One of the best things about photography and the Internet has little to do with imaging, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Meet my good buddy Chris Fawkes from Australia. He's the perfect example of one of those friendships.
Chris and I have never officially met, at least not close enough to shake hands or grab a bro-hug, but I consider him one of my best buddies. It's all thanks to the Internet.
We work together at the wedding forum Chris started, Facebook Wedding Photographers. When we started together the forum had around 3000 members; it's over 33,000 today. From a vision, Chris had, to me joining the "party" and later Brian Malloy and Steffi Smith giving us four people on the Admin team, every day is a labor of love.
This morning I noticed Chris shared this image of his in a Black and White Challenge on his Facebook page. Well, it's one of my favorites, but he added a little more to the story than I knew when I included it in a blog over three years ago.
"An oldie but still a fav. this was taken at the Queenscliff Steam Train Station in late 95.
My photographer friend Darren sat between the carriages with a smoke machine which the staff allowed us to plug into their power point. An assistant used a reflector to fan the smoke so that it did not sit too thick. Kurt, the boy in the background was four and was very polite asking me constantly what he could do to help. Little Katherine was two and had been perfect on previous shoots for Darren, but on this day was not in the mood for photos or to be wearing a big dress.
With two shots left on the roll I told her that it was over and she could go home. Katherine began to walk off and I asked her if she could get the case. She turned back and picked it up and I managed this as the last shot."
I wanted to share it again because it makes such a good point. While none of us shoot film very much anymore, and we have an unlimited supply of data space - doing something different during the last few minutes of a shoot is what makes great images and often, even greater artists! Don't be afraid to mix it up after you've captured the necessity shots.
Mary Ellen Mark told me once how she used to have her students tape up the LCD screen on their cameras. She wanted them to learn to wait for the shot, rather than chimp, think they got it and walk away! That's the whole reason why she loved shooting analog.
So, I'll wrap up this post with a big thanks to Chris for his friendship, support and reminding us all that capturing great images isn't over until you walk away!
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.