Scott Hoover is a Los Angeles–based photographer specializing in male imagery. His approach is to create something beautiful out of the very simple. He usually shoots outdoors with available light. A native of Northern California, Scott moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Scott turned his hobby of photography into a full-time career; his work has been featured on several magazine covers, and he has published two photo books of his work.
The Advocate: Why are you a photographer?
Scott Hoover: I think I am naturally a voyeur, not in a kinky sense, but I love people-watching and finding something interesting and beautiful out of the very simple. I started shooting several years ago as a hobby and would photograph models and friends on the weekends or whenever I had some free time. It never seems like work, and I always enjoy doing it. I learn something new every time I do a photo shoot. I gave up my regular job to pursue photography full-time a few years ago and have loved every minute of it.
What catches your eye?
A great face is what gets my attention first and foremost. I am lucky to be able to photograph some really amazing models, but I would much rather shoot someone with an interesting face who had a normal body than someone with amazing abs who has no passion or soul in their eyes. Eye contact is key for me. As far as facial features that get my attention — lips and eyes.
How do you choose your subjects?
If I see someone I want to shoot, I ask them to model for me. I get requests from models and actors, so I always have a pretty big resource to pull from. The agencies here in Los Angeles send me models to test as well, and if I like them, I usually end up shooting them several times. Some models are great at pushing you or making you want to do more and more. Those types of models are my favorites to work with.
How do you describe your work?
My approach is very simple. I shoot what I think looks good, and I usually make it up as I go along. I am not trying to re-create the wheel, but I think I have a different take on the standard "male model with his shirt off" photo. I always try and find something that shows the subject off and makes them look sexy. I like the focus to be on the model's face and a feeling, as opposed to just a body part, though my work tends to show a lot of skin. I love black-and-white images, and when I am shooting I never think about color, but how it is going to look once I desaturate the image and add my "voodoo" to it. I would best describe my work as simple, sexy portraits. You can make a model look sexy without doing the obvious.
What makes a good photograph to you?
An image that makes me stop and do a double take. Great eye contact or a feeling that you get when you look at the image and you can connect on some level with what is going on. It can be arm placement or the way the light lies across the model's body or makes the eyes light up.
Who are your favorite artists? And why?
I have always been a huge fan of George Hurrell's work. His images were so amazing, and his use of light on the subject is magnificent. Hands down my all-time favorite and my biggest inspiration. Herb Ritts is also one of my favorites for the same reasons — simple and sexy!