PDN Photo of the Day

Photographing the Photographer

To many in the photography industry, Chris Buck and Greg Miller are household names. Both have successful careers shooting for a variety of editorial and advertising clients, exhibiting their work, publishing books, teaching photography, giving artist talks and mentoring young photographers. Portrait photographer Ryan Loewy has always admired their work, and decided to ask them both to sit for him.

“When I first thought of photographing my favorite photographers, it wasn’t something I saw as a series or a body of work that I was trying to build,” Loewy says in an essay he wrote about the project. “Really, it was just a challenge for me to photograph those that I had looked up to. The most intimidating thing I could do to myself was put myself in front of the scrutiny of those that I idolized.”

Loewy emailed Buck first since they had already established a relationship (a friend of a friend introduced them a few years ago) and got a positive response right away. Loewy presented Buck with a variety of ideas and poses. Though Buck cooperated (reassuring Loewy that whatever he wanted to do was fine), the weather did not. “It was drizzling a bit, so I had to strategize locations that would keep Chris from getting wet but still yielded some sort of interest.”

Miller took a bit longer to respond than Buck, Loewy says, but he “eventually greeted [me] with a very delightful response and a willingness to pose for me, even going further as to suggest some ideas, one of which was the Miller High Life sign [Slide 5]. “Unlike Chris, though, Greg wasn’t completely open to every idea I had,” Loewy says. “Initially I wanted to have him wear his glasses upside down, as a bit of a cerebral reference to the view camera (Miller primarily shoots with an 8×10), but he felt that his glasses didn’t fit.”

In addition to challenging himself, and creating new images for his portfolio, Loewy came away with an even deeper appreciation for what Buck and Miller have accomplished in their careers. “Their ability to build reputable careers as commercial photographers yet still instill an individuality within that work, that’s just, that’s something else.”

For more about the project, check out Loewy’s post on Tumblr.


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