These photos were made in the last six months on two separate assignments for New York Magazine’s The Cut. One story documents the book launch for writer, activist, and sex-worker legend Rachel Rabbit White’s first collection of poetry, Porn Carnival. The reading took place in a Brooklyn club and then traveled to her apartment in Williamsburg for the afterparty. Rachel’s fans and friends dressed the part, and the glitter-meets-literary vibe offset by the dancing pole in the center of her living room made for a super playful and debaucherous scene. The second assignment was photographing male strippers at Sapphire NYC, a gentlemen’s club that hosts a brunch called Men and Mimosas. There I captured a light-hearted Sunday morning of money flying, hard bodies, and lap grinding—my job is never dull.
Such a big part of being a documentary photographer is being out in the world, having experiences, or just showing up and looking. Every part of the process is amazing, and it’s all very inspiring—meeting incredible people, being in unique situations, learning, and honestly just having fun experiencing all of it. To me, the most important thing you have with people is your experiences. And by being open, I’ve found that photography allows for a lot of really unique ones. I’ve gone to college tailgating and fraternity parties, trailed U.S. Marshals, visited dozens of hip-hop video sets and bodybuilding competitions, explored cruise ships and scientific research labs—as long as I stay curious, I get to have and share these amazingly visual experiences.
Books and prints are available for purchase at https://brianfinke.com/shop