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Secrets of Great Portrait Photography: Photographs of the Famous and Infamous by Brian Smith

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Chapter 6. Don’t Mess With A Good Thing

For all the planning that goes into a shoot, one of the smartest things you can do is to know when to stand back and let your subject take over.

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JOSÉ CANSECOPhotographed in Tampa for Pro Magazine

In the words of Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”

We walked into our shoot of Major League outfielder José Canseco prepared with a good plan, but the poster boy for baseball’s steroid era took it to a whole new level. José went to change for this shot and walked back out after dressing himself in a matching pinstripe suit jacket and shorts. Then he asked, ...

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