I'm not much of a team player. My friends would say that's an understatement by a long measure. But I do love the collaboration with a great photo subject. With a crew or a workshop or even with a tag along boyfriend you have this dynamic that subliminally pushes you to keep things ticking along. Stay on schedule. Stick to the plan. But when you go out shooting with one person you can guage each other. If you have any sort of rapport you can see when your talent's enthusiasm is wavering. You can tell when it's time for change of venue or a change of pace. But I think the important thing, when you take someone out to shoot in the streets, is to make sure you are both on the same pages as to what it is you both want to accomplish. To have an "emotional theme" for the images.
In a typical portrait shoot I can't stand to have my subject's eyes off camera. Looks weird to me. But in the shoot we did on Sunday I was working with a narrative that went something like this. Boy moves to new town for job. Girlfriend decides to come for a visit and is having a hard time hunting him down. She is lonely, a bit lost and looking around every corner in anticipation.
We talked about the feel in our pre-shooting e-mails and again on the shooting day. I call it a shooting day but I can't imagine a more relaxed and laid back couple of hours. We had locations in mind (remember? I walk this area about once a week...) and we just went with the flow. It's nice to shoot for yourself, or more correctly to shoot for each other. No crew, no make up, no hair person. No assistant holding stuff up that you really don't need but thought you wanted.
What's the old Elvis Costello Lyric about the "lip stain on the coffee cup that you poured but didn't drink. But at least you thought you wanted it that's more than I can say for me..."? That's how I would feel if I were one of my assistants...... Sometimes vital. Sometimes necessary. Like a flu shot.
And, of course, in the last frame he walks through the door......
Go shoot downtown. It's fun.
Here's one that's been post processed in Lightroom 3:
No cameras were hurt in the shooting of this series. Canon 5dmk2 and 85mm 1.8 for everything.