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Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Ryan Colford has a Glimpse of Man

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Dating, Gay Business, Gay NYC, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, sex on May 25, 2010 at 5:32 am

Ryan Colford is a New York City-based fashion and art photographer. He has been published in fashion and lifestyle magazines in America, England and Australia with a variety of features on international and local websites.

Currently, he is simultaneously working on two separate coffee table books. One collection is tentatively titled “The Candy Shoppe,” and blends vibrant colors, sexuality, texture and irreverence. The second is the “Glimpse of Man” collection and is a classic styling of fine art imagery of modern day man exposed.

His artwork has been exhibited in New York galleries and businesses. It has been used for everything from the promotion of art fairs to being auctioned off for charity events. Ryan Colford has also done advertising campaigns for women’s clothing, actors, musicians, key art for movies, corporate and small businesses as well as personalized individual shoots from weddings to specialty concepts.

To me, Colford undoubtedly portrays not only “man” through his eyes, but makes a bold statement about the evolutionary process and how far we have come have as a society.

Let’s get to the Q & A, shall we?

What does Pride mean to you?

It’s funny but Pride means so many things and really it changes depending on where you are at in life. Over the years, it’s changed for me and yet in other ways it’s remained ever the same. 

For me Pride is all about living honestly and openly and loving yourself. I can’t stress the importance of that one sentence! I can’t imagine not being honest about who I am. When I came out at 18, I had to reinforce being proud of myself and to break down doors and stereotypes. I was the ice breaker for my family and quite a few friends!

Now a thousand years later, I have a different perspective. I’m not proud of being gay anymore than I’m proud of having legs or that the sky is blue – for me, it just is. I’m proud of the man that I’ve become and still yet to be.

As a photographer, how have you implemented the idea of being proud into your work?

As an artist, I’m proud of the work that I do that speaks to people on that deep profound deep level. As a gay man, I’m proud of the work that I do that makes people think, that questions their beliefs, that exposes them to imagery they are not familiar with (and maybe uncomfortable with too!)

I think there’s a certain rawness to some of my images that are gay themed. I feel like I pull the shadows away for people and make them realize that at heart we are all the same.

As a gay man, do you feel that your work can be more easily scrutinized than that of a straight man?

I don’t know if it’s more easily scrutinized, but it’s definitely more likely to be classified as gay. I mean a picture of a man (naked or otherwise) isn’t really homoerotic unless he’s maybe sucking dick; it’s up to the interpretation of the viewer. So yeah, I get that reaction from a lot of straight people but I don’t really care. Art is all subjective and I create it because I can’t imagine not doing it.

What has been your favorite photo-shoot to date and why?

Shh, that wouldn’t be nice! It’s funny though, because every artist gets that question in one form or another; seriously though, I don’t have just one (besides you’re only as good as your last photograph).

I have moments though. There are times when I can connect with a model and draw out that creative spark and capture it for the world to see; to show them that beauty, that one amazing image that will always stay with them!

Who would you love to get your claws into and do a photo-shoot with? Why?

The list could be endless from musicians and superstars to men I’ve seen at the gym. I want to shoot so many people … really. I know it’s kind of a pat answer, but I love shooting so much, I can’t imagine just picking one person.

Let me give you a better answer I suppose. It’s more the energy of the model, their look, that certain “it.” Some models just have that light about them that I want to capture that moment in time forever.

Please tell us about your upcoming Pride exhibition:

Gladly! The name of the collection that will be up all month is “Glimpse of Man.” The “Glimpse of Man” series is an intimate and sensual look at the male form. There is an element of barriers removed and inhibitions cast aside. My focus on the male form is to expose the beauty of man without shame. Society and culture has de-sexualized the male form – from the clothing choices to interactions with other men.

One of my main goals is to present a positive and acceptable image of male sexuality. The “Glimpse of Man” is an exploration both for the model and the viewer. Each image has its own context and story that can be felt and interpreted on various levels. I invite the viewer to truly appreciate the life, sexuality, and energy of man.

Of course at midnight one night only, there’s going to be an adult show called “Raw Sugar.” These are selections of shots from “Candy Shoppe” that includes images that have been censored (and some that have not) for one reason or another. So it’s honest and open and blatant! LOL! “The Candy Shoppe” is all about color, texture, vibrancy, sex and fun. Come check it out!

Follow Ryan online:

RyanColford.com

Ryan Colford Photography

A note from the Photographer: “All photography simply involves evoking an emotional response. Whether that response is desire for a product or appreciation of beauty comes from the ability to tell a story with one simple image.” Ryan Colford

The “Glimpse of Man” Gallery Exhibition will be held at 25 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10301 at 9PM Friday June 4th, 2010.

