I first met New York-based gay writer and photographer Alex Geana during New York Fashion Week. For the past eight seasons, he has interviewed designers and reviewed shows and events for The Huffington Post. I then read his 2008 book “Side Step Me” which is a collection of short stories, poems and photography. A book that I felt was like reading a journal found in a Lower East Side nightclub. A journal with the right mix of insight and debauchery that I wish I could have penned myself. I loved every page. This past summer, Alex was one of 80 photographers from around the world invited to be part of The Great LGBTQ Photo Show at the Leslie Lohman Gallery on Wooster Street. The gallery was founded in 1990, exhibits unambiguously gay artwork that is often denied by mainstream venues, and houses a permanent collection of more than 3,000 works by artists such as Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Jean Cocteau and Robert Mapplethorpe. Alex is presently working on three shows and is never without his camera.
PINK: Having your work shown in the Leslie Lohman Gallery is quite the honor. How did it feel to be part of the show?
I was really excited. I’ve taken photography very seriously, just recently. To get a gallery of that caliber out of the gate and to have one of the prints actually sell. Made me really excited and in some ways validated my desire to make pictures. Now people can buy the show from my website.
PINK: Tell us a bit about how and when you first became interested in photography.
I’ve always loved telling a story, it’s the medium that always seems to change for me. Side Step Me, in a way, marked the transition between my desire to write and the work in photography. I took a few classes in High School and needed to leave it behind. To enter the “real world”. But then I picked it up again, when I was tired of working on a novel and living in my head. My mentor and first reader passed away and I couldn’t finish the work. So I had to retool the way I chronicled the world.
PINK: How would you describe your photography style?
It’s still evolving, but I tend to favor very clean crisp images, that are very direct and uncluttered. I crop in the camera, which I’ve found is really rare for photographers. But I think that’s crucial for a final big print. I prefer to print 13 x 19 and upwards. I also like a really rich color palate with lot’s of color saturation and vibrancy.
Subject matter and working within the picture is becoming really crucial for me. How I make the work, from the moment I pick the model, to the way I print the photo, every step if important to my process and the choices I make along the way all effect the picture. Photography is far more then just clicking on a button. I also love taking pictures of hot boys in various states of undress. Just can’t help myself. J
PINK: What inspires you to take a photograph?
I do look for the “decisive moment”. I wait for the picture to unfold in front of me. Sometimes you have to wait for a while. Sometimes you don’t. It depends on how much control you have. When I’m working with a model. I have a lot of control. When I’m in the tents and covering Fashion Week. I really have to keep my camera at my side. I’ve missed a ton of photos because a celebrity has whizzed by, or the PR firm gave me bad seats. But on that note. I’ve taken a ton of great photos because I’ve been seated very well and had the ability to focus on the celebrity in front of me.
PINK: Tell us about your upcoming shows.
Next year I have some very ambitious goals for myself and plan on focusing on photography full time. I have enough fashion photojournalism to mount a gallery show and want to find the right fit. I’m also building on what I’ve shot for the Leslie-Lohman gallery and want to explore spirituality and a dark edge, luxury, I’m looking for the right models and venues to shoot the show. Lastly, I’m obsessed with the visual diary that an iPhone can capture. I want to fill a room with hundreds of iPhone photos.
PINK: List five words that people would use to describe you:
creative • sweater • touch-frenzied • social • crowded
PINK: What is next for Alex Geana?
I try to take it one day at a time. As best as I can. I think I have a full year already booked. And it’s not even January.
To see more of Alex’s work, visit his website www.alexgeanaphotography.com.