A photographer is making waves with his Fotohoto project, which captures queer men or color in all shapes and sizes
Fabian Echevarria, 30, (below) was born and raised in Salinas, California. His mom is Mexican and his dad Puerto Rican. He moved to San Francisco around eight years ago, where he has lived and worked since. He lives with his partner of three years.
By day, Echevarria earns a living in the city’s financial district in account management. However, his photography is taking up an increasing amount of his time.
‘I joke that I’ve been a photographer since I signed up for Myspace, because back then everyone with a camera and a mirror was a photographer,’ he tells Gay Star News.
‘But I actually got my associates degree in photography right out of high school. I’ve been an event photographer in San Francisco for the past 8 years with a major focus on queer nightlife.’
Fotohoto: Celebrating queer men of color
He launched Fotohoto in June 2015.
‘Fotohoto is a play on the Spanish words “photo” and “faggot” respectively. It’s a photo project that celebrates queer men of color, our sexuality, and our diverse and beautiful bodies.
‘It does not subscribe to the restrictions of machismo, “masc-only” ideals. I want to share our authentic selves and so I never photoshop the men I photograph.
‘I wrote this whole manifesto when I first started the project in 2015 that still rings true today, you can find it here!’
Does he look for a certain type of men?
‘Something I think about a lot is, what do our friends and lovers look like?
‘Some of them have six packs sure, and that’s awesome! But there are also people I know including myself, who are not likely to be represented on the cover of magazines or in a list of “100 Hottest Men”. Yet, we are are still here, hooking up, becoming friends, falling in love, feeling gorgeous.
‘So I want to show off those people. If that makes sense.’
Latinx and beyond
He says the project began with him photographing friends. And then friends of friends.
‘As the project has grown and I have a body of work to show more or less the vision I have, I’ve been able to reach out to people on Instagram and even Grindr, to ask if they’d be interested in being photographed.
‘I also hope that the people represented in the project embody some of the same ideas I talk about in the “manifesto” I mentioned earlier. That’s obviously hard to vet, but it’s something I do care about.’
Last December, Echevarria hosted his second Fotohoto exhibition. It took place at Strut in San Francisco.
‘I titled the show “Fotohoto: Latinx & Beyond”.’
Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative for Latino and Latina.
‘Whereas my first show featured all queer Latinx men, the project had since opened up to all queer men of color and I wanted to celebrate that.’