Portrait of Sarah after a swim.
Years ago, before people got so serious and so busy, I would often ask my friends to come over to the studio and stand for a quick portrait. One day I asked my friend, Sarah, who is a painter. She makes art for a living. And she swims for the joy of it.
I used two lights. One was a big softbox, mounted up high. The other was a small softbox just behind Sarah, illuminating the background. The camera was a Hasselblad with a 150 or 180mm lens. ISO 100 black and white film.
I never ask people to smile. I ask them to stand in a certain spot and to turn in a certain way. We shot a roll of film. Twelve frames. Sarah went off to paint and I headed into my darkroom to develop the film.
I like to look back at prints I've done of my friends. It reminds me that I started doing photography for the fun of it. That I work on projects for clients but I take images of people because it satisfies a human need to connect. I could print this large or look at it on the screen, it has the technical finish to go either way.
People seem to think photography is all about sharpness or lack of grain and noise but it isn't. It may be the imperfections in the processes (and the seeing) that makes images seem more valuable. Very few people are really interested in perfection.