Interview with Chris Buck • Photographer

SM: If you were heard to say “I’m ready to fight him now”, what would you likely be referring to?

CB: As the organizer of a weekly street hockey game I have to enforce the game’s rules. There has been occasion when a player has “dropped the gloves” during an argument with me and I was obligated to do the same. Luckily, when this has happened other players have kept us separated, saving me from a sure beating.

SM: When was the last time you found yourself fascinated by something you found on the street?

CB: I’m not one much for picking up what others have discarded (I guess that I was brought up to regard this as unhygienic), that said, I do have a memory of picking up some old porno magazine from the sidewalk. You know that magical quality of an antique having its own previous life and history; well this was the smut version of that.

SM: When was the last time you were in a big hurry to get somewhere, and why?

CB: There is little point in giving a specific example here, as I am constantly hurrying places (I am a late-aholic). My late psychologist (pardon the pun) David Ertel, said that I leave as little time between activities as possible as to not have too much quiet time alone with myself.

SM: What was the last event occurring near an ocean or large body of water that had an impression on you?

CB: My wife’s grandparents recently celebrated their 100th birthdays so we went to see them in Palm Beach, Florida. My wife was one of the only family there and we were the only guests under sixty. It was surreal experience. And I don’t mean that in any way trivializing – it was genuinely moving to be around two people who are 100 years old.

SM:In the middle of the interview, we request an anecdote.

CB: Rather than tell a story here I’m going to give a piece of advice. It’s somewhat obvious but most people don’t do it. When you are try to win someone over, be it a potential client, a lover, or even a photo subject, no matter how genuinely interesting you are every person would rather speak about themselves than hear about you. Keep your end of the conversation focused on asking about their lives and their views and you’ll more likely win their trust and affection. There is nothing logical or reasonable about this but it is human nature.

SM: What would you consider to be a frightening question?

CB: Why do you have no close friends?

SM: What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at a party thrown by strangers?

CB: Check out their CD collection to see if they have good taste (perhaps that answers the question that I fear).

SM: When was the last time you got lost?

CB: We had a busy shooting schedule but at the end of job in Morocco we managed to squeeze in a day for ourselves. Before a day of sightseeing I decided to go for a jog, and I did what I often do when running out of town – I mapped out a loop in my mind and coordinated it to the amount of time I wanted to be jogging. But rather than go out and back on the same street I thought I’d keep it interesting by looping around a few blocks, making it more a of rectangular run. Something about the streets of Marrakesh I didn’t get right and my 25-minute outing was soon 35 minutes, then 45, as I tried to figure out my way back to our hotel. Finally, I choose to approach a young man in an Army uniform getting his motorbike ready in front of his home. I explained, using hand gestures and a couple of French words of my predicament and we were off on his motorcycle. It was great fun, and I’m sure that we were a fine sight – a man in military clothes in front, a pale Canadian in a t-shirt and jogging shorts holding onto him in the back.

SM: Please recommend some components we could put together to catch ghosts.

CB: A South American priest, a diary from a Victorian spinster and Patrick Swayze.

SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from your childhood.

CB: Our family was visiting the backyard pool of some friends when the French exchange student staying with them dropped by the area where the adults were lounging with their cocktails. She was seventeen, pretty and with a nice figure – but in a girl-next-door sort of way. All of the teenagers around were dressed in bathing suits in the way that you might expect teenagers to be in front of their parents, except for this one. Her suit was one piece and cut high in the sides and narrow in the crotch, showing much of her ample pubic hair. When she stepped away from the adults there was a little laughter, and knowing glances exchanged. Their reaction probably included some titillation but it was primarily amusement. From my vantage point, sitting quietly on the side and just a couple of years younger than the girl, I found the whole scene very sexy. Seeing a barely mature young lady parade herself in front of my parents and their friends was something I would not soon forget.