The relationship between photographer Kevin McDermott and his muse, model Todd Sanfield is one that keeps getting better — and sexier. Two years ago, the duo made us swoon with their steamy pics in the stunningly evocative photo book Motel/Hotel. Now they’re back with Virgin Island (due in July but now available for presale), another exquisite compilation of sensual photos of the Adonis-like model, whose gorgeous exterior competes with the natural beauty of the tropical paradise. Queerty correspondent John Carroll spoke to McDermott about his new book, what makes a model sexy and how Sanfield became his muse.
So before we go any further, there is something I need to get off my ample bosom’d chest. I have long been a huge fan of your work and the exquisite way you capture the male form. Time and time again I have asked you, begged you to get in front of your camera. Over and over beseeching you to “Shoot me, Kevin. Shoot me!” to which you finally replied, “Hand gun or rifle?”
I’ll take that as an apology. Anywho, you really have had the opportunity to photograph some of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen. You must constantly get asked by guys to take their picture. What exactly do you look for in a model?
I look for someone who can open themselves up to reveal something about themselves besides just being physically beautiful. When a model reveals a flash of the soul especially in quiet moments, those are the moments of a shoot that I love.
Todd Sanfield is obviously a sort of muse to you since you two have collaborated on a number of projects together. What is it about Todd that people find so captivating?
Well, Todd isn’t too bad to look at. I first met Todd in his hometown of Detroit on the shoot that would become our first photography book together, Motel/ Hotel.We found out we worked well together and started working with each other from that point on. I’m a midwesterner as well, having grown up in Ohio, so maybe there is a similar outlook on certain aspects of life. I suppose people like the sexual energy Todd brings to a shoot.
Um…you think? As you just mentioned, Virgin Island is your second book with Todd. Motel/ Hotel was wildly successful and sold out rather quickly. What can we expect in this highly anticipated new book from the two of you?
After Motel/ Hotel sold-out, we thought let’s do another book together. And let’s have this one be even more beautiful and sexier than the first. That’s how Virgin Island came to be. Virgin Island will be a fantasy day spent on a deserted tropical island with Todd. We shot an editorial and cover of DNA Magazine while we were down in St. John. Virgin Island is a beautiful extension of that shoot without the swimwear. It’s Todd being au natural in this gorgeous natural setting.
Now before I let you go, I’d like to run something by you. I’m thinking of doing a book myself. It’s called Staten Island, comprised fully of pictures of me naked in a garbage dump. I think this could be really good for your photography career. What do you say?
I’ll take that as a “maybe.”
Watch the slightly NSFW trailer for Virgin Island here and scroll down to see some other images from the book.
John Carroll is a Broadway performer, writer and activist. For more information on him, go to TheJohnCarroll.com.
Photo credit: Kevin McDermott