Celebrity Photographer Mike Ruiz

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We sat with celebrity photographer and reality TV personality Mike Ruiz for a fun chat about his latest campaign - Flex Your Vote - as well as coming out, Pride season, the reality of reality TV, and inclusivity.  

This is Metrosorcementi the officialPotcas Tho metrosorte magazine and home of short form interviews with yourfavorite personalities, fron the LGBTU world and beyond quit fun andInformative, its metal sorce on the go out in crowd since Ninetennin Wellllo. This is metrosorce minis. Iyour host Alevana Radrig, and today we want you to plex your vote. One out offive members of the LGBTQ community is not registered to vote, and that is onetoo many. Now is not the time joining me today about about it all iscelebrity. PHROTOGRAPHYR, microweves, Mikes long list of celebrity andclients include everyone under the Sun, from Kelly Clarkson to betty white andliterally everybody in between he's also gone on to direct several musicvideos for artists such as Kelly, Rollan, Henesa Williams, Erica JaneRupaul, and he made his feature film, debut with the uproaring of Comedy Star,booty. Storing Rootwall, yes, also appeared frequently on Americas andCanada's next top model, a rel polster agg race, along with dozens of othertelevision appearances as an expert in his field he's also a dul gooder andand as prowd of his community service. Having supported such organizations Umas the AL, a forty CENTR GMH see the trever project. Housing works, it getsbetter campaign, live out loud projectantial food and glad he's on thehonorary poard of let there Behope Research Foundation. He also works withvarious animal rights organizations and animal rescues throughout the. U S,including stand up for pets, foundation and numerous animal rescues nationwide,his latest campaign flex. Your vote include seven other fitnessphotographers with a series on hot muscle picks to get everyone off theirass and vote. Please welcome to the show Mr Mike Really's Helo what what a what an introduction. Iknow I wish I cou hat by the word for all of it Um, so I hade to know what what exactlyinspired flex the vote. Um, you know there's you know like I II mean I don't primarily shoot for thise models, but I do shoot a fairshare of them and, oddly Um, a lot of the American ones are trump supporters which I just thoughtwas really weird, and you know like Ocula, like a lot of guys that I'veshot, I would get into it on Um, you known social media with them. You know like e- I just wouldn't Iwouldn't take it very far but like they would like respond to like my antitrump stuf, and it was. It was alarming to me thatso many of them, you know who depend on us. You know, there's you know thewhole range of photographers that do mostly fitness stuff. You know we'reall gay M, you know, and all of these guys pretty much depend on us. Thesefitness Gus apenonus to you know to kind of Opel their careers and yetthey're willing to draw US under the bus. So anyway, just you know that kindof that kind of made me really mad and-...

...and I reached out to all the otherphotographers. You know who do th ou W, who should fit this stuff and we youknow we were Goin a you know. I mean I was calling for like a boy Cottan, but I would talk out of that by by themore rational of the photographers and we decided to just do this campaign. Tyou W T to promote people. You know to encourage people to vote, because youknow somemany in our community are not even registered well, and I I was really taken aback bythat fact. You know Um and I would think that, in our current social andpolitical climate people are more inclined to to get out and vote Um, butI really did not know that so many of us were not registered, which is justinsane to me Um. Why do you think we're not as involved as we should be? I meanI'm surprised, it's not like ninety nine point nine percent of USregistered to vote. Why do you think that is Um you K now? I think it. Ithink it has mostly to do with m people thinking that t they don't matter andthat their vote doesn't count. You know that's where th people arejust complacent. You know forty four percent of the general population ofregistered voters didn'nvote in the last election, that' tatsyothit's,almost half of the country didn't vote who were registered. So I think it's just a by product of offeeling, like you know that their vote doesn't count. It was funny because of the lastelection you know we were told that Hillary was in the lead and you know itwas going to be a done deal and we thought there's no way this guy couldwin and I remember watching the election results and and then Iactually asked my friends, you know well, did you go vote? Did you go voteand- and sadly you know some of them said?Oh well, no, I didn't make it or this ond that, because we thought that wehad it in the bag and look what happened M it's so I mean the goodthing aboutwell I mean it's not a good thing. I mean. Unfortunately, we had to go throughthat four years to shake us out of complacency. You know like imagine thatthe turnout is not going to be a hundred percent of our community. Youknow I mean aside from the rare trum supporting LGB, you know gay gay guys,I don't know what's wrong with them, but m Y. U, I think we're going to turnout in you know in drogs to or ouse the wicked witch fingers crossed and yo and everythingelse cross, but you know with everybody pointing out whose racist WHO's maderaces comments in their career and you finding out that a lot of thepersonalities whose careers y your photography has helped build having towork in the same environment. You know it's funny when we look and we're like,I hadn't know that they were racist or I didn't know that they stood up forthis and we still have to work with them, we're still in the entertainmentfield. How are you going to Kindof counteract that? Because attention isat an all time high, we still have to work with certain personalities, andnow everybody is being super supervocal about it. That makes a very interestingwork: environment, entertainment, environment, even creatively. How doyou creatively work on a photoshoot...

