Chris Buck is best known for his celebrity portrait photographs but, for the past two months, the Canadian-born photographer has turned his lens towards himself – or, at least, a 10-inch version of himself created through a 3D printing firm. He speaks to TIME.
TIME: Where did the idea to create a 3D action figure of yourself come from?
Chris Buck: The crazy futurism of a 3D photograph, and of course full-on narcissism, make it irresistible. I went and checked out the Doob pop-up in Chelsea Market and I was impressed. Just on instinct I decided to make a ten-inch figurine of myself.
TIME: What was the process to create this figurine?
Chris Buck: The staff takes you into a round white booth, with dozens of DSLR cameras all focused on you, mathematically set to photograph all angles at once. After you position yourself and look at the appointed spot, they count to three. “One, two, three…” and flash! The 3D photo is taken. It’s actually many photos, and they showed me a mix of them on a laptop to see if I approved the pose. After a few tries, I was satisfied and [the result] was sent to the rendering company in Brooklyn.
TIME: How did this become a photographic project?
Chris Buck: When the package arrived, I opened the box and it was amazing – it really is a crazy 3D version of myself down to the detail on my shoes. I took him out and put him on my desk. I took a picture with my iPhone, and that was it. From then on, shooting photos of this figurine became my obsession.
TIME: What are you trying to say through these images?
Chris Buck: The pictures are a decent reflection of my life. When I fly, he flies. If I’m at the playground with my daughter, he joins me there. He goes deeper than me of course, and that’s where it gets interesting. I’m the puppet-master, but the puppet gets to have a lot more fun than the guy who pulls the strings.
TIME: Why choose Instagram to release this work?
Chris Buck: For most people, Instagram is a fun low-key place to show what you’ve been up to, so I’m doing that in my own weird meta way – a photographer has a 3D photograph of himself and shoots selfies with him.
TIME: What’s next for the action figure?
Chris Buck: After some rough treatment – including nearly drowning twice, multiple tangles with over-sized animals and run-ins with various security personnel (he likes to pose in airports) – he’s earned a vacation. Maybe Disney World, it’s a small world after all.
Follow Chris Buck on Instagram @the_chris_buck.
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