If there is ever an Instagram account that features mouthwatering men in a state of near (or sometimes total) nakedness then Salt Photos is the one you’ll want to follow.
Tim Mark, the brilliant photographer behind its ever growing account, expertly captures gorgeous men and highlights their chiseled faces and stunning bodies in ways that is anything short of mindblowing to witness.
He is the latest to be featured in Instinct’s continuing photographer series which highlights some of the best in the business who have the LGBTQ community in mind.
Check out our exclusive below where he, at one point, references the world of dairy as inspiration behind some of his most popular snaps.
How did you get involved in the art of photography?
I have photographed since I was a kid. My dad gifted me my first camera. I think I always had a creative spark, and I started using that to capture things I found beautiful. At a young age, I used to tote my 110 film camera around taking pictures of plants, family, anything really. As I entered high school, digital cameras started becoming more available, and I switched to a digital point and shoot style camera. This opened the world of possibility for what I could photograph. As I’ve graduated college and explored much more facets of photography, I started honing my images towards models and the male physique.
Did you have any inspirations before getting into the industry?
When I was young, I photographed nature. I would read through National Geographic magazines and want to recreate those images. As I matured, I became inspired by men and the men I photograph. It’s a blend of what I find beautiful, the moment and experience with the model, and pulling inspiration from images we see in everyday life. I find inspiration in the work of other photographers — both images on social media and the iconic Robert Mapplethorpe. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with and befriend other photographers, sharing interests and inspiration that guides my work.
How would you describe your specific style?
My style, at its core, is capturing a male’s sex appeal. I like creating images that make the model say “wow” and feel as sexy as possible. Sometimes that means shooting erotic art and other times its more family-friend physique images – both of which have thier niche in the photography world and my portfolio.
You’ve shot some pretty amazing guys during your career. Do you usually search for them or do they come to you?
It’s honestly a mix of both. I always say “it’s a small gay world”, so I find I’m usually 1 or 2 degrees of separation from the guys I shoot. People also follow my work and reach out to me wanting to be part of a specific project or photographed in a similar style that I’ve done with another model. I’ve been honored to work with so many great guys, and some of them multiple shoots over a few years.
What has been your favorite shoot to date and why?
One of my favorite shoots was with a model in the desert – Tank Joey. We met up in Vegas and drove into Death Valley where it was 110 degrees outside. It was our third shoot so we both were comfortable with each other. Along the way, we found this fantastic abandoned building, pulled over, and photographed. We got to use this brand new silk I had made for the shoot and the images were fantastic. It was so hot outside that the sand was burning our feet through our shoes and some of my equipment melted. A shoot and memory I will cherish, both for my time with Joey, and from the great work we captured.
I also have a lot of fond memories during the creation of my first book – CREAM. I used real milk and heavy whipping cream to create the splash and burst style images. No matter how many times I told the models that the milk and cream would be cold, they all shrieked when it splashed them. Lots of fun (and clean up!) creating those images.
If there was one event that you could cover what would it be?
I’ve always dreamed of working with National Geographic. Totally divergent from the images I shoot today, but I have always loved the remote locations and the iconic images that the photographers get while on assignment. On my bucket list is traveling and photographing the Northern Lights. Once we’re all able to safely travel again, I look forward to doing more travel photography. I’ve even launched a travel photography focused IG – @SaltPhotosTravel.
Do you feel photographers are not as appreciated these days due to so much of the focus shifting to social media selfies and filters?
As smartphones and camera equipment have become more available, and a rise of people taking images, it naturally has caused a dilution of the perceived value of the work of the professional photographers. That said, photography isn’t meant to simply be for those images captured by a professional. That’s the beauty of art and creativity — making magic with what you have and the talent you possess. I, myself, did not go to photography school and do not claim to be an expert, but I do gravitate to those models who recognize and appreciate the work and talents I bring to the photos I create.
What does the future hold for you and what are you looking forward to the most in your career?
I hope to continue meeting new people, putting my spin on what I find sexy, and creating prints, books, and calendars that people want to see. I also look forward to traveling again, and setting up shoots with men across the globe.