What got you initially interested in photography?  

Tengo 25 años haciendo diseño de estampado textil, para mi la creatividad es algo con lo que convivo día a día y yo considero que es muy importante alimentar a la creatividad para seguir vigente en todo tipo de proyecto, para mi llegó un momento en que me aburrí de hacer diseño textil y yo mismo busqué otras alternativas que me obligaran a buscar otras maneras de seguir siendo creativo en el ámbito de lo visual.

La fotografía es algo que desde niño me pareció muy interesante y mi historia como fotografo comienza cuando mi hermano mayor me regalo una cámara fotográfica vieja y yo le pedí a mi padre que me comprara algunos rollos de película para usarla y eso transformó mi vida desde niño. Siempre estuve muy interesado en el dibujo pero la fotografía me pareció algo mágico, algo que me llevo a otra percepción de la vida misma

I have 25 years making textile print design, for me, creativity is something I live with every day, and I consider it very important to feed creativity to continue in force in all types of projects, for me there came a time when I got bored of doing textile design. I looked for other alternatives that forced me to look for other ways to continue being creative in the field of the visual.

Photography is something that I found very interesting since childhood, and my story as a photographer begins when my older brother gave me an old camera, and I asked my father to buy me some rolls of film to use, and that transformed my life as a child. I was always very interested in drawing, but photography seemed magical, something that led me to another perception of life itself

When did you turn your eye to the world of underwear/Swimwear? 

My enjoyment for underwear and swimsuits came into my life for being a textile designer; this is because I have made prints for several brands of beachwear for women in Mexico, and that led me to think that I would like to have a mark with my designs but oriented for men. I have the idea that that will happen someday.

In the meantime, I don’t have a brand, but the subject of men’s underwear seems to me a universe full of alternatives and possibilities, it is a way of exalting the beauty and self-confidence of men and for that reason the male underwear industry It fascinates, and photography for various brands has been and continues to be a great experience for me.

Being involved with the clothing industry for 25 years has made me admire those who have the courage and manage to have their own brand.

Describe your photography style for us. 

Describing my photography is a difficult question … describing oneself is not usually easy, what I can tell you is that I love my work, and I chose to photograph male beauty because it is a more genuine beauty, women can be beautiful , but women wear makeup, change the color of their hair or put on hair extensions, false eyelashes, that is they have everything to enhance their beauty.

On the contrary, beautiful men are beautiful without the need to add something to their body or face; man is naturally beautiful when nature has created it. I like the idea that male beauty has lately been reinventing and exposing itself in a more open way, and it is no longer just a field that women have always dominated.

Therefore, that passion for masculine beauty motivates me to look for the aesthetic in the body, the hairs, the muscles, and the faces of men.

Shoots are a lot of work to set up and get right, what has been one of your biggest accomplishments in photography? 

One of the achievements that make me feel happy with my work as a photographer has been once I was invited to be part of a group of the best 40 photographers from around the world and that moment they have taken male nude photography to release a book called BEAUTIFUL VISION, that book had a human cause because the funds raised were provided for the organization that supports HIV patients, it was an honor to support, I also felt very happy to be sharing credits with photographers of the likes of Tim Ricks, Justin Monroe, Gio Spano, Wander Aguiar, Sylvain Norget, Henning Von Berg, Ethan James, Thomas Synnamon, Frank Louis and Dylan Rosser.

You have shot so many great pics last year do you have a picture you’re most proud of? If so, which ones and why is it special?

More than having a single photograph that is special, it is more memorable when a photo session gave excellent results, it is very rewarding when in a photo session, you have managed to do a good job getting an excellent location, good lighting conditions and a Model with a beautiful physique, this year and last year I had the opportunity to do several photo sessions for men’s underwear brands and that is a truly wonderful job! It is the best job I could have. Working with male beauty is extremely motivating and inspiring; one of my favorite sessions was for the brand GOODEVIL. The model for that photo session is extremely beautiful and very professional!.

Things can go wrong on shoots such as weather, models not showing, and wardrobe malfunctions. What is the biggest problem you had on a shoot, and how did you overcome it?

Fortunately, very rarely have I had a photo session where things get difficult, it happened once the model when he went to the photo session was on his way to do that job on a motorcycle, the model crashed and broke a arm, I was going to the photo session too, but I did meditation, I talked to several model friends, and one of them told me that he was free at that time, when delivering the photos to the client, they were happy with the results and said that the model was the best chosen for his brand, coinciding like this was a miracle.

Do you have any favorite models you like working with? If so, which ones? 

If I have two favorite models, they are two beautiful Argentine men, one of them is called Ezequiel and the other boy is called Franco

Which brands have you worked with, and are there any brands you want to work with?

I have worked with many brands such as COVERMALE, Daniel Alexander, and BANG (BTW I love that brand), but it would be very nice for me to work for GREGG HOMME or for MODUS VIVENDI or JJ MALIBU just to mention some great brands.

Creativity is key to making a great shoot, how do you approach a studio vs. a location shoot?  

Each photo session needs several days before to organize all the work, there are 2 very complicated things for each photo session, the first is to pick up a male model that is very beautiful and feels comfortable in front of the camera being almost naked, The second complicated thing is to get a good location, those 2 aspects are generally the ones that take longer to have ready.

Clients sometimes ignore the work that is behind a photo session because the photographer delivers the photos with everything already solved but convincing the models to pose almost naked is not an easy task. For that reason, there is a lot of work prior to a photo session in addition to calling assistants and makeup artists that are available the day the location is rented and that the model is available. Therefore, working in a studio can be more controlled and more relaxed, a location always carries more risks because you have to take advantage of all the elements you have at that time and you have no chance to take the photos again later

However, for studio and for the location you have to have everything well prepared in the same way

You have shot so many great guys, what advice can you give models to being in front of the camera for a shoot? 

What advice can I give the models? I could say that this advice is specifically for models who are starting a career and are interested in doing photo shoots for sexy underwear brands … guys, be yourselves, the best poses are those where the model is not really posing, be relaxed, take great care of your body and face skin because that way they save us a lot of time in retouching to the photographers.

Who is your ultimate “get” in photography, who would you love to shoot?

I would like so bad to photograph a beautiful Brazilian porn actor named DiegoSans

What do you do in your downtime when not in front of the camera? 

In my free time, I watch cinema, although it must be taken into account that when one is not facing the camera, the next step is to do hours of digital retouching. I also love listening to music and traveling and meeting people from other corners of the world.

When you were coming up as a photographer, what is the best advice you were ever given?

When I started to take a picture I had an excellent mentor named Oscar, he always insisted that I look for my own style, that I don’t stay in a comfort zone and that I always seek to break with the previously done.

Where can our readers see your work?

Currently, you can see my work in my Instagram profile @german_armenta_photo, in Instagram I show my most commercial work that I have done for catalogs of casual clothing or in my blog called picsessions

I discovered Black Rose Photography on Instagram. I think he’s going to do some great things in photography. I wanted to interview him and share some of his work.

