Portraits seem to be a given. We spend our lives studying other peoples' faces trying to learn about who they are, as well as something about ourselves. I think of each photo session as a conversation, and the body of work as a reflection of revealed intimacies.
The forced environment of being photographed makes that conversation complex, but also results in an intimate, responsive human interaction. I talk to my models. I ask them questions. I do everything in my power to make them comfortable and at peace.
It's sort of like having dinner with someone or a casual cup of coffee... or a lengthy dinner with good friends or making love with your partner, for that matter . It's a document of a certain time when two people are exchanging something. And in that it has the potential to be a very revealing conversation. Great intimacies can be exchanged during that time that may not have been exchanged before and may never be exchanged again.
For me an unsuccessful shoot is one in which I don't know my model by the time it's completed. A good portrait is a representation of someone that articulates both physical and emotional character — character that may or may not be much more subtle in everyday interactions. My ultimate goal is for the model to show who they are to themselves and to allow confidence and insecurity to lay naked on the surface.