My model gives me a blank stare as if it to say, “Is that it?” Mother gives me a glance, and by Mother and I mean Russ, my right hand man. He gingerly pulls me a side to talk technical, but what he really is saying as he whispers into my ear, “Maybe we take a few more, yeah?”
Catharsis or Bust
What can I say, I’m a One and Done kinda guy. Artists love control. No surprise there, so when it comes to taking a photograph, we already have an idea of how to execute the image long before my subject matter gets in to place. And when the image is true and pure, and the soul cries out, it’s time to move on to the next setup. You read that right, soul cries out. Why take 10 frames when 5 will do? Get it right the first time. Wait for it.
Inevitably, time is never really on our side. Time is short, budgets are tight, and deadlines were last week, so it’s a quick setup and fast action. In a studio, on the street, 5 Setups for a full day shoot, and every second counts. Old Nick’s charmingly irritated Ukrainian voice chimes in in the background, Aleks… Be with the client, capture that moment, give them the show… where’s the charm? Aleks my son, be better. Meanwhile part of my brain, and the team, are already on the next setup concept and present me is irritated this jacket collar won’t do what I want it to do. I could scream. Let’s face it, 5 minutes or 5 days of prep, I’ll use every second. There’s a lot of room for oops, even in 5 minutes. The prep is everything.
The Best is Yet to Come
I give Russ the look and a nod. Right. “A few more.” I look through the viewfinder. I can taste it with my eyes. Smell it with my fingers. That image is out there. A few more frames, I suggest to my client. “Let’s try something.” Go a little further. Lean in. Talk to me. Ah, there is its. Frame 12. Even better.