What got you interested in Photography?
I’ve always liked photography. When I was growing up and in high school it’s when social media started taking off (Myspace and early Facebook days) everyone around me had little point and shoot cameras and were taking pics with their friends. I didn’t really have friends so instead, I got a camera for myself one birthday and started taking pics of the objects around me which is where it really started. I really got into photography on a professional level in college though thanks to one of my professors and ever since then, I haven’t been able to put down a camera.

As an up and coming photographer who influences your work?
I have a lot of influences from local photographers in my area to the big time professionals. Mark Henderson, Freddy Krave, Mike Ruiz, David Laffe, Erika Wagner aka The Drag Photographer, Joel Deverux & Ethan James just to name a few when it comes to bigger names.

I discovered you on Instagram, you photograph all a diverse group of guys, why is diversity important to you in your models?
Its important because when you live in a society that more often than not celebrates only one kind of person or body people tend to get discouraged and look down on themselves physically and even who they are as a person. I will also fully admit that I can certainly do better in representing even more diversity in my portfolio, its a work in progress. Representation is more important than people may think.

Do you have any regular models you currently work with? If so who are they?
There are a few such as my friends Slim, Roman, Jason, Teo, Pheonix etc. There’s a good deal of them and I try to space them out as much as possible so no one gets too bored with anyone haha.

You do a lot of work with underwear. Are there. Any brands you like shooting your models in or specific styles?
One of my favorite brands is Marco Marco and I love shooting in jocks or briefs. I also love the Versace brand underwear and swimwear would love more in my collection (but they are very expensive haha)

Do you have a favorite shoot you have done recently?
I like many of my shoots for different reasons so I definitely can’t pick a current fave at this time. Although I really do enjoy doing the erotic dou shoots when I have a chance.

If you could work with any underwear brand and any model which would you like to work with?
Marco Marco is definitely the brand I would choose and as for model….wow there’s just too many. Although I do have a particular thing for adult film star Alam Wernick is high on the list.

What is your biggest photographic accomplishment and what are your long-term goals?
I am pretty proud of photographing some of the biggest names in drag from queens of RuPaul’s drag race and other well-known queens. I’ve also been published twice in the popular LGBTQ news source known as The Advocate. As far as goals I just want to continue to perfect my craft. I have so much work I want to accomplish and I definitely want to travel with my camera and expand my influence beyond Florida where I currently am.

Where can our readers find you and your work?
My official website is
Instagram & Twitter: @BlackRosePhotog

One photographer doing something different is Lucas Murnaghan. He’s going underwater to capture his art! Lucas shoots his models underwater. He captures amazing images that make you wonder, “How did he get that shot?”  He first came across my radar on Instagram. His artistic vision and eye for detail made his pictures stand out. I knew we had to interview him here on UNB.

Hi Lucas, how did you get into doing underwater photography? 

I started with surf photography but after a few years found myself looking for some new challenges.  I had all the gear and wanted to find a way to shoot more often during the long cold winters here in Toronto.  I approached a local water polo club and swim team, and they welcomed me to shoot during one of their practices.  That early work evolved into my current style, and I’ve been exploring new possibilities ever since.

When did you put the underwater photography with swimwear/underwear? (If different) 

The underwater work was a natural tie in for swimwear, and I was lucky to work with a few brands early on who provided me with the product to highlight underwater.  Underwear, of course, isn’t much different from swimwear from a photographic standpoint and works well in my shoots from an aesthetic standpoint.  I tend to prefer more classic colours and styles, though have had some fun with more vibrant prints and daring cuts.

Your photography is creative. How do you come up with your inspiration and ideas for your shoots? 

My photography is my creative and artistic outlet.  It wasn’t until I started to do it that I even realized that I had a creative side.  My photography is an expression of what goes on inside my head and who knows where that stuff comes from!

One picture that I thought was amazing was the 57 member water polo team. How did you arrange that and execute it? The picture is impressive! 

This was the Triggerfish Waterpolo Club.  They were the first team I worked with when I first started doing underwater photography.  With the leadership of the club, we came up with the idea for an underwater team photo.  This was a tremendous undertaking and took a lot of preparation and direction.  We must have shot for nearly two hours before we pulled off this shot.  Needless to say, we were all pretty thrilled with the final product.

Being that you shoot underwater, do you or your models have issues holding your breath to get the perfect shot? 

Doing an underwater photoshoot presents all sorts of technical and physical challenges.  I choose to shoot without any SCUBA equipment because I want to experience the shoot as my subjects do.  We work together on our timing and get into a rhythm which makes this the best way to communicate and work together.  Some models are more comfortable than others at the outset – but I take that as one of my personal challenges to bring everyone up to a level of comfort that we can achieve our artistic vision.

Your work is mainly in pools, do you prefer the look of a pool over lakes or oceans? 

I started with my underwater work in the middle of the winter in Toronto, Canada, so pools were a natural place to start.  I always figured I’d ‘practice’ in pools and then move into lakes and oceans and leave the pools behind.  The truth is that I have fallen in love with pools as an environment.  Growing up as a swimmer and water polo player – I have a nostalgic relationship with these locations and facilities and being able to portray them in a different way has been a huge part of the experience for me.

Have you thought of doing a book with your amazing work? 

I am currently working on a coffee table book of my work – this is a huge project and very intimidating goal for me.  I have enjoyed introducing my work to the world through social media, but I look forward to presenting it in a more curated narrative in print format.

Where can our readers see your amazing work?

The best place to follow along my work on a daily basis is through my Instagram page (@lucasmurnaghan).  For finished products and prints for sale – my website is

Follow Lucas on Social media and visit his site:

11800285_895226330556325_1415048249521282339_nWhat got you initially interested in photography?

Started as a game, Modeling first for other beginner photographers, then I was directing them what to do, decided to get a camera and got lucky, a lot of people starting liking my work.

When did you turn your eye to the world of underwear/Swimwear?

Since the beginning, started with a group of friends.

Describe your photography style for us.

My style?… Always finding the Sexy side in every person.

Shoots are a lot of work to set up and get right, what has been one of your biggest accomplishments in photography?

Yes its a lot of work, I think having my work feature in different parts of the globe, lots in Europe and Australia.

You have shot so many great pics last year do you have a picture you’re most proud of? If so which one and why is it special?

I think all of them are special, every person touch my heart with their life stories. can’t select only one.

Things can go wrong on shoots such as weather, models not showing and wardrobe malfunctions. What is the biggest problem you had on a shoot and how did you over come it?

I have a phrase that I apply every day.. WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, you can say, I need this or that to make this photoshoot work, one time we didn’t have lighting, we were outdoors and we only use the moonlight (Thank God was a Full moon) and turned out amazing.. also I can tell you, out biggest problem is Las Vegas Hot Weather. almost kill us everyday during the summer.

Do you have any favorite models you like working with? If so which ones?

My favorite, is those ones that are very creatives and willing to do anything to get an amazing shot, the ones that are crazy like me and say, thats crazy and I want to do it.

Which brands have you worked with and are there any brands you want to work with?

I have several, N2N, Tito Jimmy, 2Eros, PetitQ, Supawear, WearMeUnder, CA RIO CA, Team8, RHunter, BWet, Sly Underwear and many More.

