Monday, March 29, 2010

Photographed for SIZZLE

Miami is a coastal city in southeastern Florida and is the seventh-largest metro area in the United States with over 5.4 million residents. In 2008, Miami was ranked as "America's Cleanest City" according to Forbes Magazine for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets and city-wide recycling programs. In 2008, Miami was also ranked the 3rd-richest city in the United States and the world's 22nd-richest city in a UBS study.

On May 27 – June 1, 2010, Memorial Day Weekend, join me as I produce Dating Dwight from Miami for the 2010 Sizzle Miami Party. Miami is one of great world capitals for gay circuit parties, with a steady roster of parties held throughout the year. One event that's been gaining rapidly in popularity each year is Sizzle Miami, a five-day event held over Memorial Day Weekend and catering to gay men of color. Since 2002, Sizzle Miami includes dozens of wild parties - its success has led promoters to bill it "America's most celebrated and anticipated black gay event." I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Jerry Boles and chat with one of the power houses who assists in presenting this event and who is the infamous photographer known for capturing the faces of the beautiful Sizzle Models and many other works of art that you have probably seen far and wide. We begin discussing his own photography business and finished off with the latest Sizzle Miami dish.

1. What made you decide to explore photography? Photography manifests from my former days in the modeling, beauty and fashion industry. After serving my time on the stage and in several movies, and even running my own Modeling Production House back in Chicago, I needed something that was more challenging. I have always enjoyed photography, especially high fashion photography. Some years ago I met a photographer by name of Antonella Pizzoli who was from Rome, Italy. She allowed me to sit in on photo sessions and ask questions while also learning how to work the camera. Although, she gave me the initial start, there are so many other photographers that have offered me advice, techniques and some times trade secrets.

2. What direction is photography going in the future? Is it influencing your work? I don’t think you can put a trend on photography. There are many trends in “post production” as it relates to Photo-Shop and creating what we call digital formatting in post production from a graphic artist point view. Photography is like DNA. You find some variance in each photograph from each photographer photographing the same subject.

3. What has been one of your most memorable photography experiences? That is a hard question because every photo-session is unique at that moment. Memorable to me is the stories behind the photo sessions. Some of the people I have photographed are not models but may have been through something in their lives. Being able to photograph those individuals and capture the beauty of their souls is very powerful

4. What publications have you shot for? My work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, billboards around the World. I couldn’t begin to name the numerous of publications where Jerry Boles Photography was featured in. I do owe a lot of gratitude to Dwight Powell former CEO of CLIK Magazine as it is one of the many magazines where you would see Jerry Boles Photography almost in every issue.

5. What photographer’s work do you get inspiration from? Wow…I look at many photographers work almost every day and all of them inspire me some sort of crazy way. However, there are people in my early days that “WOW” me with their work, Victor Skrebneski Photography (Lord & Taylor) Bob Frame (Marshall Fields Department Stores Chicago) Francesso Scavullo (For Cosmopolitan Magazine and who have also shot Elizabeth Taylor, and Grace Kelly), Antonella Pizolli (the lady that inspired me to take on this photography). To me these photographers were my first inspiration into the industry and I would gaze at their work for hours at time.

6. Do you do all the photography for Sizzle Miami? 99% of all the photographs for Sizzle Miami since 2005 were from my camera lenses and that includes the Sizzle Models.

7. How do you select the face of the Sizzle Miami campaigns? Selecting the faces to represent Sizzle Miami is a challenging process, especially with the Male aspect. We try to find someone during the Sizzle Miami Week, which would best represent Sizzle for the following year. Representing Sizzle Miami is position we feel, requires Professionalism, Great Attitude, Mannerism and the look of a Professional Model.

8. What other role(s) do you play with Sizzle Miami? I have had the opportunity to incorporate some of my other skills within the Sizzle Miami Family. I bring 15 years in Catering, Event Planning and Productions with 5 years in Special Security Details and Body Guard Services. Those combined experiences allow me to serve in many capacities before, during and after Sizzle.

9. What is one of the largest challenges you face in preparing for Sizzle Miami? The challenge we face every year for Sizzle is making sure our guests have a great experience. That is our number one concern.

10. What are some exciting things that you are working on for Sizzle Miami in 2010? This year we added the Bloggers CafĂ© and I think this is so unique because it resembled the Oscars or an event where you have the news reporters interviewing the guests as they arrive and during a big event. It is going be interesting to see and hear what our Guest’s expectations, and their experiences about Sizzle Miami. It is also going to be interesting to hear the Blogger’s perspectives in their experiences as well. The White Party has grown over the year and it is certainly an event that our guests are excited to attend. We meet with the hotel to select a great menu, and exciting entertainment. The Booze Cruise is another event that we started small in the beginning but have grown to a bigger and memorable event during the Sizzle Miami Week. I must stress to our new guests and even many regulars who have not participated, in getting their tickets for the Booze Cruise. Last year we secured two large boats that had three levels and it explored the waters off the coast of Miami. The Sizzle Her for the Ladies and the Sizzle Him for the Men and I tell you the kids got their life. All I can tell you is that you had to be there to experience it.

11. What would be the wisest investment for a sizzler to purchase for Memorial Day weekend? The wise investment is to secure your room and airline ticket if you flying or reserve your car if you are driving and not wait on your “FRIENDS” who promised they are going to Sizzle, but for some unfortunate reason(s) your ‘friend(s) had to change his plans. I hear this very often from people who were set to come but “something came up” with another one of their friends that ruined their chances to be in Miami.

12.Is Sizzle Miami all work for the crew? Or do you all get the chance to play too? Dwight Powell, the CEO of Sizzle Miami, is the first to tell you that we are not there to enjoy Sizzle as if it was vacation time, we are there to make sure our GUESTS have a SAFE, Exciting and wonderful experience. We put in lots of hours during that week and our staff works tirelessly to make sure every event is 110% to our expectations. So, there is no room for play, we are serious about fun and we serious about are guests enjoying just that “FUN.”

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