On Giving and Taking

Once you have consent, you’ll have a little time to make the image and move on. How much time you have differs from subject to subject, but take what they’ll give you and be sensitive to their needs. It’s not hard to tell when they’re done and want to wrap things up. But don’t make it too fast either. Respecting them means taking some time for them, and making your exchange an act of giving as much as an act of taking.

We owe it to our subjects to create the best image we can, and that takes care and time. After all, this is their face and their identity you are interpreting. Rushing in, pushing a camera in their face, and then rushing away is the photographic equivalent of a hit and run, and it’s unproductive and unpleasant ...

Get Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.