June 16, 2009

step one: “would you like to have your photo taken” (hopefully followed by the answer yes)

step two: find suitable location (good light is a key component to this step)

step three: set up camera

step four: compose shot (i tend to ask the person being photographed to stand or sit in various places just using my eyes first than placing the camera where i am standing)

step five: meter (i use a sekonic L-508 light meter)

step six: meter again, and most likely again

step seven: set f-stop, shutter speed (according to meter reading)

step eight: ask person being photographed to not move

step nine: carefully load film holder onto the camera back

step ten: expose film

(repeat two through ten until satisfied)

megan webb, south philadelphia

megan, south philadelphia, 2009

there is a feeling of nervousness that comes up after i expose a sheet of film. between dropping off the film to be processed and receiving the processed negatives a million questions surface, did i meter correctly? did i set the f-stop correctly? did the camera jiggle out of focus when loading the film back? did he/she move before exposure? did i mess up somewhere?

it’s not until i have the film in hand do i feel at ease and laugh at myself for questioning something i’ve been doing consistently for so many years now. i don’t think these questions/fears will ever go away. while i am beyond comfortable and sure of my skills, these little fears are all part of my process. they are part of the excitement and joy i have when i take photographs of people.


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