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Photography

Best Photography of the Year: 2014

Best Photography of the Year: 2014

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Over 50 editors' picks from our this year's photographic portfolios.

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Working with the photographers and artists who contribute their work to Advocate.com has to be the best job here. The photographers are interesting, and it's great to talk shop with them. Plus the range of material we work with is great -- everything from sexy to heartbreaking. And this year we have been especially grateful to have more trans imagery than ever before.

Benjamin-fredrickson_0My Life as a Sex Worker
Benjamin Fredrickson
A photographer documented his years as a sex worker in the Midwest and New York City.
Above: Drew, 2008

Erwin-olaf-joy-1985_0Erwin Olaf
Olaf's work combines rigorous discipline with an eye for the spontaneous moment.
Above: Joy, 1985

Bare-and-banned_0Bare and Banned
Michael Stokes makes beautifully sexy photos. But his erotic and controversial images of Marine veteran amputees have both delighted and enraged fans.

Transcending-gender_0Transcending Gender Captures Trans Lives
The popular project returns with a new must-see collection of breathtaking images of artists, fighters, advocates, and athletes.


Ryanmcginley_youandi_0Ryan McGinley: You and I
The good news is that Ryan McGinley's You and I has been reprinted. That's it. There is no bad news.


Warwick-rowers_0Warwick Rowers 2015: Naked For You, Me, And Every LGBT
Our favorite naked athletes from across the pond are back!


Genderqueer-pig-pen_0Explore Genderqueer and Other Genders Beyond the Binary
Dave Naz shows off the gender spectrum in his contemplative new photo book, Gendequeer: And Other Gender Identities.
Above: Pig Pen

Jesus-days_0Jesus Days
Greg Reynolds's photos have a quiet tension. As if something is just about to happen. And then it did.

16th-century-super-heroes-17_0Super Flemish by Sacha Goldberger
Sacha Goldberger's mash-up of content, period, and Flemish master lighting reveals the sweet melancholy of superheroism.
Above: Ridder met helm en schild met de kleuren van de Verenigde Staten.
(Solider with helmet and shield in American colors.)

Benyaminreich_0Benyamin Reich
Benyamin Reich's photographs show the tension between sensuality and the strict formality of Orthodox Judaism.
Above: Untitled 23, 2007


Transcuba_0Explore TransCuba
As Cuba emerges from decades under the repressive regime of Fidel Castro, the island nation's embrace of diversity is powerfully captured in photographer Mariette Pathy Allen's new book, TransCuba.
Paloma with her boyfriend at Mi Cayito beach, near Havana.

Mathu-andersen_0Mathu Andersen: 'I Am the Wig Whisperer'
RuPaul's longtime creative collaborator and makeup artist discusses wigs, fame, and the art of Instagram in anticipation of his upcoming Los Angeles exhibition.

Men-over-50-2_0
Men Over 50

Charles Thomas Rogers has found ideal examples of men over 50 who not only look amazing, but exude experience and maturity.


Jean-pierre-laffont_0Jean-Pierre Laffont Saw Us
Jean-Pierre Laffont knew that our coming of age was something to record in his photography.
Above: San Francisco, California / August, 1982
Two men kissing, with their winning medals hanging from their necks at the First Annual Gay Olympic Games.

Men-of-the-outback_0Men of the Outback
Paul Freeman's series of photo books of extraordinarily beautiful men in the Australian Outback has a new edition: Dusk.


Jasongrim_0The Self Portraits of Jason Grim
The delightfully horrible self-portraits of Jason Grim each seem to tell a complete story, and that story is just perfect for this time of year.
Above: A Seer

Christophermakos_0Christopher Makos and the Convergence of Trash and Beauty
From the elegant sneer of Matt Dillon's upper lip to the raw sexuality of Kelly Klein's horse's neck, Christopher Makos captured everything.
Above: Matt Dillon, Waverly Place, NYC, 1980

Jeremykost_0Jeremy Kost's Fractured Perspective
The shards of images in Kost's new book create something both dreamlike and tangible.
Above: Brock Chapman

Pagepotterreynolds_0The Trans Artist Who Stars in a Time Capsule of NYC's Underground Art World
Page Potter Reynolds' provocative performances helped her become a cult figure in the downtown nightlife scene.


