admin On ottobre - 25 - 2012

the interview

by Chiara Spagnoli from New York city

Patrick Mc Mullan, world wide known photographer, columnist and television personality, has the largest collection of topical photo-archives of famous people. His eclectic talent, that embraces all media, draws the best from every human being he meets, be it through a photograph, an article, a conversation or his philanthropic activity. This is his story:

How did you first approach photography?

As a child, my family always had photo albums and I loved to look at them. When I was about 8 years old the polaroid camera was invented and my father bought one. My father used to take me around to take polaroid pictures, which was good because after 60 seconds you would see the image. That really helped, because you could see the results instantly. Growing up I went to college at NYU. I studied marketing and took a business degree. But I always loved photography: I enjoyed it and always took pictures of my friends, of the people around me and never thought it could become a real job. While I was in college I tried being a waiter, but eventually I found a job working for a photographer, he wanted someone to keep him amused. I was good with the clients, and always very organised.

You eventually had an exceptional mentor, Andy Warhol…

Yes, as time went on I knew Andy. I had my room-mate Ian Falconer, who is now a very successful cartoonist (he made ‘Olivia The Pig’), his boyfriend was Tom Ford, and we got to know Andy who was very encouraging about photography. As a matter of fact I had a big camera that I would bring in and he said “You need a pocket camera!” and to this day I always carry a pocket camera.





How do you usually approach people at parties to take their picture?

When I’m at an event I look around and see people that either look like they want attention or they’re somewhat well known. People in New York usually know who I am, since I work with New York Magazine, I do a page on Mondays AM New York, and a column for The New York Observer. One of the things I learned early is to be a good guest, if I run around harassing people that’s not good, but if I’m making everybody feel at ease, people will enjoy having their picture taken. I don’t just shoot people, I speak to them and want them to look their best.

Is there anyone who surprised you?

Well most people are better looking in person. Some people play a certain character, but I know better. I’m sometimes surprised of how warm some people can be, but to others a photographer is some abstract person and they sometimes tend to be rather dismissive. I may go up to someone I don’t really know and they might be a little coy to begin with, but the minute they see Julia Roberts kissing me and hugging me and they’ll come to me in a hurry. In the end a photographer is a person, just like an interviewer, and their shouldn’t be any hierarchy in social approach. Charm is the key and lots of the people who are important have that and know how to interact with people.

Is there any person from the past that you wished you had photographed?

I would have loved to have met Albert Einstein and certainly Jesus and Mary, and get all the Apostles too in the picture! I also would have liked to have met Mother Theresa.


Is there someone in the present?

I’ve never met Kate Middleton and Prince William, they would be fun to meet and take pictures of. And I am attracted to the great beauties as well as to people who are very intellectual.

Your pictures are in the most prestigious newspapers in the world: Vogue, Harper’s Bazar, Allure, The New York Times…just to mention a few….when did you decide the time was ripe to have your own publication: P Mc Magazine?

That’s more recent. I meet a lot of interesting people, and I also meet a lot of young journalists, so since I have so many pictures I thought we could use them to go back a step. On my website,, if I don’t know who someone is we put a question mark and it says “Who am I?”, and anyone can fill it in. We have another section which is called “You know me”, for a character actor or somebody you see all the time.

What about your television experience?

I first got involved with television back in the 90s: they had a show called “Full Frontal Fashion” and they wanted someone that would run around at parties and talk to people, not just celebrities. So they asked me to do it and we went on the run and everybody liked it: I did that for 13 years. Recently I was on Gossip Girl, as myself, I enjoyed that very much.

What are you working on right now?

Well this is “the season”, so I have 30 people in New York and in L.A. running around and doing things and I fly here and their. I’m also working on a few books: ‘So 80s’ which is all about the 1980s in New York, another book on the Club Kids and a publication on blondes. I also have a benefit for the homeless coming up, “Art Walk” and I’m the Philanthropic Honouree. There will be many artists who will donate their works for this initiative. I actually recommend to anyone to give money to an organisation for the homeless. When you get to a certain age it’s important to try to do the things that try to make the world a better place.

Related Images:


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.