BEAUTIFUL BROWN BEARDED GAY, ALONE OR IN PAIRS, NAKED OR CLOTHED, INSIDE OR (MORE OFTEN) OUTSIDE, ALWAYS WITH THE SAME LOOK, TENDER AND INTIMATE. THESE ARE THE INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE JEAN BAPSTISTE HUONG'S SWEET FANTASIES DIARY. A SERIES OF POETIC PHOTOGRPAHS. A HYMN TO THE NATURAL BEAUTY. AN ODE TO REAL MAN WITH REAL FEELINGS.
Jean-Baptiste Huong has been taking photos ever since he got his first camera from his grandmother when he was only 10 years old. 5 Years after he made his first film. It seemed predestined that Jean-Baptiste would make a career in the visual arts. After studying film he began his career as editor and film director, but soon moved to photography applying all he had learned about film in still images. Through his portraits Jean-Baptiste reveals a sensitive personality and an intimacy that seems to come straight from the heart.
Jean-Baptiste Huong lives in Paris but travels the world. And while doing so he chooses his men to photograph, ideally on location. It was his first project – Smoke – that drove him to create his Sweet Fantasies Diary, which can almost be seen as a carnet du voyage. Where Jean-Baptiste first mainly worked with models that are friends or (ex-)lovers, he now finds his men through word of mouth. Social media such as Facebook and Tumblr have proven to be very resourceful in finding the right type of guys for his poetic images. In selecting his models Jean-Baptiste has not many criteria. He prefers to work with men that are not working in the world of modeling and photography, and being brown haired, bearded and masculine are a must. But that is basically it.
Jean-Baptiste Huong has a clear vision of his photographic art. "I do not like shooting models on white backgrounds as you see in magazines," he explains. "It's nice but it's not the message I want to get across. I need the model is in an element where he feels at ease (I love the outdoors, nature)." Hence his Sweet Fantasies Diary. A gallery of photos of handsome, bearded men, alone or in pairs, clothed or naked, in environments where it is hard to image there is actually a photographers present to immortalize them. Each image tells a story, is part of a larger plan. Jean-Baptiste continues: "I have a weakness for what I would like to be reincarnated as if I was a handsome man - LOL. The man must be manly and all in smoothness. I do not like the looks hard but in abandonment and sometimes melancholy, which is me."
The series Jean-Baptiste Huong shot last Fall in Berlin, featuring Andy and Raoni is a perfect example of what his Sweet fantasies Diary is about. His men seem to have been handpicked from ordinary life and transported into a paradise-like environment. An illusion created not in the last place by Jean-Baptiste sublime feeling for lighting. "I've always loved cinema light. And that's also what made me want to make the photo's. The inspiration comes mostly from American films from the 1930-40's with ultra well-lit actresses. Otherwise concretely, I always try to enlighten my models as working in film. For outdoors, I study the sky! This helps me finding the color treatment that I love. Such as those found in the images in 1970's Kodak chrome style. I like the slightly de-saturated blue side. In summary: I like silver for the warm tones and digital colder tones." Sweet Fantasies Diary is probably the most personal work the Parisian photographer has created so far. A reflection of what he would like to look like in another life. Tough and masculine but with a sense of solitude and melancholoy. –BM-
JEAN-BAPTISTE HUONG | BEAUTIFULMAG
SWEET FANTASIES DIARY | BEAUTIFULMAG