There’s something about making images in small spaces that evokes an intimacy between the photographer and the subject. My home studio is practically a cathedral compared to what I’ve seen in some of the New York venues, but it’s still only about 16′x16′x14′. This means when I’m taking photos, I’m almost inside somebody’s personal space.
You have to put your subject at ease. Real, ease… not the “hello, pleased to meet you,” ease. The “I really didn’t want to do this, but you made me comfortable,” ease. I’m not going to tell you who was uneasy, but I’ll bet it’s not who you probably think it was. Hint: there are three subjects in the photo.
Making the subject feel comfortable—feel “at home”—in those types of situations is another skill a portrait photographer has to hone. I kind of like those situations, because they make me better. I’ve worked with models who have blown me away with their ability to just flow from one pose to the next. And I’ve been equally humbled by those times where someone put their trust in me to capture their image.