The Chris Buck

The Chris Buck

Chris Buck enjoys taking pictures and has been doing so professionally for 26 years.

Steal This Lighting

I’m happy to have been brought in to do photography for this asthma inhaler PSA with John St and The Asthma Society of Canada. It was a great day with a hard working team.

Top Image: This shot would be great for one of those websites that obsess over lighting set-ups. Luckily those sorts of things don’t interest me.

Second Image: Our finished ad, with excellent retouching and CGI by Mark Jackson.

Bottom Image: Our creative team, trying to match the facial expression in the ad. Left to right: Chris Buck, Leslie LeRoux, Sobi Velauthapillai Phillips, Christy Battell (our model), Amy Sawyer, Alisa Pellizzari, Stephanie Ferrari, Ghadeer Thaher, Leianne Vergara. 

Lena Dunham Goes Commando 

Lena Dunham arrived promptly for our Guardian Weekend shoot at a Brooklyn studio. And then she announced that she’d be needing some underwear. As we moved forward with the shots that we could do sans undergarment there remained an undercurrent of questions: Would the underwear arrive? When would it arrive? And how might it alter the shoot?

In the meantime Lena couldn’t have been more sweet and generous with the crew and myself. For someone who has a media reputation for being self-involved it’s hard to imagine her being more gracious with everyone around her. Complimenting people, asking them questions. It even crossed my mind that that perhaps we were getting Punk’d - celebrities aren’t usually this nice.

She was also generous where it really counted - with the photography. Her love of clothes and her genuine embrace of all that is odd and creative made working with her a photographer’s dream. Playful, dirty and weird - everything I look for in a collaborator!

I look forward to our next sitting, where the availability of underwear may provide even more photographic opportunities.

Did my oath of allegiance this morning! I’m finally an American citizen after living in New York for 24 years. I do still love Canada but the United States has been a very welcoming and inspiring place to live and work and I am grateful for that.
My next step is to register to vote and begin swaying the New York State vote.

Did my oath of allegiance this morning! I’m finally an American citizen after living in New York for 24 years. I do still love Canada but the United States has been a very welcoming and inspiring place to live and work and I am grateful for that.

My next step is to register to vote and begin swaying the New York State vote.

Montreal, Not Just For Bagels

My wife and I went to Montreal last weekend to compare bagels from different shops and to sample the smoked meat; while there I also had an exhibition open.

Much respect to Juno Youn and his Galerie Youn for hosting us. And his team was fantastic: Keoni Le, Josieanne Boivin and Diep Truong - thank you!

The turnout for the two events was impressive, including a number of people who traveled to attend. Favored photo assistant Michelle Watt drove up from New York, and photographer John W. MacDonald came from Ottawa. We were also lucky to get lots of time with my former mentor (dare I say it) Alastair Sutherland (the editor-in-chief of Canadian music magazine Graffiti when I was the photo editor).

But the true highlight was spending a long weekend with my wife, Michelle Golden, without a certain charming redhead in tow. In this sense Montreal lived up to it’s reputation as a romantic city.

Turn of the Century Portraiture

Over the years I’ve come up with countless ideas for photo projects, books and exhibitions; most of them don’t go anywhere but I always manage to come up with clever or stupid titles. So when Galerie Youn urgently needed a name for our show I was ready with the grand and pompous “Turn of the Century Portraiture”. Amazingly, they went with it.

Hopefully the exhibition itself will be grand and pompous itself as a lot of thought and energy has gone into the printing of it. The black-and-white prints were done by Griffin Editions, with a mix of traditional enlarger prints and digital LE (Laser Exposed), both on fibre paper. Laurent Girard, Eric Jeffreys and Grace Pomeroy are my heroes over there.

The color prints are by my friend and loyal compatriot Carl Saytor of Luxlab. Carl and I have worked on my color prints for many years and I always feel well taken care of in his hands.

My wife and I head up to Montreal tomorrow to celebrate the exhibition, and to drink lots of red wine and eat bagels.

Top Image: A 40x50” Jay-Z from 1998 being dried by a fan at the Manhattan location of Griffin Editions. Shot on 4x5” film, this looks so sweet so large.

Second Image: Posing with final 40x50” prints of Bryan Cranston & Jon Hamm (2007), and President Obama (2013). This iPhone snap does not do these prints justice (surprisingly).

Third and Fourth Images: The show features five very large prints and 22 at 20x24”. Amongst these are a few images rarely seen before, including these portraits of David Cronenberg (2005), and Cindy Sherman (1997).