Creativity is key to making a great shoot, how do you approach a studio vs a location shoot?

It depends on the project, sometimes you have to do it on the studio, and its easier to manage the lighting and ambient, sometimes its better and fun doing it outdoors.

You have shot so many great guys, what advice can you give models to being in front of the camera for a shoot?

To Relax, Let the Photographer worry, be Yourself, don’t try to pose and fake a smile, follow directions, and always keep doing photoshoots, you never know when you can hit a big chace.

Who is your ultimate “get” in photography, who would you love to shoot?

Ricky Martin!!

What do you do in your down time when not in front of the camera?

Usually always doing things related to photography, looking for props, new locations, inspirations, books, social media, friends, workout, cooking, Talk to my mom on the phone (Everyday lol)

When you were coming up as a photographer what is the best advice you were ever given?

One that I always remember.. Don’t Quit.. Keep Doing it.

Where can our readers see your work?

A lot on my social Media (Instagram and Facebook) or type #NoelPhotoStudio

UNB Photographer Profile featuring Scott Barnes Photography


Chicago based photographer Scott Barnes sat down with us to showcase his exciting portfolio.  With collaboration and raw and natural talent behind each photo, he has made a name for himself in the photography world.  He shares his unique style with us pertaining to the erotic, spontaneous, and creative talent he has.

UNB Kyle:  Thanks for taking the time to show your portfolio with us.  What was your first photo shoot and how did you come to get it?

Scott:  I have been interested in photography since I was a kid, when I received my first camera for Christmas at age Question 1_Noah212. From then on, I picked up photography in spurts here and there, on and off. When I decided that I wanted to start photographing people, I was looking for practice. I had a neighbor who was a former Marine and a former professional soccer player who was always walking around the neighborhood with his dog and without many clothes on. One day I asked him if I could bring my camera over to his place and shoot him. He said yes and a week or two later a friend’s mother, who was a well-known artist, saw the photos and told me that even unedited, a few of them belonged in an art gallery. That’s all it took to make me want to study and keep getting better.

Kyle:  Great story!  It’s nice that you took advantage of what was around you and clearly have a natural talent.  What made you want to pursue photography?

Scott:  I was in one of those periods where I hadn’t been shooting many photos for a few years, but I was bored one Sunday afternoon and I decided to kill time by playing around with my old camera. From that, it became a hobby again, and then a few months later someone gave me a copy of Male Nude Now as a birthday present. I started studying the work of photographers who were known for working with men . . . everyone from David Vance to Christopher Makos to Clive Barker to Steven Underhill and Reed Massengill and Mark Beard. I wanted to be one of them, too.

Kyle:  I like hearing that the desire turned into a hobby and blossomed into a passion and career.  Which shoot do you consider your breakthrough in your career?

Question3_AronScott:  I had one shoot with a model named Aron, who I had been noticing (stalking?) around town for a whole summer. When I finally got up the guts to ask him to pose for me, he just shrugged and said, “Sure.” When I looked at his photos after the shoot, it was one of the first times I realized that my work didn’t need much post-production editing, which made me feel great. (I’m a photographer, not a graphic artist, and I think the line is blurry these days. I mean, when a person shoots a photo that’s not technically good and then fixes it in Photoshop, they’re a graphic artist. Sorry.)

One of Aron’s photos also got me into my first art auction in New York, and I felt like that changed everything. I attended the auction and I got to meet some gay photographers and artists that are SO inspiring. It was an awesome night.

Kyle:  I see your distinction between photographer and graphic artist and it makes sense.  You seem very natural and raw with that.  Do you have a favorite shoot?

Scott:  I loved my shoot with Jordan, who rode a Greyhound bus for more than 48 hours from Los Angeles to work with me. I picked him up at the bus station at 8pm and got him some food, and then we went to my place with a plan of having a few drinks and a quiet night so we could shoot from 10am to 5pm the next day. But about midnight, we started talking about photography and I was showing Jordan some photos that I like. He fell in love with some images that were captured after dark on a dirt road. I said, “But you won’t be here tomorrow night when it’s dark.” Jordan looked at me and smiled and said, “But I’m here now.” And that’s how Jordan and I had an impromptu shoot at 1am on a Thursday night — with Jordan pretty much running around my neighborhood and the nearest country roads naked.

Kyle:  Haha great spur of the moment shoot.  Probably some of your best work and with his excitement for the atmosphere, it probably enhanced the shoots that much more.  Which shoot has been your most challenging? 

Scott:  Well, the first time I photographed Austin Armacost was kind of scary. The A-List season two had just ended Question5_Austinand one morning out of the blue Austin called me and said he was in Indiana and needed a photographer THAT DAY for a promotion. I had a 103 degree fever but couldn’t say no, and since it was a high-profile promotion I wanted the photos to be great. And I was a little afraid because of Austin’s reputation on The A-List. (It turns out that yes, he’s as outspoken and energetic as he was on TV, but he’s also very sweet and authentic and fun and charming and sincere and VERY grateful). I really like Austin and we’re still friends, to this day.

Another shoot that was intimidating was when a 61-year-old army veteran called me, asking for photos of him presenting as a woman with the goal of showing them to his family as he came out as transgender, just before starting his male-to-female transition. He wanted his family to see that he was serious about his decision. My makeup artist and I were both out of our elements and pretty nervous — but the shoot turned out to be a really loving and moving experience for us all, and the client was very grateful. I won’t forget this one.

Kyle:  So unique and powerful situations.  Very relevant for today.  I’m always curious about these moments that people don’t want to talk about.  So how about it?  Any embarrassing or funny photo shoot moments to share?

Scott:  I can’t think of any embarrassing moments, but I’m kind of a nerd so I feel like I’m embarrassing myself all the time. As far as funny, once I had a quick shoot scheduled with three of my models. When the doorbell rang and I opened the door, there they were, standing on my front porch totally naked at 6 in the evening. “We’re ready,” one of them said. Sometimes, I can’t imagine what my neighbors must think.

Kyle:  That hasn’t happened when I opened my door!  Yes, your neighbors probably wonder what type of business you are running out of your house!  Since you shoot a good amount of naked models, what are some tips you give models in order to be comfortable in front of the camera whether as a new model or for more intimate/revealing shoots?

Question4_Jordan3Scott:  I guess for me, the only advice I give to new models or any guy who’s posing for erotica is to relax and make sure to have fun — and I always tell them to remember that THEY are in charge. If I suggest a pose or location or anything that makes the model uncomfortable, he should say so and we will stop/change/etc. I like to see people push their boundaries but I don’t ever want anyone to do something they’re not comfortable with, or worse — have regrets later for having a shoot with me.

I’ve been told that my personality sets people at ease pretty quickly. I hear that I’m good at getting new models to trust me. I like that.

Kyle:  I am sure you make everyone very comfortable.  Great attitude with that!  Are there any brands or models you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?

Scott:  I’d love to work with Andrew Christian. And I’d LOVE to have a shoot for Mr. Turk. It would be fun to shoot for 2xist or Ginch Gonch.

As for models I’d like to work with, that list is SO long!! And it changes all the time.

