Chris Buck (photographer)

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Chris Buck (born July 29, 1964) is a New York-based photographer known for his unconventional portraits.

Early life and career[edit]

Buck grew up in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke where his father, George Buck worked for Kodak Canada, giving him an early connection to photography.[1] He attended Ryerson University where he majored in Photographic Arts.[2] During this time he was a photo editor for Nerve, a Toronto monthly music paper.[3] Buck studied under noted street photographer Dave Heath and media critic Murray Pomerance, both of whom continued as mentors in the years after his graduation.[4] He moved to New York in 1990 and has since shot many important magazine and advertising photographs.[5]

Notable photographs and work[edit]

Buck’s move to New York in 1990 focused on magazine portrait work, and began a slow progression in the prominence of his celebrity sitters and the stature of his clients. His photography is currently most associated with GQ, Esquire, ESPN, and The Guardian Weekend Magazine.

Since the late 90s Buck has photographed a number of commercial print campaigns, for Diesel, Xerox, Microsoft, Mazda, Old Spice, Citibank, and IBM.[6]

His most recognized portraits include those of Steve Martin, Andy Samberg, Chris Farley, Chloe Sevigny, and Nick Offerman. Buck has also photographed many American politicians, including Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and George H. W. Bush.[7] Buck has also directed several videos for clients such as GQ, Wired, and Viagra.[8]


In the spring of 2010, photos he took for a Diesel ad campaign that encouraged consumers to “Be Stupid” led to some public outcry and heated editorials.. Some ads were banned in the UK. The campaign won the Grand Prix for outdoor at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.[9][10][11]

In August 2011 Buck became the center of a controversy when his Newsweek cover photo of Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann caused a media stir. The photo even spawned a hate page titled “Meet Chris Buck, the a-hole who took the Michele Bachmann Newsweek photo.”[12] The image prompted a comment from Sarah Palin and spawned several internet memes.[13][14]


In 2012 Buck’s first monograph, PRESENCE: The Invisible Portrait was released by German publisher Kehrer Verlag. Presence features 50 portraits in which the celebrity subjects are fully hiding, and therefore are not visible in the photographs.[15] The book garnered press coverage worldwide, as well as receiving some awards.[16]

Awards & exhibitions[edit]

His awards include The Arnold Newman Prize for his portraiture,[17] PDN’s Notable Books 2012 and German Book Award 2013 Selected Title for his book Presence, and Luerzer’s Archive 200 Best Ad Photographers (2012/2013 and 2014/2015). His work has appeared in: American Photography (35 times), Photo District News Photo Annual (22 times), and the Communication Arts Photography Annual (12 times).[18]

His solo shows include:[19]

  • 2013 Presence: The Invisible Portrait, Foley Gallery, New York
  • 2002 The Sound of Music: New portraits of contemporary musicians, Other Music, New York, NY
  • 1998 FanClub, Saba Gallery, New York, NY


  1. ^ Capture, Exposure (2). "Interview with photographer | Chris Buck". Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Brannigan, Siobhan. 2006-03-10/ "Chris Buck (2006-03-10)". Kodak Lectures. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Chris Buck's Nerve Questionnaire". Rock Critics. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Canziani, Joao. "JOAO CANZIANI in Conversation With CHRIS BUCK". POP Foto. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Seckler, Zack. "Chris Buck". The F Stop. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  6. ^ theme-8-chris-buck/ "Introducing our judge for theme 8: Chris Buck". Life Framer. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Buck, Chris. "Chris Buck Political Portraits". Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Buck, Chris. "Chris Buck Videos". Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Moss, Hilary. sho_n_678596.html "Diesel's 'Be Stupid' Ads: Should They Be BANNED?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Sutton, Joe. "Diesel's "Be Stupid"". Resource Magazine. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Diesel Wins Outdoor Grand Prix for 'Be Stupid'". Advertising Age. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  12. ^ asshole-who-took-the-michele-bachmann-photos/ "Meet Chris Buck, the a-hole who took the Michele Bachmann Newsweek photo". Mofo Politics. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  13. ^ GLYNNIS, Glynnis. "SARAH PALIN: I Don't Think Newsweek's Cover Of Michele Bachmann Was Sexist Read". Business Insider. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Bachmann-eyezed!". Bachmann-eyezed!. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Presence: The Invisible Portrait". Amazon. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Celebrities Pose for Unseen Portraits". CNN. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "ASMP Arnold Newman Award Presented to Photographer Chris Buck". Imaging Buffet. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Chris Buck PRESENCE". Kehrer. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 

External links[edit]