Marc Hom for PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive
Few magazines attract the kind of excitement and intrigue as PEOPLE’s annual "Sexiest Man Alive" issue. This year, they called up Marc Hom asking him to shoot what is often their most visible cover of the year, and when they told Marc who they chose he signed up immediately. He's photographed David Beckham before, and was excited to work with him again, but it had been a long time. "I worked with him 12 years ago and at that time he was at the beginning of his career basically," explains Marc. "He was obviously already famous but it wasn’t to the point of where he is today, where it’s really like photographing an empire." The status that Beckham has achieved over the last decade has made him one of the most recognizable faces in the world, a distinction that can make shoots like this complicated. But this shoot wasn't complicated like that.
In a move that both surprised and delighted Marc, Beckham came to set and immediately set the tone for what could have been a high pressure, high drama event. Instead, Beckham and Marc made sure that everyone felt comfortable and were working towards the same goal. "He arrived on his motorcycle alone, stepped up, gave me a big hug and said, 'Great to see you,' and then he went around and said hello to everyone on set," Marc says. "And that’s such a great gesture that a lot of people could learn from. It just brings a much more relaxed atmosphere, and to just show respect to everyone that's working that day and trying to make everything best for him and for everything." By shrugging off the airs of celebrity, Beckham proved they were all there to work towards the same goal and everyone on set was crucial to that goal. It kept everyone energized and positive, engendering efficiency and ease.
It's not lost on Marc that PEOPLE Magazine already has a huge readership as it is, but the Sexiest Man Alive cover gets seen by everyone. Millions of people will lay their eyes on these photographs, a distinction that even the most successful photographers don't always get to claim. But that doesn't mean we know how everyone will react, and Marc is excited to see the reaction. "I think it’s always interesting when you do something that goes out to the masses in that sense because we have no idea what's going to happen," says Marc. "And I think for them to choose him was one of the reasons I committed to this. It is very unusual kind of choice for a main street magazine. I think he has an edge and something different. We’ll see!" The cover was revealed early on Jimmy Kimmel Live, surrounded by applause, cheers, and the laughs appropriate for that kind of unveiling. A fitting response for a monumental cover.