I Love the Humans

There’s a line in the movie “We Bought a Zoo” where Thomas Hayden Church says to Matt Damon, “I like the animals. But I love the humans.” Me too.

It’s what got me hooked on photography way back in high school. Working on the yearbook staff gave me an excuse for always having my camera with me. It allowed me to capture moments that otherwise may have been forgotten to time. I still have some of the prints I developed in the darkroom in a box in my office. And every so often I pull out one of the yearbooks I worked on to see my early images. It’s a humbling experience to see where I started and where I’m at now.

Those early years of taking natural light senior candid portraits of my classmates has grown into photographing CEOs, emerging models, actors, and actresses. My style has changed, and sweet-ghost-of-Maisel has my skill gotten better. What hasn’t is my desire and ability to see the person on the other side of the glass.

This image is one of several portfolio quality shots I created in collaboration with actress Amanda Livezey during a recent studio session. It was one of those shoots where editing down the great from the really good was incredibly difficult. But that’s part of the process, too. It’s not just setting up lights, dialing in settings, and clicking a button. It’s all the in between — the human part of what photography is about. It’s the back and forth collaboration with your subject, the instinct of knowing when to press the shutter, the need to wrap the shoot with the appropriate level of mood and energy, and then the ability to throw away shots others might think are great because to you they just aren’t great enough.

Through it all runs a constant current: a love of other humans.

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