Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Miracle Workers

About twenty-five years ago when I was doing a series of shoots for the newly renovated The Mall at 163rd Street the first one was for the grand opening. This shot was used for the cover of this magazine size ad brochure, some smaller fliers, and in newspaper ads.

It was a fun shoot. The mother was an experienced model and I seem to recall that the girl was her daughter, and very much at ease in front of the camera. The mall manager was there along with a stylist. I think that we did a couple of changes of clothing, and tried a few locations in the mall, but in this shot everything just came together. The mother looked happy and the girl projected excitement. Mom's legs look like they were posed to look their best while the girl's legs give the impression of trying to run to see something that had attracted her attention.

This all took place as I was walking backwards through the mall while looking into the 45 degree prism on my Hasselblad. After I'd taken several meter readings I shot a couple of Polaroid test shots "just to be sure", then over the next hour or so we did the clothing changes, the stylist did the make-up and hair touch-ups, and I shot maybe four or five 12 exposure rolls of 120 Ektachrome. By then it was time for the mall to open and we wouldn't have it all to ourselves anymore that day! These days I hear about photographers making five hundred, even one thousand digital exposures, as fast as they can push the release button, but I always wonder "WHY?" You either capture the moment or you don't. When I picked up the transparencies at the lab the next morning I knew that I'd captured it. The client loved it!


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