From the New York Times Magazine, Kevin Durant, All-Star Forward
BLOG #112 11/20/2015
A photojournalist or street photographer reacts to what is seen, while a studio photographer needs to direct what he or she intends to be seen.
When directing a model, actor, athlete, dancer or anyone else used to following physical suggestions, rigid, specific, exacting direction kills spontaneity and eradicates any chance that some magical moment will occur.
Direction that is about an emotion and that is general and less specific as to physical pose, is much more likely to produce a remarkable and surprising result. By encouraging the subject to try things, emphasizing that there are no mistakes, that anything goes, something unique and unusual may happen. After that, all the photographer has to do is energetically encourage, make occasional suggestions and press the shutter.
And, I would suggest avoid saying “No.” Negatives destroy the freedom that chance-taking requires. The key is to encourage improvisation.
When I was asked by Kathy Ryan, the chief photo editor of the The New York Times Sunday Magazine, to photograph the stars of the of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team, my goal was to make an image that had so much energy it would explode off the page in an almost three-dimensional way.
New York Times Magazine cover of NBA Oklahoma City Thunder
I asked the players to jump as they passed the ball and offered that they could try anything. “Your energy needs to be insane!” was my most emphatic direction. And then: “Surprise me!”
When the “action” photography was completed, I used the opportunity that the trip across the country provided me to make portraits. Only Russel Westbrook remains with the team.
Russell Westbrook, All-Star guard
These players have been traded:
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Serge Ibaka, Orlando Magic
Thabo Sefolosha, Atlanta Hawks
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Kendrick Perkins, New Orleans Pelicans