-Joseph Federico

Photographs courtesy of Ryan Colford Photography, Other information provided by the Downtown Staten Island Council

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Justin Monroe: Something Sexy for all of Us

In Art, Being Gay, Dating, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay Weddings, Relationships on August 6, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Justin Monroe is a photographer of the future; he really doesn’t give a s*** what you think, yet he cares the world over. He’s the hottest mess around and that ain’t a bad thing. Monroe’s newest book, Beautiful, is coming out and here’s what he spilled to E4A

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E4A: In your biography on your website, it mentions that your parents (a musician and artist) took you on the road during your childhood – that being said, do you feel that taking to ever-changing environments at such an early age had any influence on your eclectic photographic tastes?

Justin: “Absolutely. I think life is about change and any opportunity to do so has always excited me and inspired me to create unpredictable things in my work. Its like always being the new kid in school. You’re forced to put yourself out there. ”

E4A: Fashion photography; what does it mean to you?

Justin: “Fashion photography to me used to mean a lot. To me now I feel its a money making machine that promotes bulimia and anorexia fueled by coke addiction. It is an awesome target for me. I relish in making fun of it every chance I get. So it gives me good material for books, photo shoots, and concepts. If there is one thing I love about fashion photography and that would be the one single thing is its conceptual value.”

E4A: As a gay man, how do you feel you have thus far changed the face of photography? How do you think you will change it in the future?

Justin:  “I feel like I’ve made a change by introducing my audience to more conceptual, interesting, and imaginative images and not just muscle pictures. Anybody can take a sexy model with a great body and photograph him beautifully. That is a no brainer. But to create an illusion and push the boundaries as to what is considered aesthetically beautiful by mixing it with an element of darkness and humor gives one much more to think about. If I can put a tickle in your panties that’s just an extra plus. I feel by creating the kind of work that I do I hope to help other aspiring photographers shoot what they believe in and not cave in to the bullshit of society.”

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E4A: Where did you get the idea to take age-old Catholic icons and turn them into such provocative (and at times, erotic) works of art?

Justin: “Probably when I was going to an all boys catholic school in the Midwest. My grandmother was very religious and wanted me to be a priest and all I wanted to do was be a drag queen. I think being so close to the church and all of its expectations and judgments I felt a sense of hypocrisy within the system—people playing god when they were just mere men. I’m sure I’ll piss a lot of people off by saying this, but it’s truly how I feel. The whole catholic priest thing with the little boys… and you know what I mean, was nonsense. Just goes to show you that money can buy you out of any situation. So my images were a way for me to expose my feelings.”

E4A: Heightened reality; how do you use it to your advantage while working on a shoot?

Justin: “I prefer to live in a world of fantasy. Reality sucks!”

E4A: Tell us about your up and coming new book, Beautiful:

Justin: “Beautiful is about a culture clash between elegance and white trash—depicting the millionaire in the palace and the waitress in the trailer park as completely connected whether they think so or not. It will make us all question what we feel is beautiful.”

E4A: How did you come up with the title of Beautiful?

Justin: “I wanted a title that could be ironic and contrast.”

E4A: What has been your most interesting shoot to date?

Justin: “I think that’s a ridiculous question cause that puts me in a box. Each shoot has its own independent value whether it’d be for its artistic value, humorous content, or its conceptual complexity. It’s like apples and oranges.”

E4A: What’s your take on GLBT marriage?

Justin: “I think people should be able to marry who they wish. I think that all we are asking for as gay individuals are the same right to be as miserable as straight people.”

E4A: Please give advice to anyone who may be struggling with their sexuality:

Justin: “Just remember it’s only a conversation in your head. You’re not any of these things you’re making up about yourself. Allow yourself to be free. Know that you are lovable and do it for yourself.”

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E4A: Describe your most perfect date:

Justin: “A hotel room, three smooth bubble butt euro boys, strawberries, and tons, and tons of whip cream.”

QUICK ON YOUR TOES…

Boxers of Briefs?

Justin; “Commando!”

What kind of car do you drive?

Justin; “A black Cadillac.”

Digital photography or film?

Justin: “Both.”

Black and white or color?

Justin: “Tech-no color.”

Favorite day trip destination?

Justin: “Fire Island.”

Happy trail or no happy trail?

Justin: “No trail, in fact no pubic hair at all.”

Interview conducted by J. Federico

James Yeramian, the Man Who Breathes Life into His Subjects

In Art, Being Gay on January 10, 2009 at 1:08 am

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James Yeramian, a photographer, is truly a translator of sorts; he takes an ordinary, everyday image and gives it a soul – a purpose, if you will. Equal4all is proud to introduce that man…

.First and foremost, did aspiring to be a photographer ever cross your mind as you were growing up and going through the motions of finding yourself?

J: Not photography in particular, no. I knew I had a different vision of how I viewed the world, which was rarely cohesive with group mentality – I knew I had creative intuition. Growing up, I found myself gravitating toward other creative minds, and living vicariously through other’s work that I admired – finding my own outlet came much later. Being an Armenian-American, “art” was never encouraged as a child – the stereotypical lifestyle that was associated with being an “artist,” and the impracticality of basing a career on any sort of artistry was a great obstacle. Oddly enough, there were successful artists in my ancestry though, that may have worked against me.  For this reason, finding photography, in particular, was rather organic – without any outside influence or intervention. Once I discovered it, I knew it was part of my fiber, and moreover, it became a way for me to communicate.

