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Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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Waiting 11 Hours for the Perfect Photo

Question: How do you interact with your \r\nsubjects so as to\r\ncapture their true selves?


Carol Friedman: You \r\ncan’t play jazz without mastering\r\nimprovisation and if I make the metaphor that a photo session is like \r\njazz\r\nthat’s, you know, because there is interaction between the players and \r\nyou’re\r\ntrying to get to the emotional core of things and it is paying attention\r\n to\r\neach other and capturing something. \r\nYou’re after something together.


Question: Do the best pictures emerge \r\nonly after you find a\r\n“rhythm” with your subjects?


Carol Friedman: Sessions can last... you \r\nknow, even though it’s\r\nnot a session, I mean, I have a photograph of Francis Ford Coppola that I\r\nparticularly love.  It was just one\r\nframe shot in an ocean with a play camera, but it’s waiting for that \r\nright\r\nmoment and that right exchange. \r\nThere are photo sessions that last 11 hours and the person feels \r\nlike\r\nthey’ve done battle and you know, and at the end, end, end of their \r\nworst\r\nbattle fatigue, “Let’s do one more roll,” and the picture comes there, \r\nso\r\nsometimes… And it has to do also with the person’s… the person’s \r\nself-knowledge\r\nand confidence.  There are certain\r\npeople that you don’t have to even work at extracting their inner life.  It is just there and they’re happy to\r\nshare it with you.  Bobby Short,\r\nyou know, I think the third frame that I took, bing, bing, bing, that’s\r\nBobby.  He had nothing to hide,\r\nloves who he is, knows who he is, and other people, it’s a little bit of\r\ndigging sometimes.

Recorded on April 21, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen

Some photography sessions are so long, they induce "battle fatigue." But just when artist and subject are about to quit, "the picture comes."

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