"It's absolutely true," said Fink by phone on his drive home from Bard College in upstate New York, where he has been a professor of photography for 19 years. "I don't watch TV or go to movies," he confessed, which may help him go undetected as he meanders along in the back rooms away from the red carpet paparazzi.
More than 90 of his candid photographs have been published in a coffee table-size collection, "The Vanities: Hollywood Parties, 2000-2009," (Schirmer/Mosel, $68).
The black-and-white documentary-style photos catch celebrities mingling at leisure with their guard down, acting rather, well, human. His pictures are the antithesis of the glamorous, artificial images the public is accustomed to seeing.
"In the early days it became apparent that whatever I did was OK. What they [Vanity Fair] were used to seeing was not what they were seeing in my work, so I was given carte blanche with my interpretation," Fink said. "I was their official eccentric photographer."
A shadow across the face, animated in mid conversation without pretense, his images are often unintentionally unbecoming. "I have no vendetta, no rage, no reason to make a picture that is unflattering," Fink noted.