It's Not Me, It's You
You know you've heard it, might have even thrown these heart piercing daggers. "It's not you, it's me." That's equivalent of you saying, "ewww... you're ugly," or "get away, you stink." Oh yeah, it's right up there with "let's just be friends."
I know, a complete tangent unrelated to photography but it does bring me to the introduction of my new campaign, "It's not me, it's you." Wouldn't that be great to say to someone as a rebuttal? It's like saying "Dang... you're gross."
All jokes aside, there is some truth to this campaign. Really, "it's not me, it's you." I've been privileged enough to work with a number different individuals in the shoots that I do. They're not trained models nor are they experienced actors. They're regular individuals that have big hearts and even bigger personalities. They have a creative drive that inspires them to see the world differently from how I do. And that's the beauty. My photography doesn't change and my creative style is fairly consistent but contrary to popular belief, I don't dictate or try to control the shoots I do, they do. "It's not me, it's you." One of the greatest gifts you can give a person as a photographer is establishing a connection and capturing their personality. Through images, you convey their attitudes, their passions, and their love for the world. I think that's at the heart of great photography. Lucky for me, I don't have to worry about establishing a connection too often. It's already there.
It was the night before this shoot. I was chowing down some mean chicken when I get a voicemail from So. She's ecstatic about seeing me tomorrow and she jokingly inserts that she needs a new profile picture (which is no small job). I think, "great.. no pressure." I tell myself, "You know what? I'll figure it out tomorrow. I have this chicken right here that I need to finish." The next day, I meet up with So, we catch up and we run around Huntington Library for about an hour shooting. And somehow, everything magically falls into place. I don't worry about location. I don't worry about planning all of these shots in my head. I don't worry about lighting conditions since I've probably never been there. I rely on what I know about portrait photography. Portrait photography is not about fixed compositions and stringent setups. It's about relying on a bond you two share and cultivating a sense of comfort. Spontaneity and a bit of mettle helps out a lot too. In the end, it comes down to one thing. "It's not me, it's you (and maybe us)."
Location: Huntington Library
Gear: D700, 85 1.4, 50 1.4, 24 2.8