The Toronto-raised photographer Chris Buck is known for celebrity portraits — of everyone from Barack Obama to Lena Dunham — that are just a bit off. “I think it’s a Canadian thing,” he says. “My goal is to make these pretentious pictures that are dark and mysterious, but then my Canadian humour gets in there. It’s a little smart-ass and a little dry, so you mix that with the darkness and it becomes another thing.” This month, three decades of his work are collected in a glossy new coffee table tome, Uneasy. Here are some of our favourite shots from the book, along with behind-the-scenes commentary from Buck.
Leonard Cohen, 2001
He could tell I was nervous, and I told him that I really wanted to do something great and special. He looked at me and said, “If you are meant to make a really wonderful picture, there is nothing in this world or any other that can stop that from happening.” And I thought, “Wow, that’s cool.” He paused and then said, “If you’re meant to make a bad picture, there’s nothing in this world or any other that can stop that either.”