The Image Deconstructed

Use The Flow, Luke

Oct 15, 2011

At the risk of sounding too much like Yoda, I think 
there is a flow of energy, a flow of behavior in everything. 

I was on a hike once, watching the flow of a river, and 
it hit me that human behavior has flows as well. 

There are flows when we're at work, and flows when 
we're with friends. There are flows when we're sick and 
when we're healthy. There are also flows when we're 
happy and when we're depressed. 

These flows have entry and exit points, just like rivers. 

When we photograph people, we also enter into flows 
of their behavior. I was thinking about it for TID's 
discussion about this picture. 


My assignment was to photograph a church play that 
recounts their impression of the life of Jesus Christ. 

I arrived before the beginning of a rehearsal, because 
I believe that whenever possible, it's better to be at the 
beginning of a flow. Psychologically speaking, you become 
embedded into the flow, and generally you're granted 
greater access as a result. 

I knew I wanted to make an image of the Jesus character 
backstage getting ready, so I arrived in the dressing room 
before he did. Once he got there, I introduced myself 
and let him know my purpose. He then agreed to it, and 
upon this, we entered the flow together. If I came later, after 
the flow of his behavior began, there most likely would be 
more friction, and less access. 

I think this is important to realize when photographing. 

Lets take a look at the following images. Notice that their 
are other people involved as well. Because the Jesus 
character, the star of the show, had signed off on my 
presence, I was then accepted by the others into their flow. 



Lets also think in terms of physical restrictions to flows of 
behavior. I have mentioned Eugene Richards before as an 
inspiration to me. I once read that he often spends the night 
with people he documents. 

Now I can understand why. 

If you're already within the flow of someone, inside 
their home, with their experience, it's easier to document 
than if you have to cross a physical barrier (i.e. knocking 
on their door) 





I think it's a great mental exercise to approach situations 
with the flow concept in mind. Push yourself to recognize 
proper entry and exit points, and how to enter with the 
least friction as possible. 

When you're within the flow of someone's experience, 
greater access, and intimacy, will almost always occur. 



Next week on TID, we'll take a look at this compelling image made by Preston Gannaway: 

The catch


And, as always, if you have a suggestion of someone, or an image you 
want to know more about, contact Ross Taylor or Logan Mock-Bunting at:
[email protected]
[email protected]

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