Photographer Interview – German Armenta
What got you initially interested in photography?
Tengo 25 años haciendo diseño de estampado textil, para mi la creatividad es algo con lo que convivo día a día y yo considero que es muy importante alimentar a la creatividad para seguir vigente en todo tipo de proyecto, para mi llegó un momento en que me aburrí de hacer diseño textil y yo mismo busqué otras alternativas que me obligaran a buscar otras maneras de seguir siendo creativo en el ámbito de lo visual.
La fotografía es algo que desde niño me pareció muy interesante y mi historia como fotografo comienza cuando mi hermano mayor me regalo una cámara fotográfica vieja y yo le pedí a mi padre que me comprara algunos rollos de película para usarla y eso transformó mi vida desde niño. Siempre estuve muy interesado en el dibujo pero la fotografía me pareció algo mágico, algo que me llevo a otra percepción de la vida misma
I have 25 years making textile print design, for me, creativity is something I live with every day, and I consider it very important to feed creativity to continue in force in all types of projects, for me there came a time when I got bored of doing textile design. I looked for other alternatives that forced me to look for other ways to continue being creative in the field of the visual.
Photography is something that I found very interesting since childhood, and my story as a photographer begins when my older brother gave me an old camera, and I asked my father to buy me some rolls of film to use, and that transformed my life as a child. I was always very interested in drawing, but photography seemed magical, something that led me to another perception of life itself
When did you turn your eye to the world of underwear/Swimwear?
My enjoyment for underwear and swimsuits came into my life for being a textile designer; this is because I have made prints for several brands of beachwear for women in Mexico, and that led me to think that I would like to have a mark with my designs but oriented for men. I have the idea that that will happen someday.
In the meantime, I don’t have a brand, but the subject of men’s underwear seems to me a universe full of alternatives and possibilities, it is a way of exalting the beauty and self-confidence of men and for that reason the male underwear industry It fascinates, and photography for various brands has been and continues to be a great experience for me.
Being involved with the clothing industry for 25 years has made me admire those who have the courage and manage to have their own brand.
Describe your photography style for us.
Describing my photography is a difficult question … describing oneself is not usually easy, what I can tell you is that I love my work, and I chose to photograph male beauty because it is a more genuine beauty, women can be beautiful , but women wear makeup, change the color of their hair or put on hair extensions, false eyelashes, that is they have everything to enhance their beauty.
On the contrary, beautiful men are beautiful without the need to add something to their body or face; man is naturally beautiful when nature has created it. I like the idea that male beauty has lately been reinventing and exposing itself in a more open way, and it is no longer just a field that women have always dominated.
Therefore, that passion for masculine beauty motivates me to look for the aesthetic in the body, the hairs, the muscles, and the faces of men.
Shoots are a lot of work to set up and get right, what has been one of your biggest accomplishments in photography?
One of the achievements that make me feel happy with my work as a photographer has been once I was invited to be part of a group of the best 40 photographers from around the world and that moment they have taken male nude photography to release a book called BEAUTIFUL VISION, that book had a human cause because the funds raised were provided for the organization Sidaction.org that supports HIV patients, it was an honor to support, I also felt very happy to be sharing credits with photographers of the likes of Tim Ricks, Justin Monroe, Gio Spano, Wander Aguiar, Sylvain Norget, Henning Von Berg, Ethan James, Thomas Synnamon, Frank Louis and Dylan Rosser.
You have shot so many great pics last year do you have a picture you’re most proud of? If so, which ones and why is it special?
More than having a single photograph that is special, it is more memorable when a photo session gave excellent results, it is very rewarding when in a photo session, you have managed to do a good job getting an excellent location, good lighting conditions and a Model with a beautiful physique, this year and last year I had the opportunity to do several photo sessions for men’s underwear brands and that is a truly wonderful job! It is the best job I could have. Working with male beauty is extremely motivating and inspiring; one of my favorite sessions was for the brand GOODEVIL. The model for that photo session is extremely beautiful and very professional!.
Things can go wrong on shoots such as weather, models not showing, and wardrobe malfunctions. What is the biggest problem you had on a shoot, and how did you overcome it?
Fortunately, very rarely have I had a photo session where things get difficult, it happened once the model when he went to the photo session was on his way to do that job on a motorcycle, the model crashed and broke a arm, I was going to the photo session too, but I did meditation, I talked to several model friends, and one of them told me that he was free at that time, when delivering the photos to the client, they were happy with the results and said that the model was the best chosen for his brand, coinciding like this was a miracle.
Do you have any favorite models you like working with? If so, which ones?
If I have two favorite models, they are two beautiful Argentine men, one of them is called Ezequiel and the other boy is called Franco
Which brands have you worked with, and are there any brands you want to work with?
I have worked with many brands such as COVERMALE, Daniel Alexander, and BANG (BTW I love that brand), but it would be very nice for me to work for GREGG HOMME or for MODUS VIVENDI or JJ MALIBU just to mention some great brands.
Creativity is key to making a great shoot, how do you approach a studio vs. a location shoot?
Each photo session needs several days before to organize all the work, there are 2 very complicated things for each photo session, the first is to pick up a male model that is very beautiful and feels comfortable in front of the camera being almost naked, The second complicated thing is to get a good location, those 2 aspects are generally the ones that take longer to have ready.
Clients sometimes ignore the work that is behind a photo session because the photographer delivers the photos with everything already solved but convincing the models to pose almost naked is not an easy task. For that reason, there is a lot of work prior to a photo session in addition to calling assistants and makeup artists that are available the day the location is rented and that the model is available. Therefore, working in a studio can be more controlled and more relaxed, a location always carries more risks because you have to take advantage of all the elements you have at that time and you have no chance to take the photos again later
However, for studio and for the location you have to have everything well prepared in the same way
You have shot so many great guys, what advice can you give models to being in front of the camera for a shoot?
What advice can I give the models? I could say that this advice is specifically for models who are starting a career and are interested in doing photo shoots for sexy underwear brands … guys, be yourselves, the best poses are those where the model is not really posing, be relaxed, take great care of your body and face skin because that way they save us a lot of time in retouching to the photographers.
Who is your ultimate “get” in photography, who would you love to shoot?
I would like so bad to photograph a beautiful Brazilian porn actor named DiegoSans
What do you do in your downtime when not in front of the camera?
In my free time, I watch cinema, although it must be taken into account that when one is not facing the camera, the next step is to do hours of digital retouching. I also love listening to music and traveling and meeting people from other corners of the world.
When you were coming up as a photographer, what is the best advice you were ever given?
When I started to take a picture I had an excellent mentor named Oscar, he always insisted that I look for my own style, that I don’t stay in a comfort zone and that I always seek to break with the previously done.
Where can our readers see your work?
Currently, you can see my work in my Instagram profile @german_armenta_photo, in Instagram I show my most commercial work that I have done for catalogs of casual clothing or in my blog called picsessions