Uli Weber and I have worked on numerous assignments over the years and with each assignment, our work has gotten better and our friendship closer. A few of these standout in my mind, particularly, his portrait of the actress Samantha Morton and the picture he did of the designers Viktor and Rolf with the singer Tori Amos. On both occasions, Uli not only met the expectations of the assignment but effortlessly far surpassed anything we had hoped for. Looking over the entire body of Uli's work, particularly the images that he has chosen for this book, I think one thing becomes quite clear. What makes Uli unique is his ability to be both simultaneously intimate and yet versatile. Uli is able to connect with his subjects with a deep understanding of their condition. When I look at the stark black and white images of Steven Berghoff, and Tim Roth, I feel like I am coming face to face with the "essential" man in each instance. I am seeing whom they really are angry, intense, aware. If one remembers Uli's German origins you can see the influence of August Sander. The perspective is different but the notion isthe same. We see in all of this work how Uli is a photographer not afraid to take on his subjects when the need arises but also an artist who is not afraid to explore new ground in his quest for a great picture. Throughout our time working together, Uli and I have grown from collaborators to friends. But just as importantly, Uli has become a valued friend of the magazine. We may from time to time disagree on approach or idea but at the end of each process we have grown closer. Even when we have not achieved the success we both hoped for, we still come away from the experience with our mutual respect intact. I know that Uli understands Vogue and I think we have grown to understand him, in a sense we are good fellows travelling the same road. Ivan Shaw, Photography Director. Vogue