If there’s one thing I believe in as a photographer, one guiding principle I turn to again and again, it’s that seemingly chance occurrences and juxtapositions are every bit a part of the process as light and composition. You never know what you’re going to discover. And the more control you have over the elements of a photograph, the less this important part of the experience shows up.
It’s scary to trust that you will find the light, find the right background and be handed such a perfect setting as say, this, above. But in my experience 95% of the time the universe, or God, or you could call it luck, arranges things so that it all works out.
I believe in serendipity like I believe in gravity. It’s a mysterious force that always works. It works in regular day to day life and for sure in photography. I have taken far too many pictures to have not noticed its effects. When I do portraits on location (outdoors and not in an office) I often discover amazing and meaningful things waiting for me as if I had ordered them to appear. Most of the time they’re more subtle than butterfly wings, but there’s always something.
So when people ask me if I shoot in a studio, or with lights, I say no. Not a hard no. Not a never. But I much prefer my partnership with serendipity. I will sacrifice control for relevant, welcome surprises. That may be my new tagline.