Journal

preparing for that moment

"When I’m asked about my work, I try to explain that there is no mystery involved. It is work. But things happen all the time that are unexpected, uncontrolled, unexplainable, even magical. The work prepares you for that moment."-- Annie Leibovitz1-landscape

lauren. denton, tx. 2009.

i mentioned lauren in a post from last week, but i was able to finish her photographs today so i thought i would circle back around to her for a few minutes. going back through the 730 or so images that we made in our two hours together, i was reminded of just how much fun she and her mom were - and how much fun i had during this session.

in a word, it never felt like work.

i walk that very fine line between over-preparedness and shooting from the hip. before our session, i played 201 questions with lauren. there's a part of me that wants to know who i'm shooting, because i believe that great portraits convey who the person is. so, i ask questions and brainstorm ideas and look at magazines and tinker with processing techniques and on and on and on.

but, when it gets down to it, all the questions in the world don't tell me who it is i'm shooting. and i'd be hard pressed to recall a single pose from a magazine when i'm trying to compose an image. but all that work, as Annie says, gets your brain ready for the unexpected - a blue staircase across the street or a used bookstore on the corner. i'm not sure either of those very unplanned moments could have happened without knowing a little about what makes lauren tick.

so, lucas family, thanks again - for the opportunity, the time and enduring all the questions.

on a related note, if you (or someone you love) are graduating this spring and want to speak with me about doing your portrait, please click the contact link on my website and send me a note. but brace yourself, because i'm going to ask a lot of questions while we wait for the magic to happen.

here are a few more of lauren that i love, because they were absolutely spontaneous ideas and involved (almost) no planning.

lauren