COMEDY AND JAZZ ARE KNOWN for relying on improvisational skills. Photography also relies on improvisation, even in controlled environments like the studio. When I was in college, I did comedy improv, and as a comedian, I included strong improvisational elements in my act because there’s not a device in comedy that competes with improv for energy and authenticity. I believe the same about photography.

Improvisation is our way of spontaneously reacting to what we’re handed by reality, even a carefully controlled reality, such as working with a model in a studio. We take the cards we are dealt and play them with all the skill our craft has allowed us. Improvisation acknowledges that the only thing we really control is our craftsmanship, ...

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