How We Work
Our job is to tell stories. Our tools for telling them are cameras. Which is funny, because the best stories always happen in the moments when people forget that we’re holding cameras.
Those moments aren’t a matter of magic or alchemy: They’re created by instinctively knowing where to be and what to do, in order to be invisibly present in exactly the right spot at precisely the right time. And by not trying to do too much.
Instead of reshaping or sanitizing the spaces we shoot in, we find the details that bring them to life. Even on the most expansive projects, we bring only the gear we absolutely need, keeping our presence small. When the shoot starts, we’re in subtly choreographed and constant motion with our crew, playing with angles, jockeying for new perspectives.
All the while, the story’s waiting. And in the midst of all that intense activity, those moments that speak volumes reveal themselves. Sometimes gradually, sometimes all at once. When they do, it’s as if the camera’s not even there.
An instructor in photo school told me, “You’re responsible for everything in the frame, not just the hero section of the image.” That’s been one of my biggest revelations, not just in photography but in life as well.
I have an uncanny ability to do foreign currency rate conversions in my head.
There’s a point when everyone on the crew gets in synch, and from then on it's one cohesive machine that just anticipates what needs to happen. Once that happens, you can feel the tension dissipate and the shots just get better and better.
I’ve found that it’s helpful to speak Italian and Spanish, especially in remote areas where English is not the first, second or third language.
You need a lifetime to see Rome.
Inspiration comes from collaboration. We’re probably guilty of having too many irons in the fire, but I think it actually keeps us inspired, and keeps us from burning out.
I love asking subjects, "What would you be doing right now if you weren't right here?" It's a good icebreaker.
My grandmother was a paparazzo of sorts at family functions. She also had an insatiable appetite for travel and was able to do so much with surprisingly very little.
We get a co-pilot seat into so many people’s lives, so many places, ducking in and out. You're really never anywhere long enough to either fall in love with it, or grow tired of it.
According to my wife, I tell one-liners in my sleep. I guess some are even funny.
I make a pretty fine Louisiana gumbo.