Bottom Image: The invite to the VIP event tomorrow evening. Note the phrase “World Renowned Photographer.” There is also a more casual reception on Saturday September 13th at 2 PM - all are welcome, so please come.

The New New Pornographers

The New Pornographers have just released a new album, Brill Bruisers, and I’m pleased to say that I shot the publicity photos. I traveled with the band in 2001 and did a couple of group shots then and have been listening ever since. 

The label asked that I come up with some ideas for pictures as they hoped to push things a little visually and conceptually. The band was game, doing a Beatles Avedon homage for one shot, and a cliche family portrait wearing button-down white shirts for another, but drew the line at my idea of a formal band shot with one member taking a hit off of a bong. One of the guys explained, “It’s bad enough crossing the border from Canada with the name ‘New Pornographers’, then add to that a quick Google search that shows photos of us smoking a bong.”

Behind-the-scenes photos by Kurt Dahle.

keyframedaily:

Harry Dean Stanton by Chris Buck.

My wife and I watched the Harry Dean Stanton documentary Partly Fiction this past week so it seems fitting that I found my portrait of him on Tumblr today.
This was our second set-up and as Harry was standing there he blurted out, “How long is this going to f**king take?” In a steady voice I told him that we had a number of shots planned and that we’d likely be shooting for another two hours. He had no response to this and was patient and co-operative for the rest of the session.

keyframedaily:

Harry Dean Stanton by Chris Buck.

My wife and I watched the Harry Dean Stanton documentary Partly Fiction this past week so it seems fitting that I found my portrait of him on Tumblr today.

This was our second set-up and as Harry was standing there he blurted out, “How long is this going to f**king take?” In a steady voice I told him that we had a number of shots planned and that we’d likely be shooting for another two hours. He had no response to this and was patient and co-operative for the rest of the session.

typestache:

Typestache on Andrew Dice Clay on photo by Chris Buck

typestache:

Typestache on Andrew Dice Clay on photo by Chris Buck

Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch 
When Baz Bagel opened around the corner from us in May my wife and I couldn’t wait to celebrate the latest addition to the Jewish food revival on the Lower East Side (Black Seed and the Russ & Daughters Cafe had only opened months before). We took our daughter and ordered a bunch of dishes to share - Nova Scotia lox with scrabbled eggs, fresh bagels and even an appetizer platter.
Like seasoned pros the staff soon brought out a coloring book for our four-year-old. But this one was different, it featured line drawing illustrations of fashionable older New Yorkers; called Advanced Style. Olive was soon hard at work bringing her distinctive rainbow palette to a woman sporting big glasses and a tie and jacket. I said to my wife, “It looks like Elaine Stritch.” She came back, “It IS Elaine Stritch.”
The staff were pleased with Olive’s take on Ms. Stritch and added it to their collection, and since her passing last Thursday it’s hung prominently behind the counter as a memorial to the greatest lady who lunched.

Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch 

When Baz Bagel opened around the corner from us in May my wife and I couldn’t wait to celebrate the latest addition to the Jewish food revival on the Lower East Side (Black Seed and the Russ & Daughters Cafe had only opened months before). We took our daughter and ordered a bunch of dishes to share - Nova Scotia lox with scrabbled eggs, fresh bagels and even an appetizer platter.

Like seasoned pros the staff soon brought out a coloring book for our four-year-old. But this one was different, it featured line drawing illustrations of fashionable older New Yorkers; called Advanced Style. Olive was soon hard at work bringing her distinctive rainbow palette to a woman sporting big glasses and a tie and jacket. I said to my wife, “It looks like Elaine Stritch.” She came back, “It IS Elaine Stritch.”

The staff were pleased with Olive’s take on Ms. Stritch and added it to their collection, and since her passing last Thursday it’s hung prominently behind the counter as a memorial to the greatest lady who lunched.

Louisiana in New York

Edwin Washington Edwards is running for the House of Representatives this fall so he is making himself available for interviews and photographs. And thank God for that!

He is an 86-year-old three-time Governor, who’s done time essentially for “practicing the Louisiana way of politics,” married a bombshell prison pen pal in her thirties AND has sired a son with her. If that’s not story enough he’s famous for his colorful quips in a state known for political color.

We shot for many hours for New York Magazine on a beautiful July afternoon in the small town of Gonzales, LA; I very much appreciate the energy and patience that Edwards and his wife Trina brought to the session.

After our last set-up I was driving the Governor home and told him that I recognized how boring it can be being the photo subject. He paused, looked at me with a hint of a smile, “I’m not a virgin, I’ve been had before.” God bless America!