Sometimes it takes a minute. Sometimes an hour or more. But that connection, that authentic bridge between two human beings always does occur when I set my intention on it. When a person opens up to being seen, and known, the result is always a photograph engenders connection.
Not every person has this in mind. Not every person thinks about it in this way. Most don't. So I sort of have to trick them into it. I have to disarm them. And I do that by being vulnerable myself. I turn over on my back and show them my belly, so to speak. I do everything I can to let them know I'm not a threat.
And then I disclose. I'll talk about my life. I'll talk about how camera shy I am (because I am). Basically I have a normal conversation and over time we learn about each other. Where we grew up. Where we went to school. What we believe in.
A meaningful conversation, in my opinion, is one in which two people open up their hearts. So when I say I shoot wide open I don't mean just my aperture. Yes, I shoot at the widest aperture I can get away with (that's whet gives me my signature blur) but I also shoot with my heart at its widest aperture. Which blurs all the noise around my story, my life. Only the true me comes out and that leaves room for the true you to emerge.
So when people ask me about my process, this is my process. A good lens at a wide setting with my heart on my sleeve. I don't ask you to wear yours there, but somewhere other than buried in your chest is preferred.