The Many Faces of Ian Williams

Ian is a poet. And a novelist. And a professor at Fitchburg State. That's how I got to know him. Ian's one of those strange individuals that enjoys writing. For his 3rd or 4th book he needed an author photo. Since his book will be sold in the US he needs a picture of himself on the back cover to show American readers that he isn't weird or perverted.

You see, Ian is Canadian. Despite this handicap he really isn't all that terrible. So, I agreed to shoot some photos of him.

Our first trip out for photos was simple and easy. A speedlight, an umbrella and a gel made things quick to set up and move. We traveled around Fitchburg looking for interesting locations free of vagrants and we made a pretty good go of it.

But Ian's a picky person. Maybe it's because of all the time he spends twisting words around into poems. Or maybe it's because he spends all of his spare time poring over Ikea catalogs memorizing the inane names of cheap Scandinavian furniture. In either case, he wanted a reshoot. And he wanted it done quickly because he waited until the last minute to tell me he wanted a different photo.

So, we changed pace a little bit and spent a morning in Ed Collier's Fitchburg studio shooting portraits. As the morning progressed Ian began to notice that every single piece of furniture or decorative device inside Ed's studio was from Ikea. If that's not shocking enough, Ian knew the names of all the furniture pieces.

"Ooh! A Bjursta bench. I own three of those."

While most of the morning was spent admiring Ed's vast Ikea collection, we did end up getting some pretty decent photos. You can't even tell he's Canadian.