By Albert Smith
Originally published on Advocate.com March 27 2010 1:00 AM ET
Photographer: Glen Mitchell
Why are you a photographer?
I’m an artist by nature; I didn’t choose to be, it’s just the way I am. Photography just fits. I’ve tried to adapt to the evolution of the digital age, but again, I’m more comfortable with black-and-white, medium-format film photography. My father was an avid amateur photographer, and he loved old movies and pinup girls, and family snapshots. I think a lot of that rubbed off on me. When I was living in New York, I studied ballet, drawing, fashion, and eventually photography. I also was a model in New York; so again, I was around the fashion and photography industry. I guess it has evolved in this way.
What catches your eye?
I love the unusual. Of course beautiful men catch my eye. Sometimes it’s not visual but rather a vibe. I try to stay true to myself rather than photographing the typical ideal of the beautiful male.
How do you choose your subjects?
Often the subjects choose me, either by initiative or circumstance.
How do you describe your work?
I think my photographs are intensely personal. It can sometimes be nude or erotic; sometimes a simple portrait. Usually the subject is looking at me. I like to capture the connection. I think the connection is what makes the result unique.
What makes a good photograph to you?
One man’s trash is another’s treasure. I treasure the images I take, and the experience of creating them.
Who are your favorite artists? And why?
I love photography, and so I also love photographers. So many favorites but a few would be:
Bruce Weber, the mix of homoerotic, fashion, and nostalgia.
Robert Mapplethorpe, the era of sexual freedom and fetish.
Sally Mann, the intimate early works of her children.
Jock Sturges, innocence and beauty of nudism and naturalism.