Sunday, July 5, 2020

Hull Studio: Intimate Connections

'With work and being in a relationship, I had less time for new encounters and photography gave me a chance to connect. The camera becomes a social tool for me. It gives me an excuse to really look at someone straight on, not just glance at them like we do in our daily lives. In the age of swiping left and right, we have forgotten to take the time to actually look at each other.'

When introducing a new artist or model on the site, I often comment that it was one specific image that initially drew me their work. In the case of Hull Studio it was more of a feeling.  I was introduced to HS's through work through a FH viewer, and when I began exploring the NYC based photographer's Instagram and website, I was struck at the intensity of intimacy HS captured within his visuals.

I often throw around the adjective 'intimate'.  Sometimes, because the moment captured is incredibly quiet, most often, because the moment appears private, maybe one not originally meant to captured and shared.  Most moments of intimacy however, aren't always due to the moment in front of the camera.  Most, from my experience, are create through the lens of the observer.

The universe is full of private, even secret moments of erotica.  They only however become truly intimate however, through the connection with another.  HS's connection occurs through his camera. Careful never to disturb or interfere with a moment, the goal simply, to quietly observe. Through his use of light, proximity and pose, HS captures split seconds of honesty.  Privately raw moments of erotic vulnerability.

HSs role as a visual chronicler began when he was just a kid.  His father used to take the family photos, mostly portraits of HS and his brothers. Over time, his father initiated HS to the task, letting him use his  old Nikkormat and his Super8 Fuji cameras. Quickly, he became the official photographer/videographer of the family.

'I liked making memories. I had a special interest for "everyday scenes" that might seem boring at first, because I was anticipating how valuable they would become years later. I was filming all the time.'

HS ended up naturally going to film school, and today, works as a professional camera operator.  HS continued taking images of family and friends but over time, a growing interest in the male form as a focus began to arise.  In addition to the intimate connections,  HS also wanted to explore different subjects than the ones he usually saw in magazine, online or social media.  HS always had an attraction to the 'guy next door' type, and wanted to focus on regular guys, not just models with muscles or with the perfect physique.

Although he occasionally shoots outside, HS  likes to up the intimacy quota by shooting at his apartment, or the model's own place when he can.  When he can, HS also loves to photograph models who've not been photographed before.  Below HS shares a little about his process, and his experience with three models from a this selection of the artist's favorite images.


'I love it because they are so authentic, vulnerable and unaware of their beauty. My work is then to just look at them to reveal what they don't know about themselves. . My goal is to create a series of photos that would capture who the model really is as a human being, in his intimate environment without the need to act. How would it be if he was alone in his room, by himself? There may be some voyeuristic component to my style I guess.'

'I didn't know Alvaro when we first met to shoot one sunny afternoon. We decided to go to a nearby park in Brooklyn. He's a dancer and real artist, I am so impressed by his creativity in general and he really brought a lot to the photos. He was himself right away, couldn't wait to get naked in the woods and we effortlessly took photos while we wandered around. I love the photos and we became friends.'


'Raffael was the second model I photographed and he never posed before. He was visiting NYC on vacation. Though he kind of looks like a bad boy on that photo, he was actually such a gentle soul and I am grateful for his openness. We connected and I was touched by him.'


'Jeremy is an experienced model and he didn't want to be photographed completely nude. It was challenging for me to work around it but it forced me to look harder for other ways to capture him in an authentic way. I wasn't so happy at the end of the session and it's during the retouching that I realized we actually got really good shot. The retouching may be my favorite part, because it's at this moment that the photos are really revealed.'

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