Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blogging Photography | TUSH Interviews Homotography

 

The new issue 1/2010 (aka, no. 19) of TUSH magazine features an interview with Homotography. I am a big fan of this German magazine and its continuous push for creative and cutting-edge photography, so I feel very honored and happy to have Homotography’s first ever interview in it. The interview was conducted by Claudia Seidel and appears in the magazine in German (see preview). Here is the English version.

 

 

We take blogging so much for granted – there’s a blog for anything and everything. Not all is good out there, but one blog really stands out from the rest: Homotography has been around for some time, with a constant stream of output true to its clearly defined topic – contemporary homoerotic photography in the fields of fashion, advertising and art. We asked the author for an interview. However, for reasons that will become clear in the article, we won’t be revealing his name.

 

 

TUSH: Why did you start with Homotography? Any personal or professional reasons?

 

Homotography is a personal adventure for me. I’d been thinking for a while about having a blog where I could bring together all my finds of photography with a homoerotic sensibility. Finally, a year ago, I decided the time was right. I didn’t have any particular expectations; I simply wanted to share photography that I found inspiring. From the name of the blog to the layout and content, Homotography is out and proud, and unabashed about celebrating photography with homosexual connotations. It has been a great ride since then. I am not a professional in the world of fashion or photography, but who knows, maybe Homotography will open a door on to something I feel passionate about as a career.

 

 

 

TUSH: When did you publish Your first post?

 

I published my first post on November 23, 2008, but I feel the blog’s identity only started to take shape at the beginning of 2009.

 

 

 

TUSH: Can you give us an idea of what’s involved, day by day, in collecting such a variety of contributions? Do photographers send images out of the blue or do you have to ask for images or editorials yourself?

 

It’s a combination of both, actually. As Homotography became more popular, photographers, magazine publishers and stylists started sending material to me to have their work featured. Also, when I come across an image or a photo shoot that intrigues me, I contact the artist and ask if they’d like to be featured in Homotography. I’m also very curious, and search engines are a blogger’s best friend. I often come across a reference to a photographer while reading an article, Google them to see their work, and end up discovering fantastic material in their portfolio.

 

 

 

TUSH: What criteria do you have for choosing whether to publish photos on your blog or not?

 

My main criterion is to ‘feel’ the images in order to feature the editorial or ad campaign. It is hard to define a formula for this; I just have to connect with the image. I feature both acclaimed photographers and new ones who have never been published. It’s all about the image for me. From a technical point of view, I aim for quality images and avoid poorly scanned ones or any that have logos or watermarks on them. I sometimes wait for months in order to get quality, clean images, before I feature a shoot. I think providing visually-attractive ‘eye candy’ is very important for a photography blog, and the readers appreciate the quality they get. Also, I believe that an important element in the success of any blog is applying a quality filter and avoiding ‘filler’ material.

 

 

TUSH: Do you receive a lot of comments, and if so, what issues or subjects are they mostly about?

 

Readers often don’t comment on the blog itself, but instead there’s a lot of interaction and feedback on the Homotography Facebook and Twitter pages. The comments are mostly feedback about specific editorials and posts, the photographer, the model, and the art direction. I have also gotten a few emails from readers and photographers explaining how Homotography helped inspire them and their future work and style of photography, which is the biggest compliment I could hope for.

 

 

TUSH: Since the blog started, have there been any changes in terms of your personal aesthetic preferences, your views on sexuality and the way it is presented, and the sort of comments you receive?

 

Oh yes, definitely. Having been exposed to more photographers, magazines and artists, I have widened my scope, and learned a huge amount. As for sexuality, I have sadly discovered throughout the past year that even though the fashion and photography world are well-known for being open-minded when it comes to sexuality, there is still a lot of homophobia in this business. I’ve had quite a few instances where photographers have asked me to remove images of a model or actor because they, or their agent, did not think it was good for their ‘image’ or career to be featured in such a blog. I took down one post, for example, when the featured model verbally threatened to attack a photographer with a knife because the photographer had shared the images with Homotography. The sad thing is that both the model and photographer are American, so I am not talking about an oppressed society like Iran or Saudi Arabia.

 

 

TUSH: Where do you live currently? And how do you get on with your homosexual identity, religious faith as well as your blogger identity there? Have you had, or might you have any difficulties, problems or even attacks?

 

I am currently living in Malaysia, but I am originally from Syria. Being an Arab and Muslim, my sexual identity and religious background are a constant source of conflict in my life in general. As far as my blogger identity is concerned, I have mostly kept it anonymous. It doesn’t affect the blog because readers come to Homotography to appreciate the images and art. The race or religion of the blogger does not (and indeed should not) affect their experience or view. On the other hand, keeping my blogging a secret is a difficulty that affects me in my personal life. Being passionate about the blog and the photography, it is hard, and emotionally painful sometimes, to hide that part in my social life. That is the main difficulty, not being able to do the blogging when I have friends or family around me, and not being able to share the excitement of having an interview with TUSH magazine with them.

