blogher'10: 4 days in 4 minutes (or, how i shoot)

The many faces of Danielle.

Often, when I tell someone that I'm a photographer, I receive a response similar to the following:

"Oh, I love photography!  I'm no good at it, though.  You know what I do?  I just shoot tons of photos, and hope that one of them will turn out all right."

Here's a secret:  so do I.

I was reminded of this on Sunday, as I was quickly scrolling through the images on the back of my camera with my friend Jenny, sitting in the LaGuardia terminal waiting for our flight to come home.  She laughed. 

"Dude, this looks like a movie," she said.  "You totally need to make this into a movie."

As she said this, I remembered watching a fantastic stop-motion video made by supremely talented photographer Casey Templeton, where he admitted taking tons of bad shots in order to get a good one.  I so get that.  In fact, when I shoot, I tend to do it very quickly -- I'm constantly talking to my subject, we're joking and laughing, and all the while my finger is firing the shutter so rapidly, it sounds like I've got the camera on a sports setting (Tracey always laughs at me when she hears my shutter go off).  Usually, when I take portraits, people are surprised that I'm finished as quickly as I am.  But I've really taken lots of shots during that time.  It's the only way I can make sure that I get the natural, relaxed, real image that I want.

(And let's face it:  sitting to have your picture taken often feels like sitting in the dentist chair, minus the horrifying drill.  I understand this.  Let's do this quickly and painlessly, I say.)

And so, inspired by Jenny and Casey, I thought I'd try my hand at my own stop-motion video, showing you about 90% of the photographs I took over the entire weekend in New York (which means the video below is made up of well over 1300 photographs).  Most of the images you see here are straight out of the camera without any processing whatsoever,  save for the ones that I chose to share with you earlier this week -- those, which have been Photoshopped, will be clear in the video.  (For what it's worth, I don't Photoshop much:  for comparison, notice the first two images shown above of Danielle, which are straight out of the camera; the third one has been Photoshopped.  I have a pretty light processing hand.) The video will also show you outtakes of stuff I came across in New York that aren't about faces, including henna, hoola hoops, and dancing on giant pianos.

Enjoy.

Oh, by the way:  next week, Marcus, Alex and I are stealing away to an undisclosed location for a quick family getaway before Alex has to return to school (First Grade, lawdy me!).  Assuming I can get online while we're there, I'll likely do very quick photo posts in the evenings; otherwise, if the connection's bad, you'll have to wait to see (and read) all about it when we return.  In the meantime, perhaps I can coax you into sending me a photograph for the Photobomb?

Have a great weekend, everyone.