All Photos (c) Fred Goudon 2015. All rights reserved.
Before the Warwick Rowers made naked calendars posh. Before ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue made naked athletes into works of art. There was Dieux du Stade--the Gods of the Stadium--an annual treat for lovers of stunning photography, strapping sportsmen and, more importantly, naked dudes. For the 15th anniversary of the calendar, teNeues is releasing a coffee table book this December featuring the work of frequent collaborator Fred Goudon.
OUT: What first drew you to documenting the male form? What do you find transfixing about the beauty of men? Fred Goudon: I have always been drawn to beautiful images. And when I was young--in the '80s--I discovered Bruce Weber in a magazine and immediately fell in love with his work. I have a profound respect for his career. His images were both very strong and soft; the perfect mix between virility, masculinity and sensuality, which became an inspiring aim I've tried to reach since the beginning of my career. More than regular, standard beauty, I never can resist cheeky beauty. There is nothing more transfixing for me than a gorgeous man who doesn't know how incredibly beautiful he is.
What qualities do you look for in your subjects and what do you hope to capture? FG: I never look for something specific in the subjects I shoot. I let my instinct guide me--my sensitivity, my emotions--because that is what I try to let emanate from my work. It is a lot like when you meet someone. You don't know at first exactly why this person touched you especially, but you feel it. This is what I try to capture: the delighted feeling of a beautiful encounter.
Was there one particularly memorable shoot or moment from photographing the calendar? FG: I particularly liked shooting the cover picture of the book with the Karabatic brothers for the 2015 calendar. I've already shot Nikola in the 2014 calendar, but this was the first time with Luka. More so, it was his first time being photographed naked. I quickly grasped the feeling that Luka was a bit modest, reserved, while posing in front of the camera, so I tried to find the words to reassure him and to make him feel more comfortable. It seems like I succeeded since this is the picture that has been chosen for the book's cover. I really love this image and I am proud of how it turned out.