Surrounded by chickens and holding two Kermit plush toys, Jerry Shelton was walking in front of his self-described “tuna can” of a home in Fruita when Tom Atwood snapped his photo.
It’s an intriguing photo, the odd juxtaposition inviting the viewer to stay with Shelton and absorb more of his surroundings, both of which were in focus due to Atwood’s use of a wide-angle lens and large depth of field.
Despite the uniqueness, 62-year-old Shelton appears like an average guy — everyone knows someone like Shelton. And that was partly the goal for Atwood, whose upcoming book, “Kings and Queens in their Castles,” documents LGBTQ individuals in their homes.
“When I was younger, I would look at some gay photography I would see in galleries and bookstores and I felt like a lot of it was very focused on nudity and sexuality,” Atwood said, adding that it also tended to focus on urban and trendy young people.
Atwood, a New York-based photographer, wanted to create a more robust documentation of the multifaceted LGBTQ community, showing that its members are in many ways like everyone else while still expressing a common LGBTQ sensibility that sets them apart.
The self-taught artist spent more than 15 years photographing over 350 subjects at their homes, combining both portraiture and architectural photography. The photos depict people doing everyday things, like laughing with friends or gardening outside. In some photos, the subject is staring into the camera, acknowledging Atwood’s presence.
“I feel like someone’s home often tells a lot…
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