...with somebody whose ideals areliterally putting your rights at at risk? That's a that's a great question. Where I'm concerned, I think you know'cause, I'm so vocal about it publicly that Um, I Y, I don't think anyonewould dare bring up the topic on Achot. You know if they they hadcontraryumviews to mine. I don't. I don't think they would bring up bringing up on a sheet because you knowlike I'. I I mean I'm, not I'm not Beholdeng to anybody. You knowat I mean like. If somebody were to be really offensive to me. I would I wouldpack my stuff and walk out plainand simple. You know, unfortunately W I cando that, but you why M, but I feel like because I can dothat, but I need to do that. Uh Yeah and you're right, but also you know t Imean the reality is as like I mean who anentertainment is. You know who's going to be vocal aboutthat in entertainment, I mean without differe, ower yeah, poor Mary Heartdidn't know what was happening to her. Oh really, I didn't even know about her.She don't even worry about it. I mean who's marry heart now, but but backthen you know it's like why marry Harts, um O ne, but speaking of bloring, thelines between you know our personal life and political life nd and ourprofessional life. You have done a lot of reality. T V um. I remember you fromthe a list New York Um. Did you like doing that? Show Hi was all right. Youknow it was repo was very calculated for me. You K ow. I did I you know Imean Yo. Clearly I didn't Um. You know I wasn't. I wasn't a puppetfor t for the producers like right and not not that the breast of the cast wasbut the rest of the cast wanted more. You know they wanted that full reality.T V experience out of it; they wanted to be noisy and and seen and famous,and I just wanted to use it to you know to have a little bitofful platform toyes, I could forn my soafbox and and pretty much and you have used yourplatform for so many causes from animal rights to equal rights. You know andnow for for getting the word out to vote. What do you say to people thatsay that reality T v kind of supports and capitalizes on the idea ofstereotypes, especially with the LGBT community? It Kinda? Does you know what I mean? Inever really. I never really thought about it, but I mean Thee H, realreality. T V is basically, you know not an accurate representation of anyentire group. You know it's not anaccurit representation of Atlanta Housewa. You know like of allthe housewives who read it. You know what I mean yeah all like loose canons,but you know so so I mean you know. I think everyone should just tae with agreen assultant and realize it I's just entertainment and and not not try tomake it such a. You know...

...like it shouldn't be a representationof anything. It's just Um. You know it's just fun, entertainment as far youknow. As far as I concerned, you know 'cause. I I mean I don't I mean I nevereven thought of that. You know about. Like you know, I mean I mean I'mentertained by, like you know, flambuoyant Canpe, sort ofpersonalities. I mean nobody wants to watch a bunch of, like you know, we'renormal gays. I lost Onecouch, you know like like wings, I don't Cotat Roed, but no my. What is you create a processwhen you're creating a photo choot, especially with with a high profilescelebrity, you kind of story board it out in your mind. Are you looking atdifferent colors and textures? Are you just kind of going with it w wh? What'syour process, I kinda. You know it's sort of like an organicprocess. It's not that rigid. I don't like story border ridiculously. Youknow I come up with a general idea and I disseminate that idea to my teame andthen we all like have inplets, and you know on the day to shoot thingsinevitably mor into something else and Um. You know it just um it just kinda. Like I don't know, Imean honestly how it will I create a process. It's it's very organic, like Icould come up with a very rigid idea. O know 'cause. This is what I want toshoop and then you know I'd end up changing completely by some long e setand done so I'm very flexible. That way, I'm not I'mnot Cooper Um. You know welland you've worke, for so many celebrities and what you get out ofthem. I mean you distinctly know. This is a micreweze a photo or a photo shoot.It has a very certain theme and you KINDOF get their trust. I'E I've seenyou do all kinds of creative things with like, like I said, the hcelebrities of all all different types, um mic. What we like to do on the showis also we we like to share our journey in the LGBT community. What was yourcoming outstory, my coming out of story was Um waspretty funny. I used to I'm from Montreal and I used to go to Um to aclub with all of my friends, my high school friends, who esed to go to co,Lik Ueno 'cause. You could go to clubs when youwere like Yeah Sixeen, Gon backthen so we were going to this club. There was a three three level club andwore cab was not going to be waved with new way where we would go and hang outand the the one abo it was a leather bar and the one about that was like aBix, a big like flashy. You know big crowded, Gaybar, you know like Ala,saint and you Goodo M, like we Sol we'd, all hang out and go to t the new waveclub on the curst floor, and then I was always like sneaking off and going upto the gateboar. And then I got busted one time and I was seventeen at thetime and I got blusted in my friend like what Di you Knowi'g up there O. I just said you know fucking. Thisis hat OCAS I got ad. You know this is me, so I came ut to all of myfriends when I was seventeen and then Um, and then I came up to my family. When Iwas twenty five you K ow. I was a little more apprehensible about comingout to them.

