Entrepreneur and photographer František Gebr has become one of the most sought-after men on social networks in recent months, thanks to the reality TV show Married at First Sight, which he participated in. The 36-year-old native of Prague worked for 11 years as a photo producer, in the interview for LP-Life.com he talked about his most interesting behind-the-scenes experience in this profession. He also spoke about his private life, a nudist beach and a non-traditional sport, which he'd played as a child.
František, you didn't find love in the reality show, but there was information on the Internet that you've been appearing alongside another woman. So, where's the truth?
The truth is I'm single now, but I've been appearing alongside Markéta because we worked together and I took pictures of a restaurant for her.
But you've often met your partners at work…
Yes, that's true. Nowadays, when you work, you spend most of your time at work, where you meet women - colleagues and so it happens that you often find a partner among them. You see each other five times a week and sometimes there is a spark.
And have you ever had an affair with your superior?
Never, because my "superior" was René Decastelo and I think Evička Decastelo would be very jealous, and besides, René and I are both into girls, so nothing ever happened on that front. (laughs)
So are you currently single both officially and unofficially?
I'm currently single in both ways.
Are you the one who picks up a girl, or do you also let yourself be picked up?
The stereotype is probably for a man to pick up a woman, but nowadays, when you women can change a tire and possibly call a repairman for anything that breaks at home, I think the stereotype that a man is the one who picks up a woman no longer applies. I think it's nice when the attraction is on both sides.
What do you think about a woman chasing a guy or vice versa?
I am a person who doesn't like to be pushed into something, and at the same time I am a person who doesn't like to push anyone into anything. So if a guy chases a woman or vice versa, I don't feel like it's healthy. Everything should be in balance and have the right rhythm.
So the moment a woman starts pushing things, you back away?
Well, I don't instantly back away, but I try to calm it down a bit first. Love is simply one of the things you can never force on anyone.
Do you prefer fit women, or do you like the curvy style?
Let's just say that I have a preferred type of woman but I can't really describe it, for me a woman must be interesting for her smile, energy, intelligence, and some chemistry that will work between us. If she's a little curvy or if she's an athlete and a little thinner than me, I don't care. And with how much I cook? Honestly, the girl would have to be an athlete to be slim, or she wouldn't be able to eat what I cook, but that wouldn't work. I really love cooking.
You have 3 cats at home, from your previous relationships. Why did they all stay with you and not your ex-partners?
That is an interesting question. I have Dařbuján from my relationship with Magda, at that time we decided to have a shared care, but then we agreed that it would be stressful for the cat, so he stayed with me. Kirke is not out of any relationship, I got her voluntarily so that Dařbuján wouldn't be alone at home, but then I got into a relationship with Milada and Frida came with her. And when Milada left, she didn't want to pull Frida away from the other cats because they had such a connection, so in the end they all stayed with me.
Are they sleeping in your bed?
Of course they do. Mostly Dařbuján and Kirke. Frida comes for a while in the evening to get her cuddles, and then she goes to sleep on the heater and comes to greet me in the morning, so I can say three cats take turns in my bed.
I saw a photo of you hardening against the cold outside in your "birthday suit". Would you go to a nudist beach?
I know it's going to sound pretty silly now, but I'm actually quite a shy person. To take the photo in which I was naked in the two-centimeter snow, I had to attach my phone with a tripod to the railing and turn on video recording. I looked around a lot to make sure no one saw me. I laid down, stayed there for a while, and then secretly ran inside and picked one photo from the video, but if it were on a nudist beach, I wouldn't go.
Wouldn't you at least go to "take a peak"?
Have you ever been to the nudist beach? You don't usually find there pretty girls like yourself, there are mostly grandmothers in their 60s and you simply want to keep the illusion that life is beautiful. I don't want to offend women over the age of sixty who go to a nudist beach, but I simply wouldn't go there. But maybe I'm completely wrong, because I've never been there...
Are you a person who likes to plan things, or do you prefer to be spontaneous?
I've never really had a plan for how things should go in my life. I'm a very spontaneous person and I believe that things happen the way they should, but it's nice to sometimes plan a trip, a dinner or a vacation, this way you have something to look forward to, so in some respects planning makes sense, and as for the rest, I think one should go with the flow and accept what happens.
