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Q&A With Nacer Paul

How did you get into photography, and what influences you?

Originally I didn’t set out to be a photographer. It just kind of happened. I did some modeling work and designed for many people, for clubs, for different events. I didn’t see photography coming. Capturing the essence of masculinity with urban culture is my style of shooting. My biggest influence to date will have to be Carlos Arias, New York-based fitness photographer, who I had the pleasure of learning from when I first started. Other more direct influences are Maya Guez, Mike Ruiz, Rick Day, Justin Monroe, Michael Stokes and Harol Baez.

Do you believe you’ll be successful?

Once you had to wait to be accepted, to be promoted, to be selected…to somehow be “discovered.” Not anymore. Access is nearly unlimited. You can connect with almost anyone through social media. You can publish your own work, distribute your own art, create your own products, attract your own funding. You can do almost anything you want and you don’t need to wait for anyone to discover your talents. Success is never assured. Only in hindsight does it appear that way. If you’re willing to work hard and persevere, who you are is more than enough. Don’t measure yourself against other people. Pick a goal and measure yourself against that goal. That’s the only comparison that matters. So yes, I believe I will be successful.

How do you feel about other aspiring photographers in the LGBT community?

I am ready to drop some pearls on the floor like Nomi Malone in Showgirls, haha. There are a million types of artists in our community, especially in New York. The only thing I have to say is be HUNGRY.

How do you feel about social media “taking over the world”?

It sure is, and you either adjust or deal with it, because society never moves backwards, only forward. So complaining about it is irrelevant.

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