Professional fitness photographer Gary Stein has expressed shock after having his portfolio criticized for being too “homoerotic” and “including obviously phallic symbols.”
The criticism follows Stein’s most recent shoot, commissioned by Men’s Health magazine. The publisher asked Stein to photograph a “young, shirtless, muscular man at the gym.” What Stein produced, however, was rejected by his employer, who refused to pay him for the photos.
“We know most of our customers are only looking for images of sweaty, muscular men,” said Jim Weirman, lead editor for Men’s Health magazine. “But these were just too obvious.”
“I’m still trying to take it all in,” Stein explained.
Stein claims he had “no idea” his photos were full of phallic imagery. “Frankly, I’m embarrassed,” Stein told the Overheard Press. “I need to take a long, hard probe into myself to learn where these artistic expressions are coming from.”
While Stein holds an optimistic view about his artistic abilities, he remains disappointed over the way he was treated by Men’s Health.
“I really bent over to get these shots, and now Men’s Health is stiffing me where it hurts.”
“I mean in the wallet,” Stein added.