Payton Oliver




Play-By: Armie Hammer

Age: 31

Occupation: Freelance Photojournalist

Birth Place: Cheyenne, Wyoming, currently residing in NYC

Sexuality: Heterosexual

Physical Description: At 65 and 220 pounds, Payton is massive presence with an uncanny ability to blend into any background. His hair is a sun-bleached sandy blonde, and his eyes are simultaneously curious, optimistic and blue. He has a lean, athletic build best suited for t-shirts and jeans, and on a good day, looks an unshaven and disheveled mess (on bad days he looks like patient zero in the zombie apocalypse).

Distinguishing Marks: Tattoo in Russian across the inside of his left wrist; a massive mandala tattoo on the inside of his right forearm. Shrapnel scars on right bicep, a chemical burn scar traversing a majority of his left thigh.

Personality: Being a photojournalist is lonely. Payton has spent his entire adult life documenting pain, suffering, violence and death, the cumulative effects of which have left him lingering on the edge of a proverbial black hole. That takes an emotional toll, somewhat on him, but even more so on the people close to him.

Hes away from real life for long stints of time. When he comes back, it takes him weeks to relearn how to be with others, to acclimatize to First World privilege. The relentless questions about how long hes home for, where he just returned from, where hes going next, wear on him like sandpaper. Sometimes just getting used to having a bathroom again can be a drama of Shakespearean proportions.

Payton is beginning to think there is no such thing as a healthy balance between life and work. The friends that manage to stick by him would consider him playful and kind, brutally and unfathomably optimistic, passionate, an expert in his field, occasionally prone to moodiness that can spiral into anger. When his temper does flaire, its quick to pass.

Background: There isnt much of interest to tell. Payton has eaten, breathed, lived photography since he was old enough to hold a camera. He was the only son of truck driver and a nurse, the later of which ran off well before Payton turned two. The closest thing he ever had to a mother was his aunt Carla, who did her best to raise the kid while his father was hauling loads down the eastern seaboard.

He attended college on scholarship, worked two jobs to pay for his equipment and to build a savings, spent summers traveling to remote and obscure locations in order to build a rock-solid portfolio. After his graduation from RISD with honors, he was immediately picked up by the Associated Press and sent to Lebanon to cover the protests over the killing of the Prime Minister in Beirut. He followed the story to Syria, where he was caught in the middle of the attacks against Danish, Norwegian and US embassies in Damascus.

It was the first year in a career that has only continued to pick up momentum. Payton is member of multiple photojournalism organizations, including serving as an apprentice to the elite VII Photo Agency.

Likes: A cactus that is generally cared for by his landlady, which he named Wolfgang; an old Wista 4x5 field camera; and of course, his heart of hearts, his Canon EOS-1DX. Hes a huge fan of Thai food (the spicier, the better); people watching, immersing himself in new cultures, learning new languages. Cider. Traveling. Eclectic teas. Salt water taffy. Dropping into the creative flow and nailing that perfect, emotionally crippling shot.

Dislikes: Being confined for too long in one space; strict regimens and routines; over-socialization.

Strengths: Being invisible, when necessary (to observe without disturbing), thinking on his feet. He's a raging asshole, and tends to deflect with humor (yes, he sees this as a strength).

Weaknesses: Though generally good-natured, Payton is prone to bouts of anger, moodiness or withdrawal; is camera has become a protective skin; being on the island without it is going to be a challenge. Communication can sometimes be hard.

Fears: Disappearing in his own life.

Fun Facts: (little things most people don't know about you): Payton has really bad allergies; not really a "fun" fact, but a little known one, at least.

The Perfect Guy/Girl for You: Is there such a thing? Perhaps someone with a sense of adventure. Innate curiosity. Playful. An appreciation for the world at large, but not someone so tied to Al Jazeera America that they become depressed or jaded. Sure, the world is full of shit. But its full of a lot of beauty, too. It says a lot about a person, which lens they choose to shoot with.