Below are some of the questions that I have had to answer several times over the years. Some are professional, others more personal. But I’m pretty much an open book, so you’ll find the answers to all of them below.
Do you only do erotic images?
Absolutely not! Early in my career I felt it best to specialize in one genre so I could focus on honing my photography skills to be the very best at it instead of being just “okay” at shooting everything. However, my artistic style translates quite nicely to many other types of photographic images. Here is a short list of the types of images that I am available for:
Plus many more!
Do you work with women too?
Definitely! In fact, as a gay man, oftentimes women feel extremely comfortable and safe working with me--for boudoir or any kind of imagery. Photographic women is handled quite differently from those of men including everything from posing, lighting, and hair & make-up to how the images are handled in post-production. However I am well aware of these differences and can deliver some fantastic images. If you would like some examples of my work featuring women, please email me.
I’ve never posed before. Will my photos turn out any good?
That’s totally fine! Actually, the vast majority of men you see featured in my portfolio are normal, everyday men, just like you and me! There’s only been a couple guys I’ve worked with who have any sort of modeling experience. Part of my job as your photographer is to coach and guide you through the process so you feel comfortable, confident, and ready to take amazing photos!
Why choose professional photographer?
This is actually a long, often heated, debate amongst many professional photographers right now. With the amazing camera advancements in mobile phones and the availability of inexpensive entry-level cameras, chances are you can take some pretty good photos yourself! (Personally, though, I can’t take a good selfie to save my life! But I have pretty high standards, so...) You might also have a friend or relative to bought a cool new Canon or Nikon camera and is willing to take photos of you for free. And, honestly, maybe you should consider letting him/her!
As a result of this increased access to photography, the public perception is that professional photographers are over-priced and don’t offer any more than what you can find elsewhere already for free.
Some professional photographers are resentful and bitter about this shift in perception, but personally, I choose to see it as an opportunity to reinvent myself and discover what my value is and focus on providing that to clients who work with me.
Here are some reasons to work with a photography professional versus other free options:
1. Mobile phones and lower-grade cameras aren’t capable of taking high-resolution images that will print successfully. The average phone or camera will only take photos at 72 d.p.i. (dots per inch), which looks horrible when printed. Professional photos, however, can provided at 300 d.p.i., which is the resolution needed for crisp, beautiful prints.
2. Photography is literally the art of recording light. As such, a true professional knows how to use existing lighting to sculpt the scene being photographed. If there is not enough existing light, he has additional lighting that can be used. Actually, I very rarely rely on existing lighting (except sunlight when shooting outdoors) and always use professional grade studio strobes to make sure that my subject has enough light to take fantastic images! You simply can’t do that with a mobile phone or lower-grade camera.
3. Tired of having to take those selfies with your head at the perfect angle to hide your double-chin? Holding your stomach in until you’re blue in the face? Bags under the eyes? A mole you’ve always hated? Acne, scars, or stretch marks? Sometimes you can get lucky with your pose or the way the light hits you, but most of the time, there’s nothing you can do about these issues. However, I can take care of all of those things--and more! Plus there are subtle things that you may not even pick up on consciously, but make a huge difference in making a photo really shine! For example, no one’s skin is perfectly even in color and tone, and that inconsistency can make a photo look sloppy. One of my jobs editing photos is to balance out your skin color, so you look absolutely flawless!
There are plenty of other reasons, such as: experience, proper equipment, etc, as well. My advice is go ahead and try the free options first, then compare that with my work and decide for yourself if you find value in what I do.
Can you give me a “six-pack”?
I’m often asked if I can edit a client’s photos so he has a six-pack or bulging muscles. The answer is yes...to an extent. Some photos make doing those sort of body modifications easier than others, but in general I can make some pretty drastic improvements to a subject’s physique that look extremely realistic, even when zoomed in close. However, I’ve found that the best changes are the subtle ones: enhancing the existing body contour instead completely redefining it. The changes look better and are more true to your natural body form.
My general rule of thumb for body modifications (unless asked to do something different) is the following:
* Remove or minimize any rolls or bulging that are the result of the model’s pose. Oftentimes a pose SHOULD have some sort of bulge, crease, fold, wrinkle, etc in order to look natural. In those cases, I minimize the effect so it still looks natural, but doesn’t draw the viewer’s eye.
* Slightly enlarge the chest, arms and glutes. Most men look better with certain areas of their bodies slightly larger than others. I’ve found that some subtle changes can make a huge difference in the overall masculinity and sexual energy in a photo. Normally these changes are so subtle that you can’t tell anything was done, but you can definitely feel a difference when you look at the photo!
* Lift sagging body parts. Sometimes as we age or lose weight, our chest, glutes, and other areas can begin to sag. If notice this, I try to “lift” these areas back to where they should naturally be, whenever possible. Again, the changes here are normally very subtle, and should look natural--even when zoomed in on the image.
