well underway, just so he can see how he looks through the lens. I find it often gives the model an extra boost of confidence and helps them relax more. An experienced model I don’t necessarily do this unless he asks while we are taking a break. Each model gets to see my selection after I’ve done my final edits.
Do you get inspired by your own work? Do you display your work in your home?
I do get inspired at times. I’m always pushing for. ward on my quest to create the ‘perfect image, but sometimes I look back on certain shots I’ve created years ago and think “wow, there is something special here. I’d like to explore that again”. I did have some of my work displayed back in California, but had to give it all away in the move. Will eventually get some images printed for the new place in Spain.
Do you think there is a clear line between art and porn?
Rather than a line, I think its more of an ever morphing shape. The definition of art or porn is always very subjective, but to me the two can blend into one another in very complex and interesting ways. Sexually explicit depictions go back well into human history, and what may have been considered pornographic hundreds or thousands of years ago, is now considered art to be exhibited in museums. The same can probably be applied today. Who knows how future humans will review, display or analyze today’s nude themed art or porn. For me | really love pushing my boundaries as a photographer, so l often try to merge the artful and explicit together. I’m very excited to be in Europe as I have many concepts for more sexually themed shoots I want to explore here.
If you’d like to see more of my session with Devin including his full nudes, check out his full nude galleries at my newly launched site TheMaleMuse.online!