50 Portraits

Email Correspondence with Steve Albini (#23)


Hello Mr. Albini,

My name is Ian Merritt and I am a professional photographer here in Chicago. I called Electrical Audio this afternoon and I was given this email to contact you. I also caught some great snippets of Caddyshack while I was being transferred. You guys have the best “on hold” music ever.

I was calling you today because I was wondering if I could ask you a favor. I am looking to add your portrait to a project I started at the beginning of the year on my blog. Currently I am working my way towards posting 50 portraits before the end of the year. When I started this project I had no idea who I would be photographing but I knew that it there would be at least 50 of them. I work full time as the staff photographer for Cars.com and at the end of the day, I use my Photo Blog as an outlet for my creative juices. (it’s linked below).

For this project, I quickly realized after I had finished photographing my friends, that this was going to be a tougher assignment than expected. So as I looked for new subjects I started to turn to people I have met and/or would like to meet in the art/music/writing community in Chicago. From that creative turn I have added both Andrew Huff (editor in chief of Gaper’s Block) and Bob Nanna (Braid, Hey Mercedes) and I have verbally secured Jay Ryan (as I will be photographing him up at The Bird Machine on July 3rd).

The big reason I have been doing this project is to get out of my artistic skin and explore the possibility of talking to people that I would like to photograph rather than settling on people who I already have the opportunity to photograph. During the workweek I photograph and drive cars and I am constantly reminded that I need an outlet for more creative work on the side. My blog is that outlet/catharsis.

I know that you are an extremely busy person with both recording projects and your current tour with Shellac and these portraits would only happen if your schedule would allow for them. I am going to be at both Chicago Shellac shows this weekend and if you had some time after the show on Sunday, I would love to take 10-15 minutes and grab some photos.

All of the portraits that would be taken would be yours to do with what you’d like and I will deliver digital copies of the hi-res versions.

Please let me know and thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this and I hope you’re doing well.
I hope to hear from you.





Come see us after the show. We’ll be on stage for a while selling T shirts.


Hey steve,
Thanks so much. I’ll stop on by after tonight’s set and we can chat more then. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out.
Break a leg.
And again, thanks.


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