If you have decided to skip Fire Island this summer because of the COVD of it all, you can still experience the magic of the LGBTQ vacation destination in a new book by Basque-American photographer koitz.
Gay Fire Island includes 90 pictures that were shot by koitz over the past 14 summers in the communities of Cherry Grove and the Pines.
“Capturing gay life in a normal light is very important to me. I don’t want the viewer to think of my subjects—or myself—as freaks or oddities, but simply as people living their own lives in their own world, according to their own wishes,” koitz tells NewNowNext. “Many of these people have a unique form of expression that deserves recognition and promotion and, in a way, my idea is always to take this extraordinary spectacle and somehow convert it into something like reverence. For this reason above all, my photographs of Fire Island are almost always ’happy,’ colorful, and full of life.”
In his book, koitz captures moments from some of Fire Island’s biggest events like the annual Invasion of the Pines and the Ice Palace pool show. Along with some familiar faces like the boys from Logo’s original reality series, Fire Island, and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 winner, Bianca Del Rio.
“Even though I select whom and where to shoot, for me it is also extremely important to photograph with complete honesty. When I shoot on Fire Island, I choose not to photograph scenes that show the sadness or examples of failure I might see around me,” koitz explains. “It is important to me that I never photograph a person in an undignified or disrespectful way, even when those opportunities show up. I don’t, or at least try not to manipulate any situation. I want people to look their best, and to be at their best. I like to celebrate them.”
Check out some photos from Gay Fire Island below, and head over to the book’s website to learn more.