You know teyour rejection and alactoran crap but um I M. I came out to them and hey youknow my mom and dad looked at each other and theyr like come. You knowtell us something. We don't know Sokind of antichomactic. I was hoping for likecome knelt down at least or you knowceers and little mark you anyway, tolior whateverI mean in Er Eah. I I love that and that is very positiveexperience to have Um. You know this year's pride season looks totallydifferent. We're not going to the prides we're not traveling around thenation. Um There's lot of digital stuff going on B T I think, there's a lot ofthrowback Um to to how pride was formed where we came from we're being a littlebit more retrospective as to our history rather than focusing on on theparting aspect. But what does this pride season mean to you differentlythan it has um in any other year? Gosh Um? What does it mean to me? Imean because we weren't we weren't able tolike do the you know the very visible sort of like celebrating that weordinarily do. I mean what it means to me. I think its just you know just tolike live authentically, and you know kind of be myself and not not worryabout. You know. T spe be happy with myself. Imean like I, I think I'm just beyond. Like the the I don't know how to articulate this, Ithink I'm just beyond o the need to like to like express you know, like myPride Foo, you know like I've done all of that and o just like you know. Ispend all my time in energy just trying to propel. You know all of us forward,and you know I still support the community. You know immensely, but Idon't M, I don't do it in the loud and proud way that I used to well and but what I love about clexorvote. It's it's hitting all of our sensibilities, things that we love.Obviously we love muscles. We love that kind of physical muty, but it's kind ofputting that spin on it. It's like yeah pay attention like look at me and thenhere's what I have to tell you. You need to go vote this year, or all ofthis could be taken away. All of these joys that we have um we've been kind ofin this bubble in the last few years. Where we're we're represented the media-and you know we think we're out and proud, and then we realize especiallylately we're kind of Endangerin in going back in many different ways withthe transcommunity with our minority groups within the LGVT community. It'skind of scary that that bubble is is kind of popping yeah. It's it'sterrifying actually, and that's that's what really you know inspired me to towant to do this because Um you don, you know the way that I do itYo. I feel like the percentage of of people whoar not register to vote inour community. You know are just young and you know they're, you know they're,it's not like you know, 'cause. I remember when I was Youn. I was tryingto put myself in their shoes. You know when wh N, when I was young what youknow, what was my help? Look on all of it. You know I didn't care. I just wantto have a good time on party I on woter...

...clubs Um. So that's why US Okow amusing! Thisapproach is to KINDOF. You know, get them with their current sensibility butdeliver the message. You know through the back door. You know what I meanlike like: Oh Ha, Hohunky guys and then you know, and then they and then theyget the message, and you know what I've been doing. Is I've been posting imagesof my instigream story stories where you know it's like a really hot guy,e'l, say swipe up to see more and yetthe boting the tey'll go to aregistration page. You Know Bunk Ot, Gab and actually a lot of them Havreached out to me a like. You know that was really funny what you did you knowand as a result, I ended up reses Fer invoved. Well an I. I love that and itwasn't really effective because I'm a huge fan of yours. I follow you, I'malso a Hutran of Air Turner who who you photographed for one of the and I wasswiping. I couldn't Swite Fast Aniu. I like Gitces a great campaign like Isaid you know it kind of hit everything I I'm interested in Walkin my l e RiOdo. I just Wan. I just want to say, go back to like pride. You know, that'sthat's O 'cause cause. I do so much stuff so much like visibly gay stuffthat that's my expression of pride. So I don't. I don't feel like I need toseparate. You know like to do something specifically forepride 'cause, I'malways doing it anyway. So right, you just made me realize that so that'sthat's kind of what prime means to me to just do three hundred and sixty fivedays a year. Well, I think that that's a that's a good call to action for allof us. You know live our pride on a daily basis and pride doesn't mean,like you know, I'm I'm waving the Gay Pride flag or I'm wearing glitter everyday, for I nosb means that I'm becoming actively involved in the community, I'minspiring other people to become active in the community. That also is a verypowerful sense of pride, like we're, seeing a lot of selfies athome in the same rooms and the same outfits we're shirt with, because wehave nowhere to go. No, can you give me the best hints on on how to smiseperfectly for you're at home, instagram Souphie, you have you have any tipsyeah! Well. First of all, you have to find like: U, like a window, see I'msitting in front of a window right now, agan a extra filters, but but you knowit's Nice, even writing! You know if I was if I was, if I was sidelighting itor something you know I wouldn't Ho. So you was Wang to find like a nice window.Jus Stan about three feet behind. You know like into the room from the windowand Um and that's usually how you get the best selfes. Well, definitely youhave this angelic low, Mike I'm not sure you're that angelic wha. The Way I don't know if you'vebeen noticing, but I've been like very, like gachelike 'cause. I had twovaneers that cracked off you know and I'm, like I told my dentism e, don'teven put it tend in 'cause we's, going to see me wit's, gorgeous you're, beautiful,inside and and and out, Okay Mikael, we're GOINGTA, add up we're going toplay a little rapid fire. Are you game? Yeah, okay, okay, so let's go h themost awkward or worst celebrity meeting...

