Stas Vokman – photography that celebrates the beauty of men
Born in Siberia and now based in Moscow, Stas Vokman is a photographer that specialises in showcasing the beauty of the male body.
As well as creating beautiful images, Stas also creates explicit content for his fan-subscription channels.
We caught up with Stas for a behind-the-scenes look at his work.
“Taking photos of men was a form of sexual sublimation…” explains Stas, when we ask what led him to focus his camera on naked men. “At that time, I was in a serious relationship. I couldn’t even imagine cheating on my partner. Taking photos of naked men was a legitimate way to mingle with other guys while remaining loyal to my boyfriend. Later, we embraced an open relationship. But, even then, if I had to choose between having sex with a good-looking guy or taking photos of him, I’d go for the latter one. Sex is fleeting – a good photo will stay with you.”
“I’m mostly inspired by Renaissance sculpture and art…” says Stas. “What I find amazing about that period is the reverence with which people treated human nudity – how sensually they conveyed the scene, and the way they used light. I will never get tired of it. Among photographers, I’d single out Herb Ritts and Annie Leibovitz.”
“It’s never been difficult to find men to photograph…” says Stas, when we ask him whether there’s any challenges in sourcing models for his work. “Moscow is a huge metropolis – handsome men from other cities of Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union fly here every day. Recently, I took photos of a straight guy. Before the shoot, he showed my Instagram to his girlfriend. She said – ‘Even a loving woman could never photograph a man as well as he does.’ Perhaps this is the highest praise.”
“I don’t want to disappoint you, but I’ve never encountered censorship…” says Stas, when we ask whether his work puts him at risk of getting in trouble with Russian authorities. “That’s mainly because the gay community in Moscow is like a state within a country. Another possible reason is that the strictness of Russian laws is compensated by the non-binding nature of their implementation.”