Doug Ellis the Photographer in Montreal

Doug Ellis Vanity Fair Style Interview

Vanity Fair as Holy Grail of Publications for Photographers


OK, so I will confess a bucket list item–getting just one of my images published in Vanity Fair is a bucket list item for me. Seriously, I might even hang up the cameras at that point. It doesn’t have to be a cover, it could be even a tiny image somewhere deep in the society section or an editorial piece toward the back.

Until then, I will continue to hone my adequate but growing chops and drool over the glorious imagery and creative processes and teams of Norman Jean Roy, Mario Testino, Art Streiber, Mark Seliger and the other visual giants who have graced that fine publication over the years. I also always flip to the interview on the back page which follows this Proust Questionnaire format, designed to reveal one’s essence in 35 questions. I am dashing my answers down below in the hopes that one day when the phone rings for my interview I will be pre-vetted and ready. A guy can dream, right?

Doug Ellis Answers the Proust Questionnaire


What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A shared moment of awe with someone I love, ideally in pristine nature.

What is Your Greatest Fear?

Dying alone, especially trapped in a broken body or mind. 

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Distractibility and Forgetfulness. Losing things. 

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

There are no others and Ignorance and Selfishness.

Which living person do you most admire?

Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith or David Whyte

What is your greatest extravagance?

My medium format camera and ridiculously expensive lenses.

What is your current state of mind?

Expansive and surrendered.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Seriousness, growing up.

On what occasion do you lie?

To duck out of someone trying to loop me into gossip or complaining. 

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My back and my nose

Which living person do you most despise?

I don’t despise anyone brave enough to stay on this planet in these quasi times. 

What is the quality you most like in a man?


What is the quality you most like in a woman?


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Probably two. Have a snoozer. Give it a miss.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

God in the form of nature or music.

When and where were you happiest?

At our cabin in Steamboat Springs playing in the hay loft and listening to old Hopalong Cassidy records.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Incredible singing voice

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My reticence to extend myself/go first/ask for help. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Successfully living in California for 14 years now.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Redwood tree. 

Where would you most like to live?

Either here in SB or Melbourne or Byron Bay Australia.

What is your most treasured possession?

My books/media and playlists.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being a burn patient.

What is your favorite occupation?

Musician or pro surfer.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Easy going, chill.

What do you most value in your friends?

Acceptance and humor

Who are your favorite writers?

EB White, Osho, Mary Oliver. 

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Hunter S Thompson

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Walt Disney or Ram Das

Who are your heroes in real life?

My girlfriend and our dogs.

What are your favorite names?

Aquamarine or Topaz. If I was going to rename myself it would be Burch.

What is it that you most dislike?

Being stuck behind slow traffic or inside a plane. 

What is your greatest regret?

Not kissing this other tourist in the ascending elevator of the Eiffel Tower. 

How would you like to die?

Peacefully in the desert, before the vultures or coyotes find me.

What is your motto? 

We are all One. 

Doug Ellis the Photographer in Montreal

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