This is an excerpt from ATTACK & CONFUSION. (Available soon.)
Photo'd David Wilkins, the US ambassador, the other day. Went to his house, which, in the parlance, is called a residence.
While we’re waiting for the shoot to begin I ask the ambassador’s butler, Gianni, what I’m supposed to call the dude. He smiles a knowing smile, looks down at me and says: “Why, ‘Mister Ambassador’, of course”. I already knew that and had been practising all weekend, saying “Mister Ambassador” right out loud so it wouldn’t feel too weird.
The ambassador finally comes out and is, of course, a great guy. Unassuming and gracious, as you would expect. I started off calling him “Sir”, slipped in a few “Mister Ambassadors” but, before long, ended up calling him what I call a lot of the people I fotograf: “Baby”.