Christopher Hitchens died today. As I wrote here before, Hitchens has been one of my most interesting subjects to date. He was actually one of the very first assignments I received after becoming a photographer... my second editorial assignment to be exact. It's intimidating enough to be a new photographer and working on only your second editorial shoot let alone having it be Christopher Hitchens (it didn't help when his wife told me, during the shoot, how Annie Leibovitz photographed their wedding with a Holga).
I was familiar with Hitchens through appearances on shows like The Daily Show and Bill Maher and some of his writing for Vanity Fair. I knew going in I didn't want to discuss politics with him since I would be far outclassed but given that there was an election coming up, it was inevitable. It was interesting to hear the perspective on the candidates (and their wives) from someone who actually knew them personally. When most people give their opinions on a candidate it's based on what they see or read in the news, but when you're with someone telling you about having dinner "at The Kerry's", it gives a different level of credibility to what they're telling you.
The shoot probably went on longer than he anticipated but he was incredibly patient with me and made the shoot enjoyable. It was an honor to get to meet him.
RIP Mr. Hitchens.