Photographer Jef Madden is establishing himself as the go-to guy for shooting community events like the AIDSWalk and Pride Charlotte and for documenting LGBT-themed projects like The Human Canvas, Project Colors and the mural that’s currently being painted on the White Rabbit store. He recently shot new promo pics of me (to promote my professional alter-ego DJ Big David — see them on my Facebook page) and was a doll through the entire process. Naturally, I had to recruit him for the column. Get to know this talented artist a bit better by reading on.
Which person (living or dead) would you most like to photograph?
I always run on instinct and it hasn’t let me down yet, so my first choice is David Bowie. He’s a sexy older man who’s not scared to be wild and be different. I love being creative and pushing beyond what’s expected and David Bowie is one to let the photographer have all control…and I love that.
What’s your favorite brand of lube?
I’m a water-based man and what’s in my travel bag is Astroglide. Need I say more?
Have you ever had a broken bone?
I’ve had my heart broken several times! But, yeah, broke my wrist playing soccer and three ribs playing around a pool at a Fourth of July party. Again, need I say more? LOL!
What would be the name and theme of your first photo book?
“Peephole.” The name of my business is Peephole Photographers so that comes pretty naturally. (I hope I can give a plug for Peephole Photographers on Facebook here. Support me!) As for the theme, it would be all about LGBT pride. I’m working a project now called “Project Colors” with my design partner Gil Croy that celebrates and brings imagination to the six colors of the LGBT Pride Flag.
Which needed household chore are you putting off because you hate it?
Wow! Okay, I’ll tell: I hate to do laundry. I work in a warehouse, so luckily I can wear the same shorts over and over again. LOL! But I could spend all day doing laundry and probably not finish.
How do these films rank based on the number of times you’ve seen them: “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “A Fish Called Wanda,” “Snakes On A Plane”?
To be honest, the only one I’ve seen is “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.” Love me some Liz Taylor and I’m a more of a classics guy — Liz, Marilyn, James Dean, Tab Hunter, etc. There’s a lot of magic in the classics that’s hard to reproduce today.
Who is your all-time favorite female Olympian?
I seem to follow the guys more but, okay, I’ll answer. I really liked following Lindsey Vonn in the 2010 Olympics. She had spunk and I only wish I could ski like her.
When was the last time you slept in a tent?
The first thing that came to mind was a personal tee-pee. LOL! But you’re talking about an actual tent, so, hmmm. You know, I guess it was when I was a kid and my dad used to take us camping in the Smoky Mountains. I won’t give you the year, but I know I was 14.
Do you own a tea kettle?
Absolutely. It’s a precious little red Japanese kettle with two matching tea cups. I think I got it at The Sleepy Poet. But now, whether I have ever used it is a different story.
What’s the sexiest non-sexual part of a man’s body?
I’m torn between two parts here. But, okay, the foot is my first choice. I love the shape of a man’s foot, the hair along the top and across the toes — long slender toes. Giving foot massages is a pleasure to me.
If you could trade places with any photographer for a week, who would it be?
Oh, my god, hands down it’s Annie Leibovitz! She has photographed all the classic Disney fairy tales with stars like David Beckham, Penelope Cruz, Beyoncé, Scarlett Johansson, Queen Latifah, Julianne Moore, Michael Phelps and many others as the classic characters. If you haven’t checked her out, do!
How would you finish this sentence: “I’m standing here in my underwear so you know…”
I’m not taking this lightly. I don’t sleep around, but in you I think there’s something more. I would like to see if what I think about you might be true.
What song never fails to get you up and dancing?
I have to pick one? Okay, “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” by Usher. I guess it’s the whole fallin’ in love again thing, the beat, the words. It totally puts a smile on my face.
Watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew?
Watermelon, because it usually means summer party, outside. And that means water and that means fun!
Have you ever worn lipstick?
Yep, black. Hey, what can I say, I love the dark look — eyeliner and black lipstick. I can put in my purple contacts and be a vampire…or live the life of one.
Are you more likely to pick up a wayward penny or step over it?
Dude, I pick it up! It’s all about fortune and fate and you don’t ignore that. I photographed an event a couple of weeks ago at Freedom Park and as I was taking pictures I noticed an old “lost” angel medallion on the ground beneath me. I’m carrying it with me today.
Do you file your fingernails after you’ve cut them?
Cut them? I’m not a cutter; I bite!
Do you consider yourself good at telling jokes?
Yeah, but not like your standard “jokes.” I make things funny. I take whatever’s there right in front of me and turn it into a joke. It’s the 12-year-old in me.
How many albums do you own by Elvis, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, added together?
Zero, but that’s because I’m not an album guy. I love love love The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and have a bunch of their songs on my MP3 player, but I don’t have any albums by anyone.
How many nude males have you photographed this year?
This is a number I would really really really really like to be higher so help me out here, LOL! But, right now, it’s only four. Totally open for more. : :