.How do you think people are affected by your work? Do you want your pieces to come off a certain way or is it up to the viewer to come up with their own conclusions?

J: It really depends on the subject of the photograph and whoever is viewing it. If I’m fully cognizant, my main objective is to present the mundane in a new and enticing way. More often than not, my work is instinctual and tends to fall into the aforementioned category on its own. When someone is viewing one of my photographs, I hope that it makes them think and question the way they view the world. My work is not for everyone, though, and probably only pertains to the analytical mind. I definitely don’t want to tell people how to think through my photography; I want them to think for themselves and open up and expand their thought process.  Therefore, the greatest satisfaction for me is to hear the viewers own interpretation, whether or not it falls in line with my own. Sometimes they just completely get it, and sometimes they don’t – but the photograph served its purpose either way.

.Is what you produce ultimately an extension of yourself? Do you put your “all” into your photography?

J: It is absolutely an extension of “me” – it’s the only place where I can be truly free. As they say, “a picture speaks a thousand words.” I have yet to find a more effective way of communicating than through my work.  I do always put my “all” into my work, but not necessarily in the strictest sense of the term. Much of my work is instinctual, and I’m not always aware of what’s going to happen – or I don’t necessarily plan things out meticulously. Sometimes the photos just come. I guess my photographs would best be defined as documentary photography. To quote Elizabeth McCausland, documentary photography “…represents strong organic forces at work, strong creative impulses seeking an outlet suitable to the serious and tense spirit of our age.” She says it way better than I ever could!

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.How do you feel that gay photographer’s experiences may differ from let’s say, an Annie Leibovitz? Do you feel that it would be hard out there for a homosexual artist to make it in the world of photography?

J: If one of your readers decided to pursue photography, I think they would find many gay photographers to take inspiration from, namely Herb Ritts, Robert Mappelthorpe, and the amazing and totally inspiring, Nan Goldin. I think their successes speak for themselves. I don’t believe that one’s sexuality, though, has any bearing on talent and the ability to relate to people through their work. That being said, I ran across Annie Leibovitz once during a shoot she was doing with Brooke Shields. Are you sure she doesn’t swing your way?!

.To this day, who or what has been your favorite subject matter and why? Have you photographed anyone famous?

J: I can’t really say that I have one particular favorite subject matter, but more and more as of late, I’ve been intrigued by photographing humans, and faces – the nuances of the expressions, the wrinkles, the folds of their skin. I never want to take a posed photograph; I want to remember what that person was thinking or feeling at that exact moment in time – that one fleeting second. I find that so profound. I’ve photographed, as you know, Norman Korpi, from the first season of MTV’s The Real World; Kristin Hersh of the seminal rock-groups Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave, and of solo fame (www.kristinhersh.com); Karin Berquist and Linford Detweiler of the band Over the Rhine (www.overtherhine.com); Neil Halstead of solo fame, Mojave 3 and Slowdive; and Cyndi Lauper.  All of these artists have inspired me in some way.

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.Is your photography self-fulfilling and satisfying to you – or have you ever thought about going down a different career path?

J: Photography for me is not a career. Whether or not I make money off of it is irrelevant. Of course, there is a special sort of gratification that comes with selling a piece, but the actual sale of my photos does not in any way determine whether or not I continue to take photographs. I take them because I have an urgent need to, which nothing else seems to satiate.

.Please give our readers a little bit of an inclination as to how you realized that you truly made it as an artist:

J: I would first have to define what the definition of “making it” means to me in terms of my photography. For me, I know I’ve made it when the purpose of each individual photograph is realized, when he who has viewed the photograph, has deemed it worthy enough to spend time to view it, and put some thought into what its purpose may be. It’s not about monetary gain, or recognition in the art world.

.Please give advice to anyone who may be struggling with who they truly are:

J: I could give the stock answer of “be true to yourself” and “don’t give a damn what others think,” but the truth of the matter is that we are all on our own path – and part of the meaning of life, as I see it, is the search for oneself – and all of the hardships that go along with that. For me to give advice on this would be hypocritical. If I had all the answers, or any of the answers for that matter, I would cease to exist. So, I guess my advice is: Try not to cease existing. Keep asking questions.

Quick, on your toes…

Blue or red?

Always red.

The ocean or a lake?

Ocean.

Cook or take-out?

Cook.

Blonds or brunettes?

Brunettes.

What kind of car do you drive?

Toyota Solara Convertible; pearly white with a tan top.

Favorite candy bar?

Do granola bars, count?

Favorite website?

Mine. www.jamesjosephimages.com.

( If you would like to find out more about James Yeramian, please click the link above. )

Interview conducted and written by J. Federico