Spotlight: Brian Kaminski Photography

This month we had the pleasure of speaking with Los Angeles-based photographer Brian Kaminski. Brian shoots both in his private studio and on location depending on the needs of the client and the logistics of art direction. We are awed by Brian's genius at capturing beautiful, emotionally evocative images of men and women, and are thrilled to be able to introduce his work to our readers.

How would you describe the images do you create? Do you have a favorite category?

I would say my photography is a mix of fashion and photojournalism. I strive to capture the shots between the shots. The candid, off-guard movements express the most feeling and interest in my opinion. The simplicity of my set allows for me to move freely around the model finding the best composition while letting the model tell the story...I truly am just observing and capturing the moment. I let the model move at ease and in a way that he can express him without the confines of too much direction. I simply compose as we go and attempt to capture the beauty that is.

What are your thoughts on shooting in studio vs. shooting outside a studio setting?

My preference is to shoot with natural light or a combination of natural light filled with flash...either small flash for more pop or larger flash for a softer fill. The difficulty in shooting outside is the unpredictability with weather, clouds and the ever-changing shift in the sun. But when all these factors are in alignment, one really can get the most amazing shots. Even natural ambient light filtering in through a window can be very dramatic. Shooting in motels or homes with this kind of subtle, tonal range in lighting is stunning.

How did your career start and develop? How and where were you trained? How long have you been a photographer?

I've been a photographer full-time for about 4 years. I first got my hands on a camera when I was an assistant at a modeling agency in Phoenix. Composition came very easily to me and before I new it I was the go to guy for all the Polaroids. I moved out to LA five years ago to be a free-lance hairstylist when I began to test girls with one of the big agencies and then it just kept rolling from there. I did assist for a couple years, which is how I learned studio lighting. But I have found experimentation to be the best teacher.

Do you have any basic advice for aspiring photographers?

Find one's own style and stick with it. As artists, we naturally gravitate toward our own expression and composition. This will be what sells you to clients and ad agencies.

Where has your work been published? Where can our readers find more of your work?

I've been published in Pref Magazine, DNA, Attitude with several publications pending at this time. I also intend to be published in several books and displayed gallery exhibits in the not too distant future. Readers can find my commercial work on my website.

What drew you to photographing artistic nude images of men?

The simplicity and beauty of the human body is already a work of art. When the model is given the freedom to move about and position oneself without inhibition, magic happens. Nude photography gives me a voyeuristic outlet to express vulnerability, sexuality, lust and other raw emotions through the medium of film.

Which photographers or artists have most inspired you? Whose work has most impressed you recently? Which new photographers are you watching?

I love the feeling of set-photography especially shot from the "James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson" era of film. I am very inspired by Floyd McCarty. He had an amazing talent.

Your most iconic images are in black & white. What are your thoughts on color vs. black & white physique photography?

I seem to resonate more with B&W physique photography. For me it is the best and simplest way to stop time and capture the beauty of the moment.

Do you use any image enhancement or retouching software?

I use Photoshop for minimal retouching. A huge pet peeve of mine is the over processing in post-production images. I often see otherwise very beautiful shots ruined through excessive retouching or post-sharpening. When someone looks at my images I want him or her to see the character of the model without "plasticy" looking skin. This is the same reason why I put very little makeup if any on guys that I shoot. Guys are supposed to look like guys.

What do you look for in a model? Have any particular models been muses for your work?

My favorite models and muses exhibit a natural uninhibited confidence. My favorite shoots have involved the collaboration with those who possess the ability to think and move outside of the box, aren't worried about looking silly and are self-directing. I believe the difference between a good shoot and an amazing shoot lies in the hands of the model.

Which male body type do you prefer: bodybuilder, fitness model, slender beauty, all of the above, or other? Please discuss creating artistic images with different types of physiques.

The way I shoot is perfect for all body types. The difference for me isn't the physique but the confidence and personality of the model that I'm shooting. I usually shoot guys who have the typical male model body...slim but muscular, toned and athletic. Usually this type of physique is more suited for my style but I'm open to everyone.

Shaved or hairy? What's your ideal?

Please guys stop shaving. Be proud of the natural beauty in masculinity. Man grooming is over.

What is the best way for models or fans to reach you?

The best way is through my website Thank you very much. It was great to chat and relate my approach to photography.



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