Michael Alago's Exclusive Hipstamatic Photo Shoot
Cover model Seven Dixon
It's safe to say that most gays these days prefer the photo manipulation stylings of Instagram to Hipstamatic—but that didn't stop Rough Gods photographer Michael Alago, whose latest book Beautiful Imperfections came out earlier this year, from sending us an exclusive set of photos taken with the smartphone app. Alago, who worked as a record executive before taking up photography professionally, has always loved the polaroid-style image. "I got a polaroid camera at a young age and started to shoot," he says. "Later on I would shoot all my one night stands when I was on the road and my love of pictures just grew from there."
His photos resonate in a big way with gays looking for the über-macho, beefy gym body look. Currently his Rough Gods Facebook page has over 88,000 "likes". He chalks the popularity up to his photo's visual honesty. "I feel what the audience likes about my work specifically is that the images have a raw, natural sexuality to them—no gloss whatsoever," he notes. Below, see all 11 images of the manly men he shot all over the country, with commentary from Alago on each image. Enjoy!
"Chad's Bike Jock"
"I took this for all you jockstrap fiends like me. What a nice big butt too!"
"Sexy shot at the Rough Gods studio of Chris Mikos—an exhibitionist. At least I found a pic you can post."
"So very sexy. Met dean that day. He felt very old school masculine and ready for everything."
"Fooling around with big metal things in portland oregon with jason."
"Hot dude waiting for a friend on the West Side Highway. It feels like a movie still to me."
"This is an outtake from the book Beautiful Imperfections. It was shot at the Folsom Street Fair in 2012. I love his muscles so much."
"Paxton BW Portrait"
"A gorgeous moment in Los Angeles. Against these rays of light it felt film noir to me."
"Shot this in Portland, Oregon as well. Phil is big, sexy and red. Need I say more?"
"I shot this tattooed guy on Fire Island on an incredibly hot summer day. I thought he looked so vulnerable dreaming for the camera."
"Both pictures of adult film star Seven Dixon were shot on the West Side Highway because I love the old school feel and the grittiness of what's left of the Meatpacking District." [Editor's Note: Seven Dixon is also this week's cover model, which you can see here.]
"I shot this [photo of Jason] in Portland, Oregon because he was so beautiful and loved the personal strength he had."