When I encourage younger photographers to take their time it’s because we tend to be obsessed with doing things faster and too often the speed with which we do things subverts our mindfulness and creativity. It also sabotages the chance for relationships, which won’t hurt you if you’re shooting air shows, but when you’re making portraits, those relationships are everything. For me they are often the point of it all. Those relationships, whether you’re a touchy-feely person or not, can be the key that allows you the access you need to make not only an OK photograph- the one that seems most obvious (top) but something more, something special.
I discussed this in SEE THE WORLD: NORTHERN KENYA but it bears repeating, and a couple different images illustrate it well – not only the power of relationships that get you the patience and collaboration from your subjects, but the time to notice the light and find a way to make it work. As you can see from the top image, this mother and child were siting in their home and while the top image is adorable, it’s the bottom one (in fact a whole sequence from which I’ve pulled this one) that I love most of all – the light makes it.
Slow down. We’re all in such a hurry. Pay attention. Nurture an addiction for taking your time and paying attention, and a hunger for the right light and new angles you’ve not thought of, and you’ll find your images improve in ways they never will when, moving too quickly, you seize upon only the low-hanging fruit as the best expression of a scene and move on.
Last week my friends at Saw & Mitre collaborated with me to give away a couple prints in their gorgeous handmade frames – congratulations to Dan Windsor and Kris Ryan – I’ve got emails headed your way and once we get addresses, we’ll have framed prints shipped out! Be sure to take a look at the beautiful frames from Saw & Mitre and follow them on Instagram for more chances to win framed prints from some great photographers.