Let's face it, when you work on just about anything that involves a person on the other end of the camera there are some people that everything just works. It's easy, both of you are on the same wavelength. It's fun, there's a good vibe, a dynamic that makes it so the effort just goes away @mdash; a flow if you will.
On the other hand there are people that you work with that just seem so hard to make anything work. If you are at all doing anything remotely on the commercial side of the fence it's your job to make it work no matter how hard. Sometimes there are good photographs that come out of that even if it was exhausting in not a good way. Every frame seemed like a mountainous effort to extract. Other times the result no matter what the effort, it just produces utter crap which is even worse.
I think we all have those people we just love, love, love to work with because it is so very easy but this can be a trap of sorts. You tend to fall into the same stuff or even if one of the reasons you love working with a particular individual is because you build of each others energy and creativity, that can still be a trap of sorts. Even though you are doing different things it can produce the same dynamic, the same chemistry, the same direction.
Just like anything else it's good to break the norm. Good to work with a different dynamic and a different chemistry even if it's not as easy. Sometimes even an awkwardness in that dynamic can produce things that are really good or really work for a particular project.
I don't need a ton of collaborators for the black/white project. Six, maybe eight at the very most. One of the things I'm trying very hard to do is get out of my usual suspects mode and avoid tapping some of those people I just have a flow with. I'm going out of my way to get out of my usual circles and work with new people while in my experimental phase especially.
On a similar note the hard thing to do is when working with someone new and that flow, ease, chemistry is comfortable consciously avoid jumping in full-bore to the same ol' same ol' habit of choosing only the people that are super easy. Instead taking a long hard look at the results produced and how those results work within any given project should be the guide to choosing who you ultimately work with on a longer term basis. That's a hard thing to do especially if the alternate choice is easy, fun, and comfortable.
Just food for thought.
None of these pictures were made for the black/white project. I forget what camera and lens I used and am too lazy to go look it up. They were made during the period where the notions of this project were coming together in my head though.