on photographic portraiture

“Photography isn’t just the “premier coup,” it’s the only coup. That’s the very essence of photographic portraiture. Whatever happens in front of the lens stays. What’s captured during the encounter is all that exists. A photograph has to bring all of his or her resources to bear on the moment of exposure. All the planning, intuition, technical prowess, and knowledge, as well as the trust and rapport you have (or haven’t) established, will show up in the picture, frozen forever. It’s like an interview, except that’s no opportunity for a follow-up question. It triggers a classic left/right brain struggle: spontaneous yet calculated, emotional and rational. It’s exciting but terrifying, thrilling when it works and heartbreaking when it doesn’t.”

Greg Heisler

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