* Bring in bulging tummies. I can very realistically make your tummy flatter and leaner than it is in real life. It’s often the little changes here that make the biggest impact.
My general rule of thumb with all body modifications is to make the client look like I remember him looking during the shoot. Sometimes the lens will distort someone’s body to make them look thinner or heavier than they actually are in real life. So I consider it my responsibility to return the subject back to how they looked in real life.
Secondly, I try to only do body modifications that you could realistically achieve on your own with a month of diet and exercise. Obviously, if you are 40lbs overweight, you’re not going to have a six pack in a month, no matter what you do...but you’ll look less “round”, which I typically shoot for when I’m editing.
Do you increase genital sizes?
I can, however as a rule, I do not unless the model/client specifically requests it. I’ve often lightened or darkened the genitals to make them more or less prominent in the composition, but never the size. Men come in all shapes and sizes, and all are beautiful!
What if I get an erection during the shoot?
Erotic photo shoots can be VERY arousing and, as a result, erections can happen. Also, often us men simply look better in photos when we are somewhat aroused. That’s one of the reasons why erotic/dudeoir shoots have so much sexual energy in them. Besides your facial expressions and “energy” in the photos, the penis looks better when slightly engorged--both in clothes and out. But it doesn’t take much for a partially-erect penis to become fully-erect.
First of all: we’re all adults here, and we’re only human. How we handle that situation when/if it happens, depends a lot on you and your wishes. Do you mind if you have an erection in your photos? If not, then don’t worry about it! Chances are I’ve noticed too and have already started thinking of poses to take advantage of the condition! Erections can offer some really sexy, fun photo opportunities! Plus, an erection in your photos can be extremely sexy, if that’s what we’re going for!
If you don’t want erections in your photos, we can either take a break and give you a chance to compose yourself, or we can conceal the erection by changing your pose or using a prop to hide it. Normally I try to ask clients/models how they’d like to handle this prior to shoot so I’m prepared ahead of time. I’ve found it’s potentially less embarrassing to ask about it before the shoot than to stop and ask about it while it’s happening!
Do only gay men pose for erotic photos?
Absolutely not! I’ve had several straight clients over the years, and their photos are just as fabulous and sexy as any other man’s! I believe every man is beautiful no matter the age, race, size, or sexual orientation!
While your sexual orientation really doesn’t matter in the slightest, (for erotic or “dudeoir” shoots) it may be a good idea to share what turns you on so I can say and do things that will promote your sensual state and not hinder it. For example, if you’re a straight man needing to be a bit more aroused, asking you to “imagine a hot, bubble-butt guy” could be rather counter-productive!
Are you gay? Do you get turned on during photo shoots?
Although I was married to a woman to 18 years, yes, I now identify as a gay man. But that in no way means that I’m trying to get down your pants during your photo shoot. When people me this, I tell them it’s a lot like your doctor. He may have you take your clothes off and examine your private parts, but he’s (hopefully) not turned on because he’s more concerned with diagnosing any potential ailments.
Similarly, I have a million things to think about while I’m working with you: background, pose, lighting, camera settings, wardrobe, hair, expression...you get the idea. Plus, I am constantly brainstorming what the next pose or scene will be after the current one. On top of all this, I need to try and be social with you and give you praise/feedback on how you’re doing. Honestly, there is no mental bandwidth for me to be aroused by you!
Will you “fluff” me?
Honestly, I get asked this a LOT, so I felt it best to go ahead and answer the question publicly here. If you’ve never heard of “fluffing”, the term originated from the porn industry and referred to a person who performed oral sex on a male actor between scenes/takes in order to ensure his member was properly engorged for the scene. The practice has since died and has been replaced with Viagra (or other similar medication) or injections straight into the penis that ensure an erection for the duration of the shoot.
To answer the original question: no, sorry. If you require fluffing services for your shoot, may I suggest bringing along a friend to do that for you? Actually, if your friend is interested, have him/her join in the photo session with you!
Do you engage in sexual activity with your clients?
This is another question that I seem to get asked a lot--and I completely understand why many might wonder this. The goal of an erotic shoot is to have the client get in touch with his sensual/sexual side. As such, there is normally a lot of sexual energy in the room. If you are not as aroused as the scene we’re shooting requires, then it’s my job to try and coax you into that state. However, I am usually very effective at doing this without engaging in any behavior that could be deemed as inappropriate or unprofessional. Oftentimes I can talk you through an imaginary scenario that will elicit the correct response, have you touch yourself, or even play some porn on a TV or mobile phone to get your in the state of mind we’re looking for. (This approach is successful for gay and straight men alike!)
So, while a shoot may be highly arousing for the client in nature, aside from suggestive conversation or harmless flirting, your experience with me will be 100% professional at all times. However, I do strongly encourage you to take advantage of your “sexual high” after the shoot with a partner of your choosing!