Right now, I’m a huge fan of Levi Jackman Foster, Franky Cammarata, Kyle Krieger, and Matthieu Charneau, I’d love to have a shoot with Michael Hoffman, the fitness model who’s started doing solo porn videos. I’d love to work with Stephen James, because his tattoos are amazing. And Freddy Krave, even though he’s more of an artist than a model; I really like his style!

And Quinn Jaxon, Edward Wilding, Colton Haynes, Gregory Nalbone, Chad White, Aaron O’Connell, Josh Owens, Cory Bond, And Michael Hamm, the cosplayer. And Anton Hysen, the gay soccer player. And Steve Grand, the gay country singer. I also want to photograph Ryan Ferguson, the bodybuilder and fitness expert who was falsely accused of murder and spent 10 years in prison, who was just released a few months ago because the witnesses came forward and confessed that they lied.

Kyle:  Quite a list!  I hope you get to check some names off of there.  How do you prepare creatively and determine your environment for the shoot? Is it determined by you, the brand, or a collaboration?

Scott:  It’s always a collaboration. Of course, if I’m shooting for a brand, they get the final say but usually I start with Question3_Aron4a concept that includes a location and I’ll see what the brand thinks and let them add to the theme as they see fit. I even include the models in the collaboration, if possible. I figure the more we all know going into a shoot, the more on-target the outcome will be.

Kyle:  Collaboration is very important and I love that you combine everyone to get that.  What are your interests away from the camera?

Scott:  I like coffee and red wine, and hanging out in coffeehouses and my favorite bars. I love to cook (I’m into French food right now). I love movies and music. I like design, architecture, and Americana. I like science (astronomy, National Geographic, etc.), dogs, and NPR. I’m currently transitioning my life to Chicago, and I love wandering around the city when I’m there. I try to support the arts however I can. I don’t watch a huge amount of TV, but I like The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, The Voice, Arrow, and the occasional paranormal show.

Kyle:  I see that probably cooking, architecture and the rest compliment your creative mind.  Any tips for people wanting to get into photography?

Scott:  Just study! Look at the work of other photographers and decide what you like and don’t like — and more importantly, explain to yourself why for each. It’s not enough to say you like someone’s work, what do you like about it? The mood? The tone? The lighting? The model? The pose?

And learn as much as you can about your camera. When I first started this, my mentor picked up my camera and turned the setting to total Manual. Then he looked at me and said, “I better never see this camera on ANY setting besides M, again.” If you can’t use the camera, any good photos you take will just be accidents.

Kyle:  I love that!  What a great mentor.  Thank you for sharing all of this with us.  Finally, what are some of the things that you feel set you apart from other photographers in the market?

Scott:  I think I have a slightly unique lighting style. I think my photography has a way of looking like it’s 40 years old and new, at the same time.

Check out more of Scott Barnes Photography below:

Scott Barnes Official Site / Twitter / Instagram

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UNB Photographer Profile featuring Ted Sun Photography


UNB Kyle:  Thanks for taking time out of your busy travels to chat with us.  I can’t believe how much photography has emerged from your travels.  Tell us about your beginning with photo shoots.  

Ted:  My first photoshoot was with my friend singer/songwriter Sacha Sacket a few years ago. Music was my first passion, so I started out shooting music artists, which makes for TedSunPhoto-21fun collaboration. I ended up shooting Sacha in a black catsuit on top of a grand piano, and we’ve since collaborated on several shoots used on various album covers.

Kyle:  Music is such a passion and what a way to be able to tell a story of a whole album through an amazing cover.  What made you want to pursue photography?

Ted:  I traveled a lot over 5 years – to over 70 countries; I was having the time of my life, and loved being able to share my experiences through pictures. By 2012, I knew this was what I wanted to do – create and share images. So I settled back into my hometown LA to start this new career.

Kyle:  I still can’t get over how much you traveled.  That is amazing.  I can only imagine the influences you gained from it all.  So since you have started your photography, have you had that breakthrough moment?  

Ted:  One breakthrough was my first fashion editorial shot on the Highline in NYC a year and a half ago. It was the first time I developed an editorial concept, recruited a full team (designer/stylist, groomer), and cast from a major agency. A couple of the images were later published in British GQ in an emerging designer feature.

Kyle:  What a great honor to be in GQ and listed in an emerging feature.  Clearly people saw great potential which shows what you have become today, only 5 years later.  Do any shoots stand out as favorites?  

TedSunPhoto-5Ted:  One of my favorites was shooting a sexy-rocker concept with model Elliott Law, in collaboration with stylist/creative director Bobby Reyes. Elliott was perfect for the shoot, being a musician himself. He also has one of the most amazing physiques and showcased the underwear (provided by Garçon Model) beautifully.

Kyle:  Now that is a great way to combine your passions of music and underwear!  What do you find challenging about some of the shoots you have done?

Ted:  The most challenging project I’ve had was my first assignment for an architect, shooting several of his properties. I often had to return to a location several times to find the right light – often arriving at the crack of dawn – and I’m a night owl. Also, I had to carry around a ladder and use a tilt-shift lens to get the correct perspective. It was demanding work getting the shots, but I learned a lot technically about my camera that carries into my fashion and portrait work.

Kyle:  It’s funny how people would not necessarily think a building would be your challenge versus another human being but with the right light and angles as you mentioned it takes precision.  I love to hear about the funny moments.  Any of those?  

Ted:  It’s funny hearing the random catcalls the models get while shooting in public. One time, this crazy guy kept shouting at us across a very wide street about how hot the model was. We were all laughing, but a bit nervous and scared at the same time.

Kyle:  Yes I agree it would make for a nervous situation.  You do not know how another person will act when they see a beautiful model and it is important to keep everyone safe and comfortable.  What are some tips you give models in order to be comfortable in front of the camera whether as a new model or for more intimate/revealing TedSunPhoto-4shoots?

Ted:  I just make sure to talk to and try to get to know the model a bit to make him feel comfortable. I like to let the model do what comes naturally, and I build from there. If the model appears nervous or uncomfortable, then giving clear direction really helps.

Kyle:  Allowing the model to be natural and get comfortable with you builds a great trust and relationship for the shoot.  I am sure many of them appreciate that about you.  Are there any brands or models you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?

Ted:  It’d be a dream to work with well known models like Sean O’Pry, Clement Chabernaud, Brian Shimansky, Tomas Skoloudik – too many to name! Brand wise, I’d love to shoot Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens, Lanvin – and underwear icons CK, Emporio Armani and 2xist.

Kyle:  Dream big!  I like that.  I see it happening.  You have talked a lot about collaboration and I think big namesand brands will appreciate that about you.  How do you prepare creatively and determine your environment for the shoot?  

Ted:  I love to collaborate, and have a wonderful group of creative partners. Some clients like to be very involved, while others are happy for us to take the lead. The initial concept usually comes from either the stylist or myself, and either one of us can take the lead in creating mood boards and casting models. Location shoots are my favorite: as a travel photographer, I love seeking out and shooting in new environments.

Kyle:  Traveling must be an amazing perk with the job.  Discovering these new places to your eye and capturing them to really enhance the picture must be quite a feeling.  What other interests do you have away from the camera?

