Approach: Spending adequate time with my subject in familiar, intimate surroundings allows me to make compelling portraits that indelibly mark an important period in one's life chart. Working in film helps me stay in the present moment and trust my intuition regarding when to press the shutter, how many frames to make, and when to stop pursuing an angle and moment. Authentic moments surface without premeditated direction. A portrait session is a collaboration. I listen carefully to my subject and expect them to contribute to the overall direction of the experience.
Tools: I've owned a lot of cameras and lenses over the years. It has taken time to realize I can say more with less equipment. I own a 35mm Leica analogue rangefinder camera that I purchased nearly twenty years ago and two lenses. Sharpness, grainy contrast, and clarity are staples of Leica optics that caused an epiphany when I held the magnifying loupe close to my eye when viewing my first set of exposed negatives while slumped over a light-table. This camera has always accompanied me and continues to be my most reliable tool. The metal on the camera body and lens barrel have worn over time, adding to the camera's distinct character, one that sets it apart from modern digital cameras.
My second go-to analogue camera is a 1960's square format twin lens camera called a Rolleiflex that I purchased on consignment at a local camera store in New York. The consignor was selling his mother's beloved collection of three. Twin lens reflex camera have two lenses, one for viewing and one for taking. The shutter is built in the taking lens. The lens has a single layer of coating that renders an image with little contrast and grain and is prone to flare when shooting directly into the light. A master silver gelatin printer imparted the indelible words "always shoot black and white with single coated lenses". I also find the lens on this camera quiets color and delivers more mono-toned, pale images. The camera takes larger roll film and each roll has twelve exposures, causing the me to slow down and take my time.
A penchant for film photography: Using film in today's digital age...
Photographing mother of two weeks with her newborn daughter with 1960's Rolleiflex 2.8F