The 3 Second Session

Mitch Jackson photographed by John Ricard


I was photographing friend (and author) Mitchell S. Jackson in Langston Hughes’ home in Harlem. We did quite a few setups in a couple of different rooms. I used the natural light from the large windows in the brownstone, and I also used a few portable strobes.  At one point I was using the natural light to create a dramatic author portrait when I noticed Mitch’s son standing nearby.  I asked him to step into the frame and, according to the EXIF data, I spent exactly 03 seconds photographing them together.  I used my Leica T -a camera that I have set to B&W jpeg mode with no color back up file.

Back in the day, I never used to take different or extra shots. I was so focused on the “real” shoot that it didn’t even occur to me that I might create something special by photographing a scene that was not going to be featured in the magazine that I was photographing for. My mindset was that if the image wasn’t going to be published then what’s the point of creating it? These days I always take the opportunity to create or capture a special moment even if there’s only one person who will care about that image. Right now, the photographs that matter the most to Mitch will be the images that he will use as branding images.  Those are the images you will see in his author profile on a website or in a magazine. Those are the images we spent hours creating.  But 15 years from now, the image that Mitch will value most, is this one right here. The unplanned photograph that I decided to create on the spot.  The image that I would not have taken 10 years ago.  The image I look for every time I pick up a camera today…

By | 2018-10-21T19:32:54+00:00 October 21st, 2018|Photography|0 Comments

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