Sexy isn’t really something you can pin down.  A man being good at what he does is sexy, a woman in her pants in sexy, a certain look or glance can do it for some people and there’s a tribes in Africa that won’t give a girl a second glance unless her neck is at least a foot long. The point I’m trying to make is that it takes all sorts.  The world’s a melting pot and there’s more to life than the airbrushed models in the adverts.


A time when we’re all trying to look our sexiest is when we have our formal portraits taken, it doesn’t happen much these days, only really at primary school or in the 1990s.

In England we only ever did it with our school uniform, but in America, the land of uniform-free schooling, I guess the format was: wear your bestest/coolest clothes, sit in front of a weird marble-y blue screen that reacts weirdly to flashes, and try to convey your approachable, friendly but also unique personality in a single facial expression. Also, you’ve got to do something with your hands, fold them in your lap or rest them under your chin.  Maybe even include a prop that has something to do with the particular hobby you think defines you, then hold that pose. These pictures will go in your yearbooks and that means everyone you ever fancied will have a copy forever. So you better look good.

The kind of earnest results that arise from following the above instructions can be found on a blog called Sexy People, which is run by a guy called Renzo (who takes it pretty seriously but seems nice enough) from Rome, of all places. As part of our initiative to help you waste your time and not revise/work or do anything other than hang out on the internet, we spoke to Renzo for you.

Hi Renzo, what’s up with Sexy People?
I’ve always been a keen image collector, and had a passion for formal studio portraits for a long time. I’ve started collecting them randomly, while looking for images of other kinds.  I thought they were too great not to share, so i started the blog.

Where do you find your images?
Lots of different places. Flea markets, family albums and random sites on the net, and I receive a lot of portraits from the people themselves.

What’s the best era of portraits, in your opinion?
Every decade has its qualities, but my favorite period is probably the 80’s to the 90’s transition, 1988-1992.

Those were the years where photographers and subjects dared the most, in terms of backdrops, poses and most of all outfits. And that’s a very important thing for me: being wild, without doing it on purpose, having a portrait that looks almost fake for how rad it is, but that is completely original. From the mid 90’s till now, more and more portraits feature people trying to make funny poses or wear funny stuff on purpose. That kind of irony is one of the most sad things in the world!

(I know the last photo is a bit low res, but doesn’t he look like Jack Penate?!)