Mack Sturgis is a photographer that I’ve been very aware of for years. He shoots the kind of men that I’ve dreamed of for the better part of my adult life making me envious of him for more reasons than one.
His ability to master the world of NSFW pictures is truly incredible as its done in a way that’s very sexy without being unnecessarily graphic.
Clearly I’m not the only one who thinks he’s got a good eye for the lens as his social media following on Instagram alone is heading towards the 100K mark. And get excited folks because there’s a lot more visual eye candy on the way as his career to continues to soar.
Mack is the latest to be featured in our ongoing Photographer Series series. Check out our exclusive with him below.
How did you get involved in the art of photography?
Picking up the camera seemed totally natural to me as a young man. I started playing with one way back in junior high, long before digital cameras and iPhones, photographing nature, architecture, family and it just evolved into shooting hot, naked men! I also shoot a lot of work that is abstractions and reflections of light and color, which I sell through the interior design world for some incredible homes and hotels. And my husband Chad and I have a wallpaper company where we turn some of the photo art into patterns and art murals on paper.
Did you have any inspirations before getting into the industry?
The Bible was my first inspiration. I remember as a child how attracted I was to the epic, barely clothed men in lithographs in the family Bible such as Sampson. All muscled up in a tiny loin cloth. Very inspiring! As I grew up and became more focused on photography, and even before I actually decided to work with models, I found the work of Herb Ritts, Tom Bianchi and classics like Man Ray and George Platt Lynes very inspiring.
How would you describe your specific style?
Going back to my first attractions to men in lithographs in illustrated Bibles and books on mythology, I definitely think some of my work has an epic, godlike vibe with the guys I shoot. I like to keep it somewhat real, though, with a bit of grit to it. And, I prefer my work to not be over polished. In the images I edit as black and whites, I like them to have strong contrast and pick up on the classic mood of old master art works. I also like to shoot a range of work when working with a model, from simple, classic portraits, to stronger images which push my limits, the models limits, and possibly have a conceptual importance along with the beauty captured.
You’ve shot some pretty amazing guys during your career. Do you usually search for them or do they come to you?
It’s actually gotten to be pretty 50/50. If I run across guys I think would look great in my work I’ll reach out to them. I really do like to work with a range of body types and nationalities.
What has been your favorite shoot to date and why?
Oh wow, how would I even pick a favorite!? I have had the opportunity to work with such a wide range of men and some amazing ladies as well. There is pretty much something I love in every shoot! I would also say it seems like whatever my last shoot was is my favorite for a while as I can see myself growing through the work. My husband is always involved in our shoots and shoots his own work behind the scenes. I love to see what he comes away with from them from his own perspective. He gets some great shots in the process of working with the models.
If there was one event that you could cover what would it be?
Great question, especially these crazy days! The first thing that pops into mind is a rough and tumble rugby game which ends up as an after party in the locker room! I would also like to photograph some cool drag queens, doing more like an editorial featuring them in and out of drag. I’m interested in the duality of it.
Do you feel photographers are not as appreciated these days due to so much of the focus shifting to social media selfies and filters?
Even though everyone has a camera and works hard to find their good angles in today’s world, I definitely think there are strong, talented photographers who are getting great recognition for their own unique style and talent. A professional photographer brings something important to images that isn’t found in selfies and filters.
What does the future hold for you and what are you looking forward to the most in your career?
I see a book in my future this year, lord willing. I have worked super hard to build a strong body of work and think it’s time to curate the collection to put into print. I’ve actually had lots of people telling me it’s time, which I see as a sign from the universe, so I’m going to put out some feelers on getting it published. Otherwise, I look forward to refining my style while shooting a range of models and making a name for myself in the photographic world!