Welcome to the wishlist: a list of people I would like to photograph (for various reasons) that have, at some point, popped into my head and stayed there. To help understand why they are on this list I've also included my reasons for the desire to photograph them.
Initially this list started nearly 10 years ago on the inside cover of a university notebook and has since then been digitized to an iPhone notepad. It now lives here on my site. This list will grow, and if I am fortunate enough to photograph any individuals on this list their names will look ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶.
A friend of mine once said "if you don't ask, you don't get". That's the idea behind making this list public. Is it far-fetched? Yes. Unlikely? Sure. Out of reach? Perhaps. But the universe works in mysterious ways and if, by any chance, you know, or are connected to anyone on this list, and you think they'd be interested in being photographed I'd love to hear from you.
While these names are in no particular order, the larger their name, the longer they've been sitting on a imaginary stool in an imaginary portrait studio in the back of my mind:
- Slavoj Žižek
I've been a follower of Slavoj's work for over a decade. I'm not sure whether it's his ideas that got him to this list or the unique way he delivers them (it's probably both). Case in point, here he is a little while ago speaking on the Palestine/Israel conflict at the Frankfurt book fair (timestamped). Regardless, he has been on this list for quite some time.
- Gregory Crewdson
Gregory Crewdson's work endlessly inspires me. I first saw his work (and didn't know it) when he shot for HBO's 'Six Feet Under' , since then I think I've watched 'Brief Encounters' 20+ times and each time I notice something different, something new. His attention to detail is remarkable and I'm so glad I discovered his work. Perhaps it is wishful thinking that he is on this list, so for now I will have to instead look at his beautifully timed daguerreotype portrait created by the late and great Chuck Close.
- Reginald Dwayne Betts
I often find myself returning to 'Felon' a collection of poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts on incarceration. I never read more than a poem or two at a time and part of me thinks it's because I don't want to get to the end of the book. Beyond the powerful collection of poems in 'Felon' he is helping to put more books into prisons through 'Freedom Reads' — an organization he founded "to radically transform access to literature in prisons".
- Keanu Reeves
There are a million reasons to have Keanu on this list. He's a somewhat recent addition to it, but he's long been an awesome human being.
- Justin Theroux
The Red Hot Chili Peppers need no introduction, but for me Flea's presence is not heard so much as felt. As someone who is profoundly hearing impaired in the higher frequencies, it's the lower frequencies of music that help me catch on to what's playing and where in the song it is (if that makes sense). Flea's bass lines are a big part of what got me listening to the RHCP. More important than that are his contributions to education through the founding of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music.
- Damien Echols
I can't adequately describe the reasons for wanting the opportunity to photograph Damien Echols. I watched 'West Memphis Three', 'Paradise Lost', and even saw the loose reference in Eddie Munson's 'Stranger Things' character. There's something about his experiences and his ability to recount them in 'Life After Death' that makes them felt by the reader. I often think of Damien when I consider the phrase 'debt to society', which informs much of my personal work on incarceration and is a phrase I still can't get my head around. I'd love to sit down with him.
- RJ Mitte
I mentioned above that I am hearing impaired and many working/living with a disability will tell you that everyday is a challenge. So when I see individuals like RJ Mitte producing incredible work (I loved his role in Time Share) I'm always inspired.
- Michael J. Fox
I read 'Lucky Man' back in 2008. It was a difficult time in my life and reading this book helped a great deal in putting my anxieties into perspective. Heck, the synopsis inside book jacket cover "If you were to rush in this room right now...", hooked me. The pages that followed inspired me. After finishing the book I wrote a handwritten letter to Michael thanking him for writing the book and detailing how it helped me. I never sent it and I'd love to opportunity to tell him in person (and photograph him). He's been on this list the longest.
- Stephen Colbert
For similar reasons mentioned above with RJ Mitte and Michael J. Fox I'm drawn to individuals who are working with a disability. Stephen Colbert is well-known, but I only recently learned that he has a hearing impairment. This is why he is a new addition to this list.
- Darcy Padilla
I first became aware of Darcy Padilla's work through a World Press Photo exhibition in Berlin over a decade ago. The commitment to Julie, those close to her ,and to her story was astounding. To follow and photograph someone for nearly 20 years was something I'd never heard of before. I didn't know you could do that. It took me a long time to get through the entirety of 'The Julie Project' which is now in the form of a book 'Family Love' . If you're reading this Darcy, you are the reason I knew that telling stories with a camera is possible and your work propelled me into this genre of photography.Thank you.
- Nathan Burl Cain
Maybe one of the most famous figures in American incarceration, (Nathan) Burl Cain is most known for his time as Warden at Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola). Having spoken with individuals incarcerated there and given the reputation of the prison (one of the United States' most well-known prisons and the largest prison in the country by land area). I would love to hear his thoughts on his time there as well as the state of incarceration today.
- Christoph Waltz
The first time I saw Christoph Waltz in a film was in Tarentino's 'Inglorious Bastards' and I haven't taken my eye off him since. Everything he is part of is somehow better because of it. While his name is not as large as some on this list he is one of the people I wish for the opportunity to photograph most.
- Trio Mandili
A recent addition to this list after hearing their music for the first time this year. They are wonderfully talented musicians and I look forward to hearing more of them.
- Lana Del Rey
Her music needs no introduction. It might just be me, but she's on this list because I find her music to be unique and different, while also strangely loyal to its/her influences. I often try to picture what an artist/musician looks like when listening to their music for the first time (if I don't know already). Listening to Lana Del Rey's music for the first time ('Video Games') I had no clue, and I didn't even know where to start imagining who this voice might belong to. It often keeps me company when I'm editing. Listening to her right now actually.