TedSunPhoto-26Ted:  Music is my first and one of my biggest passions and influences a lot of my work. I’ve been practicing yoga for over a dozen years, and as mentioned, I love to travel.

Kyle:  Music is a passion of mine too.  I can see you walking around new cities, headphones on, taking photos of all of the exciting new places.  What advice would you give to people who look up to you and your work and want to get into photography?

Ted:  Starting any creative practice can be a bit intimidating. It’s important to confront your fears of failure and rejection because they will happen. Don’t be afraid to take bad pictures – it’s the only way to learn. You gotta honey-badger your way through and just keep going.

Kyle:  Great advice!  Expect the negative and bad pictures and await the miracles that come!  What are some of the things that you feel set you apart from other photographers in the market?

Ted:  I think that my sense of adventure and ability to connect with others sets me apart. I’m always looking to try new things, shoot in new places and find the next challenge. I have a very open-minded approach and love getting to explore my interests and ideas with others. It’s been a lot of fun getting to connect with so many personalities doing this, and I approach each shoot with an attitude of new collaborative discovery.

Check out more of Ted Sun Photography below:

Official Site / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

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UNB Model & Photographer Profile featuring SILV

It’s always a privilege to talk to someone who has had experience both in front and behind the camera.  They can offer so much experience and knowledge to various models and photographers they work with.  SILV talks to us about his life in front and behind the camera, his passion for the art he makes, and his unique vision.

UNB Kyle:  Thanks for contacting me about being featured in a double feature profile!  Let’s start with the DSC_5956modeling side.  What was your first modeling gig and how did you come to get it?

SILV:  My sister is a wonderful photographer, and I used to assist when she had projects in mind. My first collaboration with another photographer came with Sam Cummins, also known as Sam Apple Photography. He was working on some interesting, arty concepts and asked me to be part of it.

Kyle:  So there is a gene in the family with this amazing talent I see.  What made you want to pursue it all?

SILV:  Co-creating with photographers, as I prefer to discuss it, has come from my own interest in photography and ridding of shameful concepts. I dove behind the lens years ago when I began working on my newest book, Toy Soldier. Initially, I thought it would allow me to network and find more individuals willing to pose for me, but then I acknowledged how liberating it has been for me.

The first time I posed nude in front of a camera was the first time I was nude, as an adult, in front of another adult. There was intention in utilizing photography as a means to work on the disconnect with my own body.

Since then, I have realized how important it is for me, being the person that I am, to be doing the work that I do; nude, gender-bending, etcetera.

Kyle:  That is a great vision of pictures to portray.  You seem to have developed a great comfort in the nude.  Which shoot do you consider your breakthrough in your career?

SILV:  This photographic journey has been full of excitement and great thematic work. However, the way I see a breakthrough, or epiphany, if you will, is the way I manifest life-changing connections with others. Through this creative path, I have found, met and fallen in love with a few fantastic friends. The first time that happened within the first months of me being in front of the lens consistently, was in San Diego with the man known as Yoga Bear Studios. It was not only my first more-than-one-day photographic extravaganza, and more mainstream session, but I now consider him a wonderful friend.

53dbdefac3151Kyle:  That is great that you have made some lifelong friends and consider those relationships breakthroughs instead of necessarily being on the cover of a magazine as a breakthrough.  Have you had a favorite shoot?

SILV:  Coño…there have been many wonderful sessions which are favorites. At the moment, anything with Drew’s Pride or Humon Photography. Andrew Graham is one of those magical beings who come along and shake you to the core. He is love, kindness, creativity and passion all in one tall, bearded package. By now, we have such a natural flow which makes the sessions effortless. Peter, Humon, like Andrew, has such a precise eye for detail. Our work together goes from athletic to erotic; somber to silly.

However, I will say the first session with Yoga Bear was pretty stellar. I remember seeing this image of me in jeans, a tank top, and a cap hanging from this train and thinking ‘holy vegan cupcakes, Batman, I feel like a Colt model!’. I do not know exactly why that was a fun thing to feel, but it was. I guess my twelve year-old self was thinking of sneaking Steve Kelso photographs through my dial-up connection and basking in his confident, nude glory.

Kyle:  What a great feeling!  I can imagine the joy, excitement, and feelings you get when you are on set or see some of these finished results.  What has been challenging about some of your shoots?

SILV:  The concept of challenging myself is always present. Physically and creatively challenging myself is part of the charm of it all. However, I find it challenging when I rely on others to convey something that I am doing usually alone with the photographer. My first time posing with another model was very much about learning how to convey an emotion considering yet another person. Not to mention any outdoor session where there are spectators. I have yet to figure whether I am a true exhibitionist. I am leaning toward no.

Kyle:  Spectators can definitely be a little nerve wracking for photo shoots.  Probably taking up some of your focus.  I love this part; how about the most embarrassing photo shoot situation as a model and as a photographer?550c53129b106

SILV:  As a photographer, I have a few interesting stories. There was an instance with a vegetable in some one’s anus. That is the end of that story. But mostly, I found amusing the amount of men I photographed who felt they had to ejaculate at the end of the session because they could not handle it. One of the first men who did that said to me ‘could you give me a few minutes?’ and proceeded to guide me outside of my own space.

As a model, the only time I am timid is when I am holding a pose in a forest, lake or beach and there are one or two men lurking from a distance staring. As I said above, I do not appear to be interested in that energy at the moment.

Kyle:  Those are definitely some crazy moments.  You definitely see everything as a photographer and model.  What goes through your mind right before you have to do these revealing shoots?

SILV:  It often does feel like the first time. Especially when not having worked with a photographer before. In a way, it is like making love with someone. I am nude, they see all of me, and eventually I begin revealing my emotional side through poses and concepts. Knowing this, I simply hope that the photographer reveals herself or himself to me so that there is an amount of reciprocity.

Kyle:  I like that.  That is a good comparison.  You have been photographed in underwear and we are an underwear blog so we want to know what you like.  Looking at your underwear drawer, what is it made up of? % boxer briefs, % briefs, % jocks, % thongs.

SILV:  My underwear drawer is shrinking due to my nudist lifestyle. When looking into it, there are probably 45% trunks, 35% jockstraps, 7% briefs, 7% boxer-briefs, 3% thongs, and 3% bikinis.

Kyle:  Good variety thought.  And the craziest pair of underwear you have ever worn?

SILV:  The craziest thing I have worn was this spider-looking thong-brief hybrid design which had three separate pieces on each side. It was not comfortable, and to be honest, not too appealing.

jh_14prtlndKyle:  I guess that isn’t one you wear often then!  Being in these nude shoots, what kind of diet and exercise do you do to prepare for shoots?

SILV:  None. Thus far, when I have collaborated with a photographer, we have discussed ideas, intentions and then make it happen. My appearance is part of the charm. So I do not attempt to look a certain way for a session.

Kyle:  You have a great look so I think that is part of your brand.  So I guess since there is no special diet you don’t have a favorite cheat meal or do you?

