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Is That Bill Gates In A Bathtub?

There's a documentary in the works right now — about a guy named Louis Ortiz whose livelihood depends on the success of President Obama in this upcoming election. Ortiz doesn't work on the Hill, or in politics at all, really. One day, Ortiz realized he looked just like Obama, and he has been honing his skills as an impersonator ever since.

Celebrity impersonators like Ortiz fascinate photographer Chris Buck — possibly because he spends a lot of time shooting real celebrities for magazines. In his series Isn't, shot for GQ and Maxim and independently, Buck focuses on the people who aren't quite who they seem. Caroline Hodge, for example, isn't Oprah Winfrey. And no, Paul Cooper is not Bill Gates.

In his own annotated biography, Buck writes that he is a "Canadian-born photographer known for his distinctive portrait style." That is: clean and often comical or surprising scenes — like Steve Martin with baguette fingers and Steve Carrell uncomfortably prostrate.

Another quirky take on celebrity portraiture is his most recent series, called Presence: The Invisible Portrait, in which he photographs his subjects hiding from the camera. So in this photo of Jack Black, you just have to trust Buck that the comedian is lurking somewhere behind that wall.

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<em>Jack Black,</em> from the series <em>Presence</em>
/ Chris Buck
Chris Buck
Jack Black, from the series Presence

Claire O'Neill