 

 

Big thanks to Claudia Seidel and Armin Morbach at TUSH magazine for the interview. Also, a shout out to Predrag Pajdic for posting the interview in his fantastic blog, The Pandorian.

15 comments:

poets and explosions said...

I just want to say that reading your blog has made me even more interested in fashion photography than I was before. I'm only a fledgling photographer (still in undergraduate school for it) but seeing all these images, they really inspire me! I love seeing all the different models and all this creativity in one place. it's pretty amazing :) so, THANK YOU.

Richard said...

beautiful....congratulations. quite different than paul on the road to damascus, as i'm still not convinced of his epiphany or convictions.

peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

Cool interview! Keep up the great work!

Ranno R said...

Wow, congratulations on the interview! I am sure it feels great to be mentioned by a magazine You respect.

Why don't You accept photos with logos/watermarks? It is very nice of You to provide names of photographer and model so they get the credit, but most common behavior is that a likable photo is taken from a website and republished without any credits. I have experienced myself that the unmarked photos I have shared in good faith have been published in a paper publication with a name of another photographer! I have never shared any unmarked since such disrespect.

I do understand that too dominant watermarks may ruin the visual experience, but they can also be small and transparent.

As of the concerns and fears of being published in HOMOtography.. As ridiculous it is to assume that HOMO would automatically extend to the models published here, it is honorable to respect wishes of the models.

Malaysia? ..would have never thought.

Was nice to find out more about the guy behind the blog. Keep up the good work!

Manech said...

I just need to say I love the man behind the statue. The expression on his face, the drip on his body. Wow.

Great, great picture.

Rider Overland said...

Yes, You are an inspiring Blogger. It takes passion to keep up the good work so consistently as you do. I placed Your blog at the top of my list of Bookmarks because the quality of posts is so commendable.

As far as watermarks. I respect photographer's works and I agree that they should be noted modestly.

Thats another thing I like about your blog. You don't try to take ownership of the photos by placing your logo all over them. So glad you are not like the guys over at
Oh La La, .... It not only seems disrespectful to the photographer, but it diminishes the experience of viewing the work itself.

As for the shame of the American Model who wanted his image removed from your site. That is really sad. It is indicative of the warped viewpoint this country has regarding male beauty.

Pablo said...

i just wanna say im obsessive! haha i just love ur blog! And im glad to know people all around the world like ur job just like me and my friends! im from brazil and i come to see ur posts almost everyday! Thanks for ur amazing job!!!

S said...

Congratulations on the TUSH interview!
Firstly I’m new to the blog but I definitely like what I see… JUST a big thank YOU for doing what you do… I’m a person who believes in everyday rituals and I’ve eased, viewing your blog, into mine!
It’s inspiring, arousing and brilliant!

I was actually surprised about the homophobia bit in the fashion industry… I mean they would have to be closeted homophobes because you can’t swing a cat without hitting a gay person in the world of fashion… right!? JUST crazy!

I live in Dubai and there’s a lot of homophobia going around but just when you think there’s no respite… BOOM… you find amazing people to share your life with!
I’m not sure if this helps but… YOU factor into our [like the readers] life’s just by sharing your passion! We are excited for YOU!

A fan,

S

vic said...

Congratulations on your interview with TUSH! I've been reading Homotography for more than a year now but this is the first time posting a comment here. Never knew that you live in Malaysia! Quite a surprise as I'm Malaysian! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Your story is really a powerful and strong one. You are a brave man and the fact that you have to struggle with your real-world identity just makes work even fiercer.

And congratulations on the blog. It is truly inspiring and a wonderful celebration of male beauty.

hiQLub said...

oh my very gosh...
it's completely a very familiar story with mine. eh..? i do really want to have a blog about photography with a homoerotic sensibility.
malaysia.. ? i live in a quite near country. living in such homophobia country like a s*** thing. we cant show our excitement n interests bout queer wit ppl around us.

just keep on good work. this blog is stunning...

Men Implied said...

I wish I saw this sooner! Thanks for sharing this dear and keep up the great work.

Men Implied said...

I wish I saw this sooner! Thanks for sharing this dear and keep up the great work.

FAISAL said...

Being a Pakistani and Muslim myself, I feel extremely proud of your blog. Have been doing photography and creative direction for my magazine for several years and totally adore your blog....it sure has given me vision that I would surely love to explore ahead. God bless ya!

FAISAL said...

Being Muslim myself and associated with Fashion Photography in Pakistan, I feel extremely proud of your blog and commend your efforts to bring about such a creative amalgamation of your blog!