Kevin D. Hoover‘s photography is very eye-catching especially if you enjoy seeing the male physique highlighted in the most beautiful of ways. The Brooklyn mainstay is the latest to be featured in instinct Magazine’s ongoing photographer series.
And we couldn’t think of someone better to kick 2021 off with. Kevin developed a massive following on his social media over the years thanks to his very popular snaps that showcased the beauty of of the male form.
Sadly his account was removed due to Facebook and Instagram’s problematic behavior when it comes to what you can and can’t see on their platforms. Kevin is a fighter though and created a new account that continues to grow daily thanks to, again, the kind of work he puts out there.
Check out our exclusive with him below where he dishes on career beginnings and his hopeful future.
How did you get involved in the art of photography?
I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I can remember. I grew up loving those classic Hollywood films like The Women, All About Eve, etc. and by extension, I also loved the portraits taken of all of those stars by photographers like George Hurrell. But my thing at the time was trying to replicate the images by drawing them.
Did you have any inspirations before getting into the industry?
While I love photography, I also love architecture and design. I wanted to be an architect who worked with solar energy. I had it all mapped out. After graduating from high school, I was going to attend USC, majoring in architecture. Then, I would go on to build amazing homes and skyscrapers powered by solar energy.
But in my sophomore year of high school, that all changed when I saw a film starring Faye Dunaway titled, Eyes of Laura Mars. In it Faye plays Laura Mars, a New York City fashion photographer whose aesthetic mixes luxury, glamour, sex, and violence.
There’s a scene shot in gritty 1970’s Columbus Circle. It’s staged to look like a car accident. The models come out wearing lingerie, high heels, and fur coats. One model is laid out on the ground like she’s dead, but very glamourous. A couple of models are gagging at the accident while flashing their coats open to reveal the lingerie. Then as the two principle models get into the middle of the frame, “Laura” motions for them to go, and they start simulating a fight, complete with hair pulling. Frantic music is playing, they’re using that shutter effect to mimic a camera during a shoot and the models are carrying!
I’m in the movie theater watching this and my 15-year-old mind was blown. “THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO!!!” My life was forever changed. Side note: The lion’s share of credit for the images used in the movie goes to Helmut Newton, but I do believe his were only used in one scene that takes place at a gallery opening. Most of the images actually featured were by a photographer named Rebecca Blake. It seems the patriarchy lives large, even in women’s fashion. Newton was the bigger name, but I promised myself that every chance I got, I would let it be known that Rebecca changed my life without having ever met me.
Model Dan Welden poses for Kevin D. Hoover
How would you describe your specific style?
Trying not to sound too pretentious, I’d like to think that my style “erotic editorial” and that it is a celebration of the beauty of the male physique and male same sex interactions. Many say that women’s bodies are beautiful, but men’s bodies are only utilitarian. I on the other hand believe men’s bodies are beautiful too. And yes, I made up “erotic editorial” lol.
You’ve shot some pretty yummy looking guys during your career. Do you usually search for them or do they come to you?
A little of both. My old Instagram account had a little over 75,000 followers (and growing), so I had a pretty decent following. Models would see my work and reach out to me, or their friends would see that I’d worked with them, ask about me, and then reach out to me for a shoot.
But alas, thanks to the homophobic double standards of Facebook/Instagram, my account was unceremoniously snatched at the end of August of this year. It was crazy because I’ve seen far more provocative and revealing selfies by female celebrities and influencers. At first, I was going to stay gone, but sadly, social media has become a huge component of my business. So I recently started anew and hopefully, to quote Joe Biden, will “Build Back Better.”
Model Jay Alexander poses for Kevin D. Hoover
What has been your favorite shoot to date and why?
That’s really difficult. I’ve shot with some amazing guys. Genuinely sweet, smart, funny guys. So my shoots on the regular are a ton of fun. Before we start shooting, especially if it’s someone I’ve never worked with before, I sit them down and have a conversation with them.
I ask them who they are. I want them to know that I see more than a pretty face or rocking body. I see the person. This also gives them the chance to see I’m not a total mental case. I think that’s why I’m able to get the images I’ve gotten so far. They know they’re in a safe space and we won’t be venturing into territory that makes them feel exploited or compromised. I say all that to say, while I can’t name a favorite shoot, I can name some favorite images. I have two that, in my opinion, capture the beauty of male same sex interactions. But those are too hot for Instinct. LOL. They’ll probably be in the next volume of my PROVOCATION coffee table book series of erotic male nudes.
If there was one event that you could cover what would it be?
Event photography is a skill set that I definitely don’t possess. That being said, maybe a layout, or tour book for one, or all of my favorite divas. Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Mariah Carey… hold that pose! Or a wicked editorial for Edward Enniful‘s British Vogue.
Do you feel photographers are not as appreciated these days due to so much of the focus shifting to social media selfies and filters?
I do believe that’s true, but I don’t let it bother me. Even before selfies and filters, there were people who devalued photographers. Many don’t see photography as a real art form. To some, it never has had the same merits as painting, sculpting, poetry, or music. Also, you have people who think that because they have a camera and an app, they’re a photographer. It is what it is. For me, being concerned with other’s thoughts on who you are and what you do, is setting yourself up for disappointment. I try to focus on doing my best. On constantly learning and growing as an artist and as a person. Everything else is a distraction.
What does the future hold for you and what are you looking forward to the most in your career?
I simply want to continue on this journey, wherever it leads. I’m now working with this amazing stylist and model, Jonzu Jones. This allows me to do more fashion focused shoots, but with my erotic spin. My own Eyes of Laura Mars moments if you will. There are several publications that have already expressed interest. I’m really excited about this, and Jonzu has become a muse for me.
Also, I’ve started shooting images for Volume 3 of my PROVOCATION book series of erotic male nudes. I love being able to stop for a moment to take in my experiences thus far, lay them out, and create a book to share with world. I’m sure that much of what I’m doing with Jonzu will find it’s way into the book. So basically, I hope the future holds more of me doing the most!