This photograph was made as part of a larger project to photograph a remodeled condo in Palm Springs. The condo is owned by Joe Parisi, a talented and thoroughly delightful designer. I had taken a couple of shots of the room when his dog Ajax jumped up on the bed and settled down in this pose with a perfectly confident supermodel expression. I realized that he provided that certain “je ne sais quoi” necessary for the room.
Being open to serendipity is an important aspect to my work. I often have no idea what I will find when I get on site. The weather, site conditions, travel issues etc. can conspire to upend even the most detailed plans. Random events can be panic-inducing but at the end of the day it is just a photo. Yes, it may be a very important photo but when I can keep my perspective I can then focus (no pun intended) on solving the problems on the shoot or take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
Having the right gear is also useful. I try to shoot with as small a footprint as possible but some images just need the kitchen sink thrown at them. Being aware of that, I travel with a van load of gear in anticipation of the location that needs a 13 foot ladder and 8 lights plus multiple exposures etc. The gear also calms me knowing that if needed, I can pull out the big guns to subdue all but the most recalcitrant of scenes. Or, to paraphrase TR, walk softly and carry big grip truck.