When you search photographer Steve France’s name on the DNA website the results page will leave you weak at the knees. Steve knows how to pick the perfect model and more importantly, he knows how to capture their fine physique and masculine good looks. As a valued contintibutor to the DNA website, it is only fitting that we feature our Londan based mate, Steve France.
DNA: How did you get into male physique photography?
Steve: I am foremost an artist who originally used photography to capture images of male bodybuilders to use as reference for producing my artwork. I worked like this for about 9 years, studying and developing my experience in lighting the male form. It was never my intention to use photography as an art form but over time I became obsessed with the process. The turning point was in 2008 when I moved to shooting digital. Back then, I was heavily into my own gym training which bought me into direct contact with bodybuilders wanting photo shoots.
DNA: What makes a good physique model?
S: A good physique model will have confidence and know how to present their look and posing for the camera. They will train hard and cut for their shoot. I prefer a slight arrogance in my models (the camera will not love you if you don’t respect yourself). Muscle mass, ripped condition and good aesthetics are the 3 essentials.
DNA: What gear do you usually use for a shoot?
S: I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark III with 80mm and 135mm prime lenses. I shoot predominantly in the studio using Elinchrom flash and with battery powered flash on location.
DNA: What has been the most interesting experience to happen during a shoot?
S: I once got trapped with my model on the bank of the River Thames. I miscalculated the time of returning tide. We were so busy shooting that I did not notice our exit point was under water. The only means of escape was to climb an escape ladder to the street level 40 ft above us. My model did not have time to dress so he had to make the climb wearing just the posing trunks. The look of the public as we came over the embankment wall was priceless.
DNA: It’s hard to ask a photographer which one photograph is his favourite, so which three are your favourite male physique photos that you’ve taken and why?
Matty Bladez (@mattbladez)
For me, this is my ultimate underwear model photo. 4 years of photographing for AlphaMaleUndies culminated with my biggest muscle model for AMU. Matty Bladez is a very intelligent model who knows how to deliver (some men are born pure Hot!). The photo is just a catalog shot but it was taken during one of my most creative periods. It set the benchmark for everything that followed.
Dan Rollo (peakedphysique_sfl)
My shoot with American bodybuilder Dan Rollo in Fort Lauderdale on the day before hurricane Irma hit Florida. Photographing a bodybuilders posing routine is intense business for both photographer and bodybuilder. For me, it’s the ultimate shoot experience. This was a landmark shoot which returned me to my bodybuilding roots.
Francesco Della Vedova (francesco_dellavedova)
This scene with Italian bodybuilder Francesco Della Vedova captures the moment when photographer and model were both on point. The best physique photography comes when model and photographer share the same vision. Here’s the moment when we both instinctively knew we had kicked the ball right out of the park.
United Kingdom, London