SILV:  Everything I eat I enjoy. I am very into Ethiopian cuisine at the moment. I find really good places where to reside and visit, and they usually have a great sense of eating. Portland, Oregon has been my main base in the past year and I enjoy eating there; tremendously.

pic-5819Kyle:  You are quite an adventurous man, not only in your style but also your cuisine!  Are there any brands or photographers you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?

SILV:  I am open to working with underwear and clothing companies which are diverse and inclusive. Animal-aware and eco-friendly brands would take top priority. You have no idea how many times I have been told that I am not an underwear model due to my shape and amount of body hair.

There are many photographers out there breaking the mold and doing it beautifully. As long as someone is willing to be creative, and seeing photography as a means to make art whilst connecting to one another, I am interested in discussing working with them.

Kyle:  It’s great to see someone embrace the “real man.”  We love seeing that here at UNB and see you as a great underwear model and photographer.  What is something that your fans don’t know about you outside of this art that you want them to know?

SILV:  This is a humorous question to me. If there are individuals out there who are enjoying my photography work: thank you. A lot of individuals may see one frolicking naked in an image and forget that we are more than the purpose of objectifying each other.

I have always enjoyed cultivating my sense of intellect. I began writing and drawing when I was very young and still consider those two to be the base of all the things I do.

Doing nude photography has actually been a tool for me to be able to showcase that outside of being an intellectual, I am also still living and breathing inside my human shell. So, you could say that the sentiment goes both ways.

Kyle:  It is refreshing to see someone embrace different so well and represent a whole genre that is needed.  What is the best advice anyone gave you when you started your career?

SILV:  Seek within to find your strengths and charm. We all have something. Photography is a great tool with whichDSC_0014 to find what is special in a person, other animal or thing, and document it.

Kyle:  You have done some work behind the camera too? Tell me about how that part of your career started.

SILV:  When I began working on Toy Soldier, I wanted to collaborate with a photographer. I had compiled poetry for a few years and was ready to add a visual to my usual process. Eventually, I found myself photographing friends as I composed photography based on drawings and doodles in my notebook.

Kyle:  You embrace and showcase art is so many different ways its beautiful.  Do you have a preference on whether you are in front or behind the camera? What are the best parts and worst parts of both sides?

SILV:  When behind the lens I do not have to compromise my idea or intention. I love a lot of my self-portraits because it was only me and my ideas. However, when I am in front of the lens I have this capacity to be in a moment with someone and, like making love, it is magical.

Kyle:  Your attitude towards all of this is so positive and refreshing.  Finally, what are your goals for your career?

SILV:  Through the process I find that it interests me to showcase my body as a way to inspire others to do it. Perhaps just for the sake of it. But most importantly so that we can all keep exploring and celebrating our differences. My goal is to keep being part of interesting projects which allow me to grow, and hopefully do the same for others.

Check out more of SILV below.

SILV Twitter / Facebook / Toy SoldierTumblr

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UNB Photographer Profile featuring Paul Smollen Photography


Sydney based photographer Paul Smollen took the time to talk with UNB in regards to his diverse portfolio, his love for the arts, and how he really takes time and effort into his models and labels to produce the perfect campaign.

UNB Kyle:  Thanks for talking to us today and showing us quite an impressive collection of underwear and swimwear shots.  From the beginning, what was your first photo shoot?

Paul:  I had been photographing landscapes and florals for a long time and showing my work in galleries, while doing this I was always pestered by my friends to take their images and always resisted. Until one day I agreed to a close IMG_1314friend but only if I could put him in a full suit in a bath tub, the whole shoot was a disaster but it changed my interest to photographing people.

Kyle:  It looks like the pestering finally paid off though.  Sure I can see how your first personal shoot could be a disaster but look what it helped turn you into.  What made you want to pursue photography?

Paul:  I had studied it at school and was allowed to take one humanities subject from the sciences subject I studied so I choose art and major in photography during high school. I found I was better with a camera then I was at drawing and pottery. But I realized very early on that the camera captures a moment that you can then look at and study that moment for the rest of your life.  Our eyes see things fleetingly and they are gone, moments can never be recreated.

Kyle:  That is a powerful and true comment.  If those moments are captured on camera, they can stay with you a lifetime in reflection whenever you see them.  Do you have a breakthrough moment in your career?

IMG_0513Paul:  I don’t know whether I have had my big break through moment.  I have been lucky and been featured on several covers and well supported by several labels such as Marcuse and online versions of magazine like DNA and Beautiful. However I think I am still waiting for my Annie Leibovitz/John Lennon moment.

Kyle:  Well, when that moment comes, we will definitely feature it!  Which shoot has been your favorite?

Paul:  This is like asking which of your children are your favorites!  This is tough as I would hate to offend any model I have ever worked with. I love all my shoots from the challenging headbutting ones (which are not many) to the ones that the model and myself have been so in sync they are effortless. I love working with so many different people as everyone brings something different to the shoot. They are incredibly personal things photo shoots and to be so intimately connected to a model or subject for a short period of time leaves a lasting impression on me. I learn so much on each shoot that they have helped me grow and develop.

Kyle:  Haha yes that is like choosing your favorite child!  Maybe I should reword that for the future.  But I like your answer.  Each is special and unique in its own way and leaves something for you.  Connection is key I am sure to a great shoot.  How about a challenging shoot for one reason or another?

Singapore FavouritePaul:  I am very lucky that I have a reputation for being an easy going relaxed photographer (well I hope I do lol) so the challenging shoots have been physical ones. The ones that stands out the most to date was on a little remote jungle island off Singapore and one of my favorite places to photograph.  The models were just being eaten alive by mosquitoes every place we went. The bug spray would last only seconds become the swarm would be back and I kept thinking “tropical strength bug spray my arse.” The boys had to endure a lot of bug spray and bites but the images turned out as some of my best. I was just so worried the models would get Dengue Fever or Malaria, especially after one of the boys got bit through the swimwear on a very personal part of the body we didn’t spray. Also one of the models fell over only two days before the shoot and got a concussion and was in the hospital.  He discharged himself out of hospital early just to do that shoot.

Kyle:  That is dedication on his part!  Wow what a day of shooting that must have been.  I am sure everyone was exhausted just from the external environment.  Any embarrassing or funny photo shoot moments to share?

Paul:  I was doing a shoot in the center of Sydney outside our cathedral in a fountain when a tour bus of Japanese tourists pulled up and everyone got out and started taking pics of us.  I am thinking having a model fully clothed under a fountain waterfall is something you don’t see every day.IMG_3232

Kyle:  Thank goodness he was clothed and not in underwear or less!  Imagine that response!  What are some tips you give models in order to be comfortable in front of the camera whether as a new model or for more intimate/revealing shoots?

Paul:  A level of trust and rapport needs to be established between a model and photographer so that these images can be produced and in a way that they become art and not porn. I always  suggest meeting the model on several occasions and building up to the more imitate shoot rather than do them straight off. I always try and show the model a mock up of what I am aiming for as it is sometimes difficult for the photographer to display or explain a concept. That’s where the level of trust comes into it, the model must trust where the photographer will go. Getting any model comfortable I never ask them to pose, I have conversations with models as I photograph and I photograph while talking to them. I ask models to think of events in their lives and we talk about them; that way they are really showing that emotion rather than acting it.

