Spotlight: Joseph Smileuske Photography


This month, Paragon Men is pleased to feature New York photographer Joseph Smileuske, whose artistic erotic images of nude men have been long-time favorites among our staff. We met with Joseph at his Chelsea studio, where he charmed us with the remarkable humility that accompanies his extraordinary talent.

What are your thoughts on shooting in a studio vs. shooting outside a studio setting?

For me, I would have to say that shooting outdoors is less stressful, and I say this only because I haven't been shooting that long and I'm still learning how to use studio lights.
I'm always looking to try different ideas with studio lighting, if I see an image and it inspires me I will give myself a challenge and try something similar.

How did your career start and develop? How were you trained? How long have you been a photographer?

I started in photography first by retouching pictures, I enjoyed doing it so much that I thought I'd like to take my own pictures to play with. So, three years ago I bought a camera and lighting equipment and took courses on how to use them. I've also found the Internet to have some helpful information if I need help trying to figure out how lighting/retouching is done.

What drew you to photographing artistic nude images of men?

For the longest time I've been a big fan of Jim French's work for "Colt". He photographed the most beautiful built men in such a classy elegant style. He made his models "Larger then life" and he drew me to photos of nude men as a form of creative expression.

Color vs. black & white for physique photography: Where do you stand?

I love vibrant colorful images. The ringflash is one of my favorite lighting to use for this reason.

Do you use any image enhancement or retouching software?

I use Photo Shop to clean up skin, color correct, etc.

Which photographers or artists have most inspired you? Whose work has most impressed you recently? Which new photographers are you watching?

The images created by Jim French and Bruce Weber have always inspired me.

More recently, I'd have to say Rick Day, Justin Monroe and Mark Henderson are just a few that I can think of that do absolutely stunning work.

What do you look for in a model? Have any particular models been muses for your work?

Someone that works on their body, more fitness/physique type models as this is the kind of work I'd like to do one day. I wouldn't say he is a muse but I have worked with Gio on more then one occasion and we have come up with some very beautiful images.

Which male body type do you prefer: bodybuilder, fitness model, slender beauty, all of the above, or other?

Bodybuilders and fitness models.

What is the best way for models or fans to reach you?

Through my website and Facebook page.




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