On every assignment, no matter how seemingly mundane or apparently impossible, you try to create those “signature” moments. Those indelible images that capture the essence of the assignment and stay with you long after the photo has passed from view.
So often they are the moments that required no producer, no crew, no stylist, no makeup, and no fancy equipment. They happen despite all the preparations. Or in spite of elements that appear suddenly as friend or foe. Clouds. Rain. The wind-chill factor. A blown fuse. Hostile locals. Agitated security…
And then, just when things look their darkest, the light changes, the mood shifts, a window opens, someone nods. You coax a smile from the man in charge and suddenly, something wonderful is captured. Truth. Beauty. An emotion. A look. That moment. To get it, you have to stay positive. And prepared. And why not? You’ve been there before: Run aground in the Bahamas. Cameras confiscated in Luxor. Questioned in China. Arrested in Moscow. Lost in the Abu Dhabi desert. Tossed by the seas around Cape Horn.
They all led to moments like that magical night in Dubai when the Bedouins opened their tents to share desert tales and sweet tea. Or that wondrous afternoon in Antarctica, when a humpback whale and her calf invited you to come out and play. These are moments you work for. Sometimes by trying harder. Sometimes by letting go. Always by being ready. Relying on instinct, sensing the opening, just in time to capture the image that captures the moment.