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 the demand was quite large. These portraits are of real people.
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. During my traveling for the project I have been impacted by so many of my subjects. Having them 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 empowered and filled by self love and confidence.
The best part of doing this project has been meeting so many amazing people but mostly to be made feel as I am doing something that is important and valuable. This is a Handsome Revolution! Self love and acceptance are incredibly important and certainly a difficult place to reach. 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 the ones presented here, whom others and I can identify with.
I'd like this project to say that living openly and truthfully with confidence is a perfect way of living. That feeling handsome is great. That being unique is great and that being part of a community that is loving, supportive, inclusive, welcoming and respectful is wonderful. I'd love for this project to help knock down the little boxes within the big box and to somehow allow us to continue to pave a path to some "normalcy".
The completion date of this project has 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. The ultimate goal of the project is to create a book, a collection of these images.
Fundraising is crucial to this project. We are able to travel because you help us get to you. Please visit our Facebook Page for updated information and images.
Hello my name is Miki Vargas and I'm a lifestyle wedding photographer based in the Bay Area.
I was born and raised in Costa Rica, pulled away from that little heaven to start over in San Francisco when I was 15 years old. I always felt different, saw things through a kaleidoscope and wrestled with myself internally until I found art and all its forms. I feel deeply in love with photography in my high school lab when I developed my first of my many rolls of black and white film.
As I grew up in the Bay as an our queer I struggled with accepting my masculinity. I was struck by the lack of images in the media that would help me identify with who I was beginning to define myself as and felt an urgency to fix this. In 2012 I started photographing for this project.
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 only but also as for historical documentation for the LGBTQ+ community. Future generations can look back and not just find words that can help them with identifying to a group but also photographs and stories of individuals whom they can relate to.
It is my passion as a photographer to help saturate the media with images of beautiful masculine-of-centre and gender non-conforming humans. 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 of them being compiled into a book and a traveling show.
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Miki Vargas Photography.