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The Man Behind the Players

Photographer Rick Day just released his sequel athlete themed coffee table book, Players Two

By Nick Mangiapane

If you’ve read any LGBT magazines in the past few years, chances are that you’ve seen the photography skills of Rick Day. He has a gift in capturing the beauty of the male figure. His talent has been featured
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 in many high profile publications worldwide. Rick Day has released many coffee table books featuring his photography. The books feature themes such as hot sports players or sexy pioneers. We recently had the chance to hear from him and here is what he had to say.

How long have you been doing photography?
I have been shooting for about 19 years. I started in Atlanta then moved to Milan, Italy for about a year... then to NYC.

I read that you are a self-taught photographer. Is that true? If so, did you find difficulties in going that route?

Yes, I am a self taught photographer. I bought a camera after looking through a book by Bruce Weber. I was completely and utterly fascinated by his images and I am still a huge fan of his. He is brilliant.

I guess at the time, I wasn't really looking at photography as a career, but I was shooting anyone that would get in front of my camera. I was not aware fully of the whole fashion business, and by the time I realized that most photographers are either school taught or have assisted other photographers, I was already shooting most of the working models in Atlanta. My chances of assisting a local photographer were bleak. I would recommend to any new photographers to at least assist other photographers. It may not be the most fun, but the learning curve would be much greater.

Did you have any photography mentors or role-models that helped mold your unique style?
Back when I first started shooting, as I mentioned, I had picked up a book by Bruce Weber really by accident. After that, I really started looking at all of the books that were available to me at the local bookstores. I remember loving the beautiful effortless shots by Bruce. I loved loved loved the elegant lines of Herb Ritts. He really was amazing, but the person that influenced my body lighting the most was Victor Skrebneski. His use of lighting on men's bodies was so beautiful.

Was there a breakthrough moment in your photography career or was it a progressive build?
Luckily for me, I have always been a busy photographer and I am a bit of a workaholic. As far as the type of popularity that I seem to have now, I would say started when I began shooting for Genre Magazine. I was also at the time beginning to shoot the original "Players" book. The book and the popularity of internet bloggers really catapulted my images in a way that I was not fully ready for. It was a bit overwhelming.

What goes through your mind during a photo shoot?
This is a hard question. I try not to plan my shoots in too much detail because I have found that my best pictures were organic in nature, not too planned. I would say that keeping my model comfortable and at ease is probably what I am thinking about the most.

How do you interact with your models to make them comfortable during the revealing photo shoots?

At this point, most of the models that I am shooting for a book are pretty aware of the images I have shot, so that takes the pressure out of explaining what I want to shoot. I will usually show them an image of what I have in mind, and then we take it from there. I usually try to have the models bring a bit of themselves out in the shoot as well.

Tell me about your new book.
The new book is "Players Two.” It is a follow up obviously to "Players." It has been printed in a much larger format. This book, like its predecessor, is full of some of the most beautiful bodies in the world. Trust me. Without the hard work and diligence of the men that I shoot, these books would not live up to the hype. I have to pay respect to the men I shoot and thank them for allowing me to shoot them in this suggestive manner.

What is your favorite type of photography to shoot?
Weddings.... bah mitzvahs... and forensic crime scenes. I mean, do you really need to ask? ;-)

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
Something awesome I am sure. I have never been someone that was bored or working a job that I did not like. Life is way too short.

If you could choose any celebrity for a photo shoot, who would you choose and why?
Whichever one has the nicest budget. I love celebrities and always enjoy working with them, but I am not a starstruck photographer.

Favorite Travel Destination: Brazil
Favorite Drink: Caipirinha
Favorite Movie Genre: Thrillers
Celebrity Doppelgänger: Gabriel Aubry. Yeah..... in my dreams, of course.

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