An inspiring look into the life and work of Jay Maisel

by Gannon Burgett

posted Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 4:35 PM EDT


Photographer Jay Maisel is known as much for his real estate as he is photography. To some, this might be seen as a distraction from his photo work, the spot light being more on the building he lives in than the art he produces.

But for Maisel, his 72-room, 35,000 square-foot Lower Manhattan mansion plays a vital role in the way he works, shoots and goes about his every day life. But don’t take our word for it. Maisel says it himself, in Jay Maisel, an Emmy Award-winning documentary produced by The Big Picture Film & Video.

At only eight minutes long, the documentary takes a look into the life, home and work of Maisel. From what it is that drives him to take the photographs he does to why he switched from film to digital, it’s a great insight into someone who doesn’t take photographs for a living, but lives to take photographs.

The documentary has additional commentary from Greg Heisler, a friend of Maisel’s and a renowned portrait photographer in his own regard.

Before diving into the video, I’ll leave you with a quote of Maisel’s that particularly stood out in the film:

Any picture that I’ve done, that’s really worth anything, I’ve been terrified the entire time I was shooting it. If you’re not scared that you’re going to lose it, it ain’t that great [of a] picture.

(via ISO 1200)