I must assume, that I failed miserably

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I blew it. I was lost. I don’t know anymore today what the right answer is. In retrospect the problems are the same today as they were then and I am not sure I have learned anything. The light I use is revealing and penetrating. It may be, but it also may not be flattering. My instinct is to get close, when maybe it would be best to stay far away. I am not thinking of pleasing the subject, I am thinking of finding a way into the person I am photographing.

via The End Starts Here — Rodney Smith.

There Are 3 Comments On This Article.

  1. I don’t think its really all that healthy or reasonable to brood over this. Any working photographer is going to have a few misses in their career, where the clouds open up and misfortune pours out.

    And as far as not getting another call from a magazine… if I had a thousand dollars for every whim and change in the masthead that led a client away…

    • and the photo editor is to blame for the pairing and not managing expectations of the editors. after getting burned so many times by great subjects on paper that turned out to be complete duds in front of the camera we demanded current images of the subject for the story meeting so everyone knew their Hemingway looked like Homer.

  2. Daniel Arnaldi

    I have often felt some conflict between taking a portrait that was truthful and interesting for the viewer (and me) while at the same time trying not to upset the subject of the portrait by being too unflattering. For the most part I’ve been lucky but I put that down to the fact that at each opportunity I can, I make sure that everyone involved is familiar with my work before going ahead with a job.

    However there are times when that’s not possible and the results are more or less left up to chance, when that happens I try not to get too hung up about the results, I make the most powerful image I can and if I don’t get a call back after that, then I figure that they probably would not have hired me in the first place if they truly knew my work yet I still got the opportunity to make a great image.