The thing about portrait photography is the page is never blank. I don’t have to *do* anything, I don’t have to *think* about anything. It’s like opening a book where every page is chapter one. The whole story is contained in every image. And interpretation is left to *you*.
I don’t have to go looking for something interesting to see because you are there. You, the person I am photographing. *You* are the landscape, the product, the event. All I have to do is compose a shot and focus. You have to emit your glow.
Your glow is controlled by an array of switches whose sequence begins with trust. There is self-confidence. There is love. Together we break down the walls and open you up. There is nuance to this. There is no formula. Sometimes it requires a prop.
Friendship happens. It has to. That’s the only ‘formula’. If you ask me to do you portrait you are asking me to be your friend. And I enthusiastically consent. By now I have made hundreds of friends. If I can somehow get away with doing this for a living, I will have the best job in the world.
There’s nothing better than being a creative person whose ‘work’ is collaborative. Unlike the solitary writer, the portrait photographer is one half of a team. I’m a muralist with a partner, a new one every time. And I am as surprised and delighted by what I discover in a photo as I am in a fabulous line of prose.