Home/studio: New York City
Published books: "Strip Search: Las Vegas" (2010); "UFO: Unified Fashion Objectives" (2010); "Albert Watson" (2007); "Maroc" (1998); "Cyclops" (1994)
Recent awards/honors: Platinum Award for 2011, Graphis; The Centenary Medal, The Royal Photographic Society, 2010; named one of the 20 Most Influential Photographers of All Time, Photo District News, 2010; inducted into the Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame, 2006; Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advertising Photography, 2006; Grammy Award for Mason Profitt album, "Come and Gone," 1975 ; three Andy Awards, the Advertising Club of New York
Personal projects: Las Vegas, Morocco, the Orkney Islands
Preferred equipment: Horseman 4x5 camera with a midrange series of lenses ("it's held together with gaffer's tape," he says); Hasselblad digital cameras with P-65 or P-80 backs and normal to telephoto lenses (60m, 120mm, 180mm and 250mm lenses)
Pet peeves: "Sometimes the thing with photography, especially for male photographers, is that there's a great danger in it. People get sucked into photography because the thing that they're fascinated with is the equipment, cameras and what they do, and not making photographs. And of course when digital came along with computers, it was a match made in heaven for some of those guys."
Hobbies: Real estate. "I like to fantasize that I'm a good woodworker, like if I make something, but I'm not, unfortunately, and it's one of the saddest things," Watson adds. "Usually when you enjoy something, you're good at it. In my case, I was not."
Advice to aspiring photographers: "For young photographers, I would recommend a soft box strongly, because when he [or she] is getting started … a soft box is always going to produce a nice image, meaning a nice quality of light — especially if you get the soft box at the right distance, then it can produce a nice quality. As time goes on, they should be a little bit more adventurous."