Paul-jasmin_0Paul Jasmin
The beauty of master photographer Paul Jasmin's work is the seeming effortlessness of his serene but sexy images.
Above: Josh, Los Angeles, 2003


Loveislove_1Love Is Love Continues Capturing Happy Couples
Seeing images of loving LGBT couples continues to move the needle of acceptance forward. Mitch Kitter and Shalem Mathew are normalizing same-sex love.
Above: Eric and Brian -- Las Vegas

Mark_harvey-sisters_0Historic, Histrionic Sisters
Greg Day and Mark Harvey show the theatrical, ecclesiastical side of activism with their historic images of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in a new exhibit.
Above: Sisters, Mark Harvey

Chris-rijksen_0Chris Rijksen Explores Gender as a Performance
Dutch transmasculine photographer Chris Rijksen uses his body and clothing to explore the 'multitudes' of gender identity.

Paul-reitz-bobby_frontalx633_0Paul Reitz
'I have to shoot. If I haven't in several days, it starts gnawing at me.'
Above: Bobby Sullivan

Bare-strength-sundayx633_0Bare Strength: Classic and Surprising
Michael Stokes's project Bare Strength funded in less than 48 hours. When you see the photographs you will know why.


Waty05_0We Are the Youth Captures Young LGBT America
A years-long photojournalism project has culminated in a deep, visually striking collection of portraits and stories from queer youth across the U.S.
Above: Julius

Pauze_sel_page_01_0Pause for Charles Thomas Rogers
A unique and emotional meeting between two men spawns a sensuous photo book.

Inkedkenny_0The Dark, Hairy, Raunchy World of inkedKenny
The men in inkedKenny's upcoming book of photography have a salty, experienced patina of sweat, sex, and something that looks like it smells great.

Dragbook_0Behold: Drag Royalty Gets the Glam Treatment in Crowdsourced Book
So many of your favorite drag stars in one gorgeous book.
Above: Lady Bunny by Peter Palladino

Mybussy_showerx633_0WWII and the Buddy System
Throwback Thursday focuses on Taschen's new book, an amazing collection of vintage military men enjoying each other's (nude) company.


Invisibles06_0Hidden Love From the Early 20th Century
These photos, once private and hidden, become tender, playful, moving images of same-sex love early in the last century.


Bathhouse_0Bathhouse History Lesson
These amazing Polaroids from the heyday of the Fairoaks Hotel capture the feel of being in a bathhouse in 1978 like no other images can.
Above: Gold Cap

Russianhooligans_0Russian Hooligans in NYC
Russian multitalent Seva Galkin brings his ridiculously sexy photos from his collection Russian Hooligans to a post-Pride exhibit.


Bookofbutch_0The Book of Butch
The creator of the online magazine Mascular, Vincent Keith, takes that same title for a new book of his photography.
Above: BJ

Anthonyfriedkin_0Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay
Friedkin's photography chronicled a turning point in the history of political activism in the gay community.
Above: Hustlers, Selma Avenue, Hollywood, 1971


Hustlers_0Photo Book: Hustlers
Eve Fowler's photo book Hustlers stares unflinchingly at young men plying their trade.

Agender_0Meet the Agender Young Adults Challenging the Gender Binary
A new photo exhibit commissioned in response to an alleged hate crime against an agender teenager looks to challenge contemporary conceptions of male, female, and the space in between.
Above: Edie

Atlanta_gayfaces_0These Are Our Faces
A massive art project wants to show LGBT faces -- 10,000 of them.
Above: Atlanta, GA

Muaythaiboxing_0The Men of Muay Thai Boxing
A promising new photographer presents a portfolio of portraits of Muay Thai boxers that reveals the sensuous side of a brutal sport.

Pierregillesheros_0Pierre et Gilles' 'Heros'
The venerable French artists Pierre et Gilles are unveiling a series of previously unseen works on the theme of the hero at Galerie Daniel Templon.
Above: Johnny Guitar (model: Matthieu Charneau), 2012


Joeschmelzer-muze_0A Photographer and His Muse
Joe Schmelzer's personal works find beauty in the everyday moment.


Adammocogrindrhookup_0Humanizing the Hookup
Adam Moco's Tryst Pic Project puts a twist in hooking up.
Above: James

Newhampshiredrags_0The Drag Queens and Covered Bridges of New Hampshire
Andre Rosa's calendar images mash up two great American institutions -- with a telling effect.
Above: January, Cherry Lyquor, Prentiss Bridge, Langdon, N.H.

