There are calendars with sexy firefighters, cute animals, and underwear models that keep you motivated everyday of the year. Sure, these traditional calendars leave you swooning as they remind you of doctors’ appointments, vacations, and birthdays, but sometimes you want a calendar that gives you just a little bit more.
I’m talking, of course, about thicc hunk representation. For those who are tired of traditional calendars and want to see themselves represented every month, photographer Chris Behroozian has created BEEFY, a 12-month calendar with a different beefy cutie every month.
Behroozian, 31, is a Los Angeles-based photographer who began capturing moments through photography in 2015. Aside from photography he plays soccer and lives with his boyfriend, Alisson, and their dog, Ollie.
We connected with Behroozian to learn more about the story behind BEEFY and why this project is the calendar you should get behind for the love and appreciation of thicc and juicy babes.
INSTINCT: How did the idea for a Beefy calendar come up?
CHRIS BEHROOZIAN: I’ve always used physical objects or products to push me into making more work. I got a bunch of vintage Bear magazines at Autoerotica in San Francisco. One of them was a calendar with guys from various issues of the magazine. Some of my friends had also been making illustrated calendars that I really liked, so I decided to try recreating the bear magazine calendar. I had also just started using a large format 4×5 camera and figured this would be a good way to get more comfortable using it.
INSTINCT: How do you find your subjects?
CB: For the first calendar (2022) I found a few people through a friend, Danny, he runs a party called CHUNK and always needs pictures for the event posters. I offered to share the photos for the posters in exchange for him finding people to photograph. The first calendar also had a lot of friends in it. I started it kind of at the last minute so I just got whoever was most available, including a self portrait and my boyfriend and our best friends who lived down the street. With the second calendar I have used instagram a lot, there’s some people I met at events, and some friends as well, maybe one person from Scruff. It’s been a great way to meet people since moving to LA.
INSTINCT: Why is this kind of calendar important?
CB: I don’t think I started the calendar with the intent of it being important. If anything for me it was a way to just be practicing and have a regular excuse to take pictures, and allow myself to make photos sexy without worrying about the depth of it all, like the calendar is supposed to be sexy! But then I also made the decision to use a 4×5 camera which can’t be done quickly and is a very particular process. I could only take 4-6 pictures of each subject, each picture is a single sheet of film. So there was obviously some hope in creating a depth in these photos that might not be seen in traditional sexy gay photography.
This question also got me thinking more about it, being able to flip through old magazines of sexy queer people at their prime is a very special experience. Looking at all the old porn magazines and thinking about these people’s lives and the networks of friends and lovers. The photos back then were also so well done so they’re beautiful visually. I haven’t seen a lot of physical products being made like that now. There are some and I hope to be a part of that group who’s leaving behind some great artistic smut for future generations. And with that in mind I think it’s important to have diverse bodies being shown and printed to live on and be seen as sexy and to be worthy of having gorgeous photos taken of them.
INSTINCT: Other than thicc and sexy people, what else inspires you?
CB: I think seeing queer art and photography from the past inspires some purpose for me. Kind of what I mentioned earlier, but like even if I just make portraits of friends or acquaintances for the rest of my life that there will be this little archive of life and care and love that I will have made some type of record of. That kind of permanence and proof that photographs are, I think about that when I keep my binders of negatives. And mostly just keeping moving and active in this space keeps me motivated, I get stagnated or overthink things very easily so the portraits keep me going, because along with whatever art I am trying to make, it also facilitates most of the connection I have in my life.
INSTINCT: Anything else you’d like to share?
CB: I’m currently available for hire lmao. This is my first year doing freelance photography so this is a shameless plug. I mostly do editorial portraiture but my website has a variety of work on it.
Grab your copy of BEEFY here and feel the thiccness all year long!