I'm back from SLO. It was a long journey and a great weekend. I spent the weekend with the family I was photographing, documenting everything from when they first got up in the morning, to making pancakes, to playing in a creek behind their house, to reading under the tree on their front lawn, to putting the children to bed, etc.,
For me, it was a pretty intense and amazing experience. Intense, in that I had to be constantly aware, looking for where the light was best, waiting for just the right moment and watching my camera settings. In all honesty, I didn't really know how it would go over. I've shot several sessions like this with families before, but never to this length of time and in such close quarters. Luckily, the family I was with was very open and willing so it made my job easy.
The entire train ride over I tried to empty my mind and be open. I knew something like this would only be successful if I was fluid in the moment. If I tried to force shots or over direct, it would ruin the delicate balance of the situation.
I remember reading about Cartier Bresson, the great Magnum photographer, talking about his style. He said something to the effect that one must always place the camera between his shirt and his chest.
That is to say, you have to shoot with the heart.