I recently took part in a workshop with the incredible Ryan Muirhead where among other things he voiced with uncanny accuracy some of the thoughts and concerns I had been mulling over about my own work, which I’ve been thinking about for some time now: how easy it is, in trying to produce perfect images, to get dazzled by lights, and makeup, and screens, to neglect what is going on right in front of you. As portrait photographers we try to capture something elusive, we look for ourselves through the people we photograph, their emotions and their beauty we resonate with. And the struggle is thus to remain fiercely mindful about this exchange, and prime creating an environment where the human connection is possible first, and maybe, just maybe, if we’re observant, we might be able to capture a piece of it in our images.
The first shot at the top of this post is a palladium print from a 4×5 film negative. Next, here’s a few more images I absolutely love. I was hand holding my beasty Mamiya RZ67, shooting at low speed in available window light. The sun was intermittently peeking through the cloudy sky and the exposure was all over the place while I was having a “screw it, we’re going with this” moment, and focused on staying with Tink as we chatted. And, in a split second, she put her hands around her face and gave me this incredible look that I can’t stop staring back at. Just a split second, but I’m so glad I caught it.