Kyle:  That sounds like a great approach to your shoots.  I really like that.  All of the work you do beforehand as well as the conversations during the shoot is incredible.  I can see why models trust you and you produce such great work.  Are there any brands or models you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?

Paul:  There are so many labels and models I would love to work with but on the underwear and swimwear side I would love to work with Andrew Christian, he does follow me but still, Andrew if you are reading this….please please please lol. Model wise I would love to work with British model Stuart Reardon and also Australian model Kayne Lawton, both former rugby players who have amazing looks.

Kyle:  How do you prepare creatively and determine your environment for the shoot? Is it determined by you, the brand, or a collaboration.

Paul:  I am very lucky in that the labels I have worked with so far give me complete artistic license to create a look. IIMG_0123 do collaborate closely with them at the beginning to get an understanding of the direction the label is headed in and what they want to project. I work hard in pre-production in choosing the right model and location to the label and making sure they either compliment or juxtapose the label. Complimenting a model, location and label is the most difficult to make it look seamless and effortless so it all blends into one image. Juxtaposing is more fun though in choosing something completely opposite so that the viewer focuses on the image because it is so distinctly different and unexpected.

Kyle:  Just like with making the models comfortable, you do so much pre-production work for the labels it is very appealing.  What are your interests away from the camera?

Paul:  I love looking at all forms of art to get inspiration so I go to galleries a lot and view virtual galleries from the major museums. I am a tragic horror fan and really bad horror movie fan in fact the cheaper the better, I love how bad Sharknado 1 & 2 are.  I love traveling and not only to new countries and cites but exploring new parts of Sydney and finding places where I can shoot.

Kyle:  I guess those cheap horror movies haven’t made it into your inspiration for shoots yet!  Any tips for people wanting to get into photography?

IMG_1668Paul:  Follow your heart and if it’s what you want to do then do it, but realize it’s a really tough profession and industry to crack. But just keep promoting your work and yourself, use social media to your advantage and push for jobs, don’t sit back thinking people will find you.

Kyle:  Definitely need a hard exterior and “go get them” attitude.  Social media does allow so many opportunities to promote work where others didn’t have that before.  Finally, what are some of the things that you feel set you apart from other photographers in the market?

Paul:  I think it’s because I’m very cheap to use lol, but I am known for a more relaxed style and using different angles. I like referencing others work but build upon it to create my own. A lot of people recognize my work as they say it has a distinct style and light. I think coming from different background of photography and doing a lot of art work first has helped me look at things differently and not take the same approach many other photographers use.

Check out more of Paul Smollen Photography below:

Paul Smollen Website / Facebook / InstagramTwitter

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UNB Photographer Profile featuring Marco Ovando Studio


New York City based photographer Marco Ovando gave us the opportunity to chat with him about his attraction to photography, inspirations he pulls from, and Carmen Electra!

UNB Kyle:  I recognize several pictures from your portfolio.  Your images are quite popular on social media.  Tell me, what was your first photo shoot and how did you come to get it?

Marco:  I was 18yrs old at the time and went to the beach with a childhood friend and took some pics of her, without 80even knowing how to properly use a camera, but we got some amazing shots for her portfolio.

Kyle:  An innocent day at the beach with a friend bloomed into quite a career for you.  Such a humble beginning.  Did you know you always wanted to pursue photography?

Marco:  After the first shoot I did, I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Kyle:  So it just clicked for you?  That’s great.  A true match of personality and skill that you probably felt naturally drawn to.  Which shoot do you consider your breakthrough in your career?

Marco:  I would definitely have to say that working with Carmen Electra was my breakthrough moment.  

Kyle:  She is a firecracker!  So vibrant and I can only imagine shooting with her was quite exciting and continued to make you fall in love with photography.  Was that your favorite shoot as well or do you have one that stands out?

Marco:  There are so many to even choose one, but working with Carmen Electra, she has been a big crush for me since I could remember.  

10153625_807862602585863_1733475434588792146_nKyle:  Shooting a lifelong crush must be on a whole different level than anything else you do.  No matter what happens, it will always hold a special place in your heart and head.  How have some challenging shoots been for you?

Marco:  They all have some kind of challenge, but that’s part of the fun too.  You don’t want everything to be easy.  

Kyle:  This is very true.  Challenging can make for quite an exciting rush on set.  Any embarrassing or funny photo shoot moments to share?

Marco:  When I just moved to the U.S, I asked a makeup artist to fix a minor detail on the foreSkin model.  I meant foreHEAD and the model’s mom almost killed me.  She was only 16yrs old.  It was the language problems.88

Kyle:  Haha! Oops!  Yes that was probably embarrassing but laughable now.  Are there any brands or models you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?

Marco:  Definitely the one that pays the big bucks 🙂 but really I wanna do the Calvin Klein underwear campaigns.

Kyle:  Calvin Klein does seem to have some iconic campaigns.  Very well known in the industry.  When it comes to these shoots that you have been hired for, how do you prepare creatively and determine your environment for the shoot? Is it determined by you, the brand, or a collaboration?

Marco:  Usually I find that going thru all my art books and my Tumblr help with all my inspiration references. Make sure to check out

Kyle:  I love how artists draw all of these inspirations from each other and then combine them into a new personal vision.  What are some tips you give models in order to be comfortable in front of the camera whether as a new model or for more intimate/revealing shoots?

Marco:  To relax and have fun with it and not to be too conscious about the camera.  I try to create an atmosphere that keeps them at ease so the nerves won’t get to them.  

Kyle:  I am sure that is appreciated very much by the model.  I know you fell in love with photography on your first go around.  Do you have any tips for people wanting to get into photography?

Marco:  Follow your dream and don’t give up that easy!

Kyle:  That is good advice.  A lot of times people are ready to give up at the first negative kickback.  Tell us more about what you are like outside the Marco Ovando we know.  What are your interests away from the camera?

10428534_857687100936746_581038814279911654_nMarco:  I’m a huge architecture freak, especially Mid Century Style.  I love traveling and visiting new and exciting places.  It is also important to me to spend time with my friends.  

Kyle:  Photography probably takes you all over the world and I can imagine the different inspirations you can find out there while you are traveling.  Finally, what are some of the things that you feel set you apart from other photographers in the market?

Marco:  I think my portfolio showcases who I am as a photographer in this industry.  

Check out more from Marco Ovando Studio below:

Marco Ovando Official Site / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

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UNB Photographer Profile featuring Max Woltman


One of the models I profiled reached out to a photographer he worked with and suggested jumping on the profile bandwagon and I am so glad he did!  Max Woltman shows us a unique side to photography with his out of the box thinking and vision.  He also shares information on his photo book, Funderwear, which we will be featuring next week!

UNBKyle:  Max, thanks for contacting us after working with Austin Tacious.  How did you get started in the photography business?

