Photographer Jeremy Lucido is modest about his work: “Oh, it’s just naked pictures.” But of course there’s more to it than that: his sexy photo-zine Starrfucker has become one of the most sought-after studies of male physique. It’s a throwback to old-fashioned beefcake pictorial, with a modern swagger, and it’s clearly more than just exposed flesh. (Issue 9, “The Beard Issue,” just came out.)
Jeremy started his career shooting standard headshots. Then one of his clients asked for something racier. “I’m going to be naked and hard,” the actor said, explaining that he needed 8×10 pics to sign and send to fans. He liked Jeremy’s work, referred him to colleagues, and before long he became the lead photographer for Randy Blue.
The zine started as a popular behind-the-scenes porn blog, and now nine issues and a photobook later, the magazine defines what hotness is and rises above the usual porn photography faire to the real of art.
Starrfucker’s style is personal, with a one-on-one approach that exposes more of the model than skin alone. Lucido finds a connection with his models that you might never find in “just naked pictures.” His process starts with just getting to know his subject, so by the time the camera starts snapping they’re already totally comfortable around each other.
That’s usually not too difficult, because the models often include his friends — and, starting with the most recent issue, his fiancé, John.
The style is a bit of a departure from adult industry norms. “It’s an outlet to do what I want to do,” he says, explaining that shooting porn can be a bit of an assembly-line with standard lighting, standard poses, and lots of artifice.
In contrast, Jeremy seeks out models who are relatable and real. He structures his one-on-one shoots to be easygoing, in part because he’s pretty quiet himself. A big crew would make it impossible for him to concentrate.
And it’s also because his creative process can sometimes be pretty explicit. A lot of his best shots, he says, involved models flirting, getting turned on by showing off, or simply having sex with him.
In one past issue, there’s a photo of the top-half of one of a former hookups. You would never know that just out of frame, Jeremy’s having sex with him as he takes photos. And in the current beard-themed issue, there’s a model whose face is mashed against Jeremy’s dick.
“That can’t happen on a set with a lot of people,” he shrugs.
But it’s not like he’s shooting in Caligula’s palace, and not every shoot turns into intercourse. Ultimately, both Jeremy and his models are coming together to create a sexy piece of art.
Among his favorites: Benjamin Godfre, whose relaxed photo shoot began with him saying “well, I need to be stoned.” Jeremy got stoned with him and even though it took him 15 minutes to change a lens, the photos are amazing.
He’s also photographed David LaFlamme — who, it turns out, had been a longtime friend before turning to modeling. David was nervous about showing off too much in his shoot, Jeremy says, but it was fun to shoot a buddy and the results speak for themselves.
But his most endearing work is probably his photos of his fiancé John. They initially met as a hookup, but you know how those can sometimes go: it’s only a hookup until you realize you can’t live without each other.
Less than a year later, the two boys were doing a photo shoot at Joshua Tree National Park. Jeremy didn’t propose during the shoot itself — “I didn’t want him to be naked,” he says. But he discreetly took a few shots of wedding bands when John wasn’t looking. And afterwards, as they were scrolling through the photos they’d taken that day, he popped the question.
When he’s not planning his upcoming wedding, Jeremy’s hard at work on the next round of photos. And as always, he’ll be doing them one-on-one. Maybe after hanging out first, or having a few drinks. Every shoot starts with just socializing with each other, so he can learn about his subject’s personality and find them at their sexiest.
At the end of the day, he says, the goal is to find “what’s hot about them at the moment.”