Podcast: Jay Maisel, Stephen Wilkes, and the Documentary, "Jay Myself"


When we finished recording this episode, Jay Maisel asked us which podcast episode was our favorite. It didn’t take Allan a second to answer, “This one!” While we have almost one-hundred and fifty to choose from, there is no doubt that this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is very memorable. Once we turned the mics on, nobody wanted this conversation to end and, indeed, it runs longer than 80 minutes, but it is worth every minute. When listening to Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes talk, time doesn’t fly—it soars.

The reason we have two such remarkable photographers and long-time associates on together is because this weekend, at the DOC NYC Film Festival, Wilkes is premiering his documentary about Maisel, called Jay Myself. We sat with Maisel and Wilkes to discuss the making of the film and their personal and professional relationship that has lasted for almost 40 years.

At the heart of the film is Maisel’s former residence and studio, the six-story, 30,000 square-foot Germania Bank building that he bought, in 1967, and sold in 2014 for a tidy profit. This massive space, almost as legendary as Maisel himself, must be emptied before Maisel is to move, and Wilkes was there to capture this undertaking. The movie touches upon themes of mentorship, mortality, visual creativity, and the changing face of New York City, but along with the remarkable space he created, the film focuses on the life, work, and legacy of Maisel himself. It is a loving tribute from one photographer to another, one friend to another.

Our conversation is filled with the type of creative insight and humor that these towering figures in contemporary photography can bring. Join us for this fascinating conversation and see the trailer of the film here.

  • Part I, Maisel and Wilkes: 00:00 - 38:40
  • Part II, Jay Myself and The Bank: 39:00 – 83:50

Guests: Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes

Poster for the film, "Jay Myself"; Courtesy Mind Hive Films
Stephen Wilkes and Jay Maisel in “The Bank,” 2014, Photograph Courtesy Mind Hive Films
Singapore © Jay Maisel
Allan Weitz with Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes on the B&H Photography Podcast, Photograph © John Harris
Stephen Wilkes and Jay Maisel, Photograph © John Harris
Stephen Wilkes, Photograph © John Harris
Jay Maisel, Photograph © John Harris
Stephen Wilkes and Jay Maisel, Photograph © John Harris
Allan Weitz and Jay Maisel, Photograph © John Harris
Stephen Wilkes and Jay Maisel, Photograph © John Harris

Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Senior Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves


What an absolutely fantastic episode. As ever, I love the conversation. But now I'm desperate to see the film all the way over here in Stockholm, Sweden. Allan, please make sure you guys follow up and mention if the film gets an online release / pay-per-view release so us Europeans can enjoy. Many thanks to you guys as ever. 

Thank you for the feedback John B. When we hear any news about the film's distribution, we will pass it along.  There is a dedicated instagram page at @jaymyselfmovie that should also have that info. Thanks.