...and you've met everybody M. I would have to say it was billyZayne. He was just. It was on Hao, poor, belly Oro forty something years ago,yeah! Well, that's when he was at at his beak uh billy do better billy. Okay,your guilty pleasure food. We know you're super fit but like what's thefood that you're like okay, we're giving it Peter Butter Y, I go througha whole Gra pean of butter like tto every two days, and that's just in thebedroom like what, with the title of your ownreality TV show be mm Karen's gone wild. No! Well, I would be. I would bepersecuting them, a never ton wild and me putting the Kabash on them. I lovethat Yeah Beca! Well, yeah. I got to think of we better TI O. U, yes!Okaysomehing about Puti N, the Kabash on card. Okay got what's celebrity. WHO has passed? Wouldyou have wanted to do a huge photoshit with it could be like old classicHollywood? It could be. You know recently passed just a celebrity who isnot with US M who's, not with us. Well, you know Imean my my first thought. would be Marilyn and robe? Yes 'cause. I was just looking at some oldstuff onfer, but I'm trying to think of somebody pasted recently I mean youknow I mean I. I worked with Prince a few times and I was so devastated that'cause. I was kind of his guide. You know at the end yeah and it was. I waslike so devasated that you know t thought of never being able to workwith them again 'cause. It was just like every time I git it was. I mean I'd, be on club night after Ye Iman Yeah Princon Marylyn together,yes, Oh my God, it'd be awesome, all right microwave for President I'mgoing to vote. What is your campaign slogan Um? My Campaign? Slogan is M, God I don't know, suggest one for me w. What would you?What would you assign my camping smogan to be make America hot again or M OAMERICA? I was the same igricagayagain, but we already. We already heard that a million times mi tell everybody where they can findand follow you, and how can we get involved with flex your vote? Well, you can go to the flexer vote,Insogran page, which is just atlix. Your vote and Oucan Um. Also just yeregistered boat had voted out Org. That's that's! Basically what the wholepurpose of it is is to drive people to Um, to register and- and you know like,I always give updates and suff on my Insgran Pagewich, which is at Mirewry's, one all spelled out M Kru, Iz, Olenvi and yeah. There's always a flurry of minformation and Creative High Candy...

I'd say an definitely a beautiful shotstoo of all different types of celebrities and brands M. I wonder F,who has the instagram at Micrui without the one? Does he ever message you andbe like got some got some gay guys in my dms again? No, but there's a Micorese that followsme: N, like we always go back and forth with each other and he'll say he'lllike like I'll post, a picture of me and elike. Oh, I look so and he'll say:Oh, I look so good today and then well Ho Lok with hem like wow. I lookawesome or you know, l e way to go MEO e to on correspondencs going. I I lovethat I wish I was microways three okay! Thank you! So much Mike. It's always apleasure. Speaking with you, I'm glad to see that that you're doing well inquarantine, everybody go out and flex your vote. That has been anotherepisode of Metrisource Minnis Iam, your host and Leedwriter for Metrosourcemagazine Alefanda Radrigas. You can follow me on insogram at Alexandris onair. You can binge, listen and watch all of our episodes, beaturing all ofour celebrities on that Netrosorce Dot Com until next time stay true and Duoboand flax. Your Vote Yeah. That has been another metthof horse.Many like Sharon subscribe on your favorite hidcast player and check outthe latest issue of metrosports magazine on new stands or online atMesafort tatcom follow US unfaceful, aginst, Tagramma, natecort and Ontiereles O Cors. Then antithe TI PAE.

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