Vatican_orquin_lastx633_0The Photos The Vatican Didn't Want Italy To See
Gonzalo Orquin's gallery photographs of same-sex couples caused a small crisis in the Vatican. The show moves to the Leslie-Lohman Museum April 30.
Allamericangirly-wednesdaywestwoodAll-American Girly Boys
Kyle Jackson's photographic series 'American Queen' celebrates freedom of expression on the masculine-feminine axis.


Thegaymenproject_joao_beach_x633_0PHOTOS: The Gay Men Project
Kevin Truong has amassed thousands of photos of gay men all over the world, proving there is an activism in just existing openly.
Above: Joao Victor, Engineer, Rio De Janeiro
Joao, in his own words: "I had my sexuality stamped on me by other people when I didn't even had traces of some kind of sexual drive. When I first noticed that I was different from the other boys, when I finally understood the looks, the giggles, the bullying, I had nothing to do but to deny to myself who I was and do my best to fit in that world that I had been told that I didn't belong to."

The-identity-project-photo-copyright-sarah-deragon_249_0The Identity Project: What Defines You?
Are labels good or bad? What about when we choose the labels ourselves?


Allloveisequal_joburggayx633_0PHOTOS: All Love Is Equal
In time for Valentine's Day, Braden Summers shares his latest deliriously romantic images, taken around the world.
Above: A stream in Johannesburg

Russian_valentinediaghilev-and-nijinskyx633_0A Russian Valentine We Don't Expect Putin Will Keep
Damian Siqueiros's "To Russia with Love" crowd-funding project portrays iconic queer figures from Russia's history, tracing a line from 19th century to the present.
Above: Sergei Diaghilev and Vaslav Nijinsky
Les Ballets Russes dance company of Paris was unparalleled in its capacity to host so many of the outstanding talented artists that defined the 20th century. The company founded by the visionary Sergei Diaghilev in 1909 hosted artists like Picasso, Matisse, Stravinsky, Fokine, and Coco Chanel.

For dancer Nijinsky it was a turning point to meet Diaghilev, as they became lovers and he became the male star of Les Ballets Russes. With his exceptional talent and the help of his lover he became the most influential ballet dancer of the first half of the 20th century. The love affair was ended by Nijinsky's attempt to lead a traditional life and marry a woman. Though this created a major rift between the two men, Diaghilev never ceased to help Nijinsky on his life and career.

The scene depicted in "To Russia with Love" imagines them as they speak about one of Nijinsky's most famous roles, in L'apres-midi d'un Faune. In the back, on the chest we see Nijinsky's day-to-day clothes as a reminder that this is only a private performance for the man he loves.

The images represent the passionate, sexual, and loving nature of their relationship. It was important to highlight that both Diaghilev and Nijinsky were involved in the performing arts by showing the histrionic and erotic qualities in their personalities.


Alexander-kargelstev-10_0In the Galleries: A Russian Exile's Friends and Lovers
Kargelstev's photos of his friends and lovers explore the instant nostalgia found in Polaroids.


PHOTOS: John Arsenault's Moment
Arsenault's prolific output of photos of his workplace, his friends, and himself tells a story of this moment in time in Southern California.
Above: Kyle. November 14, 2013, Los Angeles

Inframen_tanerx633_0In the Galleries: The Imperfections of Inframen
Arieli's infrared portraits of dancers have a ghostly beauty as they reveal imperfections in men at the peak of their youth.
Above: Taner


Polar_vortexex633_0PHOTOS: Prescription for a Polar Vortex
Matt Monath's photos remind us why we live through winter. Warning: These images are for medicinal purposes only.
Above: Patrick Ortiz

Couples_3bproud_020 LGBT Couples In Love For More Than a Decade
An inside look at photographer B. Proud's "First Comes Love" exhibition that explores and celebrates the everyday lives and enduring relationships of LGBT couples and families.

"We did something abnormal in the gay world when we first met ... we concentrated on ourselves," said Anthony. "There was no promiscuity. We were in a relationship for almost 13-14 years, and when it was right for us, we opened the doors to play around collectively with other people."

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Christopher Harrity

Christopher Harrity is the Manager of Online Production for Here Media, parent company to The Advocate and Out. He enjoys assembling online features on artists and photographers, and you can often find him poring over the mouldering archives of the magazines.
Christopher Harrity is the Manager of Online Production for Here Media, parent company to The Advocate and Out. He enjoys assembling online features on artists and photographers, and you can often find him poring over the mouldering archives of the magazines.