Max:  I don’t remember my first photo shoot, but I do recall taking my first camera with me everywhere I went, including the dentist office where I took macro shots of my mother’s teeth. I guess I’ve always had a fascination for the bizarre. Even though I mostly photograph people, I still like to take abstract images of objects, flowers, and MaxWoltman_Funderwear05textures. And I still like taking photos of teeth, but more often in the context of a smile.

Kyle:  I’m sure your mother loved that!  I see your unique and out of the box ways started very young.  What made you want to pursue photography?

Max:  While working as an archival assistant at the Center for Creative Photography in the late 90’s, I became serious about wanting to pursue photography. One of the benefits of the job was getting to see rare photographic negatives, personal correspondence, and limited edition books and manuscripts by artists such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. This prompted me to purchase my first camera. The rest is history.

Kyle:  Sounds like a very inspiring job, especially since it helped pave the way for who you are today.  Do you feel that you have had that breakthrough moment yet?

Max:  I distinctly recall being contacted by a handsome man named Jonathan who was impressed with my portfolio and asked if I would take portraits of him. At the time I had no idea that my underwear photo shoot with him would motivate me to photograph hundreds of other men, young and old, skinny and plump, all beautiful and brave. Not only did this photo shoot give me the confidence to know that I have the eye to take sexy portraits. I also discovered how much I enjoy using the camera as a tool to get to know people on an intimate, personal level. I am honored that people invite and trust me to see them at their most vulnerable.

Kyle:  You do have that eye for taking sexy pictures of men of all types which I love.  We always talk about models stepping out of their comfort zone in these revealing shoots but it is also the photographer who has to be able to have confidence in his ability as well.  Any shoots to date that have been your personal favorite?

Max:  I can’t name just one favorite shoot. That being said, my most successful photo shoots are those in which the MaxWoltman_Funderwear03model/subject approaches the experience with spontaneity and creativity. Working with dancers is fun because they possess mental and physical discipline, know how to improvise, and are eloquent with their bodies. I recently had the pleasure of getting to photograph Seattle dancer and boylesque performer Paris Original. I’m in awe of his flexibility!

Kyle:  That is true.  Dancer do posses a great control and ability with their bodies that I’m sure a photographer can’t wait to utilize.  How about challenging photo shoots?

Max:  Any shoot that involves water tends to be challenging. Whether it is a shower or pool, water has its own fickle personality. Trying to spray water on a model without it irritating his eyes or messing up his hair can be difficult.

Kyle:  Haha I am sure that can be difficult.  Water has a mind of its own sometimes.  I can imagine the models hate multiple takes with that, as you do as well probably.  Any embarrassing or funny photo shoot moments to share?

Max:  I remember photographing a nude model near Abiquiu, New Mexico last year. The area was fairly secluded, but some hikers stumbled upon us. I think they were more embarrassed than we were.

Kyle:  Sounds like they received more of a scenic view than they planned on that hike!  Are there any brands or models you would like to work with that you have not worked with yet?

Max:  I have a long list of accomplished models I would be privileged to photograph. Some of them include Marlon Teixeira, Henrik Fallenius, Jesus Luz, and Brian Shimansky. However, I’m also drawn to the raw energy of athletes and dancers with little or no modeling experience. They often possess a fresh vitality and are open to trying new things. When it comes to underwear brands, I’ve always been a fan of Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss, but I also like the risks that companies like Andrew Christian and Rufskin take, especially when it comes to marketing to a more openly gay clientele.


Kyle:  I think you have a good mix there that shows how versatile you can be in your portfolio and vision.  How do you prepare creatively and determine your environment for the shoot? Is it determined by you, the brand, or a collaboration?

Max:  Most of the time I choose the environments for my photo shoots. Living in New Mexico, I have access to wide open spaces that serve as ideal backdrops for my models.

Kyle:  Beautiful landscapes I can only imagine!  What a place to utilize.  What are some tips you give models in MaxWoltman_Funderwear07order to be comfortable in front of the camera whether as a new model or for more intimate/revealing shoots?

Max:  I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement. In addition to being a photographer, I also act as a coach, therapist, and confidant. It is important to me to make the model feel safe, encourage him to take risks, and provide him with a nonjudgmental environment in which he can experiment with posing, feel free to move, and be emotionally expressive. I like to make my subjects laugh, smile, and feel comfortable. If I can make a fool of myself, I in turn give the model permission to be himself and not feel pressured to be perfect or try too hard to impress me.

Kyle:  Great mentality!  There is so much vulnerability put out there by these models that it is nice to see a photographer who can take that and ease the nerves and encourage the experience.  What are your interests away from the camera?

Max:  In addition to photography, I enjoy singing, acting, eating, and sleeping. Dreams are often the inspiration for much of my work.

Kyle:  Well, sounds like your dreams in photography and art are happening.  With your experience and knowledge, do you have any tips for people wanting to get into photography?

Max:  Taking photos is a great way to discover what inspires you and to have a tangible record of your observations. With any art form, it is helpful to acknowledge your history and what you already know. Never take for granted your own unique life experiences and beliefs and how they influence your self-expression. Beauty is all around us and it is our responsibility as artists to recognize this. Often, what we think is mundane or uninteresting to us because we see it everyday is exactly what appeals to someone else. We all have a story. I admire Ruven Afanador for infusing his Columbian ancestry into much of his fashion and portrait work.

Kyle:  Inspiration and a personal touch sound key to what you believe.  I am sure it can be difficult in an industry where you feel that you need to shoot what other’s want you to shoot and lose yourself.  What are some of the things that you feel set you apart from other photographers in the market?MaxWoltman_Funderwear11

Max:  I tend to think outside the box. What I find sexy is not always what we’re told is attractive by the media. For example, I am not afraid to feminize men, to have my models smile, and to sexualize obesity. Though not always commercially advantageous, it is imperative to glamorize different types of people. As we become more accepting of the transgender community, for instance, our representations of masculinity and femininity will continue to expand and we will see more variety in the modeling world. As a photographic artist, I have a greater responsibility not just to serve the commercial needs of our capitalistic marketplace. I hope that my work will impact society in a deeper way, broaden our sometimes limited notions of what beauty looks like, challenge us to be kinder to each other, and look at people beyond the surface.

Kyle:  We definitely see this outside of the box thinking in your photos.  It is nice to see a photographer who can display something we are not seeing too much of and really stand out.  You have a new book out called Funderwear. Tell us about the book. What inspired you to put this together?

Max:  In an effort to make people smile and laugh, I decided to create a book that makes it okay to like ourselves. I know it might sound silly, but not a single person I photograph doesn’t express some sort of insecurity. We tend to be most critical of ourselves and feel like we aren’t good enough or measure up to an unattainable ideal. And that makes me sad. Our lives are too short not to glorify how extraordinary we are. Funderwear is more than just a collection of men in their underwear. It is a celebration of freedom and sexuality. These brave men share their near nakedness. By being vulnerable, they in turn realize their own strength and confidence to proclaim their bodies. Funderwear encourages us to embrace our inner child’s sense of play and look at masculinity from a not-so-serious side.

Funderwear is available here.  Check back next week for more information on this great book!

Check out more of Max Woltman’s portfolio below.

Max Woltman Facebook

Max Woltman Website

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