What are your craziest plans for this year?
I would like to move to my cottage, because I feel amazing there, it's underneath a forest, there's a wonderful energy there and I've actually lived in Prague all my life, so I need to go out a bit.
And can you think of the craziest spontaneous idea you've ever had in the past?
I don't know exactly. Maybe a very old one, when we decided with a friend during out studies at the grammar school, that we would cross Prague on roller skates at night. We took the last metro to Zličín, from there we skated through the whole of Prague to somewhere in Hostivař. I like to incite things and I'm up for any crazy idea, so when someone comes up with something, I'm mostly up for it.
What about you and sports?
When I was little, my parents probably had to deal with my excess energy, so I played rugby since first grade until I was 13. There were times when I hated it, because I had to go to training in the rain twice a week, but I'm grateful for it in my life, because sport is very important during the time you're growing up. We attended tournaments too, I even got to somepleace in Italy to the European Championships. Unfortunately, I finished at 13 and my father told me at the time that they wanted me with the older students and he was worried about me. I don't know what exactly was behind it. The paradox was that after rugby I went to do ballet. I can't dance or sing, it stresses me out, and I just did ballet for half a year.
How can a rugby player switch to ballet?
I don't know. I guess I needed to try something else. Then I found my love for volleyball at the grammar school, which stayed with me until today. When the gyms are not closed, I go to play volleyball twice a week with different groups and I love it. For a while I was in competitive shooting from an air rifle, which was also great, but I don't understand the ballet thing myself. I will not get back to it and I hope that there are no photos from that time. There were no smartphones back then, and it's more of a funny story.
Do you ever watch sports like hockey, soccer or MMA?
I really like MMA, and sometimes I take kickboxing lessons. I also watch these martial arts because I've heard many times that I'm too nice and sometimes it hurt me and sometimes it upset me. I've never hit anyone in my life and I don't even intend to, but I'd like to learn to work with this energy, so I like to watch MMA matches, where in the end you see that these guys usually hug, pat each other on the back and thank each other for the match, and that's just awesome. Personally, I've experienced two wrestlers during a photo shoot, Attila Végh and Jirka Procházka, and they were such humble, nice and calm people and then you see them in that cage, how they smash each other to a pulp, and that's actually nice and interesting and, for me, incomprehensible.
You were in photo production for 11 years. Why were you attracted to photo production rather than professional photography itself?
I found out that I enjoy taking photos when I was around 20. I worked in a photo lab for two years, where I met some interesting photographers, I learned a lot, but I was afraid back then that if I made a living by photography, I would sometimes have to take pictures of something I wouldn't like. Thanks to René Decastelo, I got to Mladá Fronta as a photo editor, and then, when the printer left our building, René wanted to make a studio, devote more time to production and knew that I was attracted to it. It was a dream job for me, because I was in touch with what I enjoyed and at the same time I could take care of people and make everything work, and that was the most beautiful thing for me.
Can you tell me an interesting story from behind the scenes of this profession?
One that I still like to this day is when René wanted David Novotný and Roman Zach for one of our magazines and told me to take care of it. I've always politely written a text first to these people, who I am and why I want to call them, and David told me that he thanked me but he didn't like taking pictures at all, he actually hated it, so he refused. Well, in two weeks I picked him up and drove him to a photo shoot, and when I was on my way to get him, I picked up Roman first. Then we waited for David at Smíchov and when he came, I greeted him, then he greeted David as well, got in the car and said: "Dude, if I'd known he was so young, I would've sent him straight to hell!" And I found it very funny, because I have an older voice on the phone and then I look younger in person, so that's why he was so taken aback, but in the end they both enjoyed the photoshoot and beautiful photos came out of it.
What personality would you like to take pictures with and why?
I have no specific idol that I would like to meet. For me, every photoshoot with famous people was a very nice meeting with someone you may know from a media image and suddenly you see them in person. But I am interested in everyone as a person and it doesn't have to be a star. I'm such a voyeur of human lives.