This personal photography project seeks to explore and celebrate the beauty and diversity of masculine of centre and gender-non-conformist individuals.
In 2012 I began photographing for this project as I felt a tremendous need to see more images of those who looked more like me and whom I could identify with. As I began to share these images publicly, I realized that others felt the same. These portraits are of real people, who are just like me in many ways.
My first trip out of state to photograph for the project was in February 2014 when I visited Atlanta. I was fortunate to be invited to come on the road with Saint Harridan for their pop-up store tour.
I get to experience so many amazing things with every shoot. I am so proud to know that we are a community of many talents, intelligence, strength and handsomeness! Some moments have impacted me more than others. Having my subjects share tears with me as they express their happiness in being validated by the project and feeling that the experience is empowering to them. It is my goal that everyone after their shoot walks away feeling infinitely more handsome as they felt when they first arrived.
The best part of doing this project has been meeting so many amazing people and to truly feel like I am capturing a handsome nation. To feel I am doing something that is important and valuable. To know that I am creating momentum and that I may be creating dialog that needs to be had even if it is uncomfortable.
The most spot on and important description of masculinity I have encountered so far has been that masculinity does not define you, you define masculinity for yourself.
This is a Handsome Revolution! Self love and acceptance are incredibly important. We are one magnificent ever evolving community, we are important, we are intelligent, we are valuable, we are beautiful, we are powerful and live meaningful lives and for all these reasons I'd love to continue to saturate the media with images of people like me whom others can identify with.
I'd like this project to say that showing who you truly are with confidence is perfectly okay. That feeling handsome is great. That being unique is perfectly okay and that being part of a community that is loving, supportive, welcoming and respectful is perfectly okay. I'd love for this project to help knock down the little boxes within the big box.
The completion date of this project is not yet defined. But the goal is that after every tour I am able to return to each city where I photographed and do a show of all the images.
Next step is fundraising next year to be able to visit all the cities that have shown interest in the project to come to them. The ultimate goal of the project is to create a book, a collection of these images.
Please visit our Facebook Page for updated information and images (Please note that this page will be moving soon) here: HANDSOME REVOLUTION PROJECT
Hello my name is Miki Vargas and I'm a lifestyle wedding photographer based in the Bay Area (My Website).
Born and raised in Costa Rica. I'm bilingual and can speak and read Spanish fluently. I’m a romantic; I love chocolate and the outdoors. Camping and hiking are some of my favorite things to do. My partner is my best friend, and my camera, my second best friend. I love to travel and yes, I will go just about anywhere to make a pretty picture.
I've been in love with photography since I was very young and have been shooting professionally.
In 2012 I started photographing for the project. As I got older my masculinity matured with me and I struggled with it. I struggled with acceptance and the lack of images that would help me identify with who I was beginning to define myself as. I went from identifying as a butch to the boi I am today and began thinking that these images were needed not just for myself but for future generations.
I believe it is important to find ourselves represented in images with the rest of the world and this project is important because visibility is education and promotes acceptance. Creating these images is not just important for those reasons but as well as for historical documentation. Making sure that future generations can research back and not just find words that can help them with identifying to a group but also photographs of individuals whom they can identify with.
It is my passion as a photographer to help saturate the media with images of beautiful masculine-of-centre and gender non-conforming folks. We all define our own identity and this is one way to show that there is no one way to be.
I want to travel nationally and internationally capturing these images with the end goal being to compile them all into a book and a traveling show.
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Miki Vargas Photography.