Have camera, will travel

Will Given is a writer, photographer, and lecturer at UC San Diego. He has always tried to live a life of adventure and passion in order to continuously challenge himself as an artist. He adores travel (aside from TSA lines) and is always willing to go anywhere at a moment’s notice and do whatever it takes to get a unique shot, including being suspended from ropes off of the side of a cliff or hanging out of the side of a 1927 biplane.


Will Given is based in San Diego and Los Angeles. His areas of specialization include portraiture, editorial, and production photography. He has photographed celebrities and executives, astronauts and rockstars. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Phoenix Magazine, Genii, and San Francisco Gate.

Will Given collects vintage cameras and loves to use pieces from his collection for his work, especially for clients who are looking for something unique. His 35mm camera of choice is a 1955 Leica M3. For medium format, his main camera is a 1971 Hasselblad 500 CM. For large format, he shoots a 1951 Graflex Pacemaker Speed Graphic 4×5 and a 1923 Eastman 2D 8×10.


Will Given currently teaches writing at UC San Diego. He has a PhD in Theatre from UC San Diego and in Drama from UC Irvine. His research focuses on photography and film during the belle époque in Paris and the relationship between the performer and the spectator. Will has lectured at UC San Diego, UC Irvine, and the Washington Symposium on Magic History. He has designed many new courses at the university centered on photography, film, and identity. Past classes include:  The Art of the Manifesto; Cindy Sherman, The New Selfie, and the Dissolution of Privacy, Iconic Identities: Star Wars, Cosplay, and the Performance of Identity;  The Real-World Multiverse: Photoshopping a New RealityPhotography and the Cult of CelebrityNot Just Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem: Identity in the Films of Alfred HitchcockPerforming Sexuality: Censorship and Power in Pop Culture; and Virgins,Vamps, and Flappers: Women in Film in the 1920s.

5 Random Facts

1) First professional writing assignment (at the age of 12) was interviewing a Presidential candidate
2) Rolled with jiu-jitsu master Ryron Gracie and lasted about two seconds
3) Knows how to escape from a straitjacket
4) Fenced a five-time Olympian épéeist in a national competition
5) Played guitar backstage with Pearl Jam

Follow me on Instagram:  @willgiven