As photographers we exert an immense amount of influence over the dynamics of any photographer/subject situation. Sure there are many factors but make no mistake a huge part of it is up to you. One of the reasons I love the Fuji X-System is the same reason I loved to use small 35mm film cameras for personal work. It just gets out of the way and disappears. For the Black/White project that's a big part of what I'm looking for. The place where the camera disappears.
In general terms the white side of the project up until this point takes a bit more finesse and time for that to happen than the black side. Part of that has been due to the much more active aspects of that black side of the project. For the first time I changed up the process from my unintentional habit of playing with the white side after doing some black side sequence, just to see what happens.
I'll have to save any analysis of that for another time. Although I should have known better I worked with Christina on a few things I wanted try with one of her good friends hanging around. It took all of 30 seconds to realize this was a gigantic disruption in flow and far more of a distraction than whatever camera I happened to be using. As intended I did the white side first. There were 90% less opportunities to grab moments I wanted than my experience to date.
Mistakenly, I thought it would be much easier to do the black side. I couldn't have been more wrong. I probably spent less than ten minutes even attempting any sort of circumstances similar to what I've done in past experiments on approach. Nothing was working. I even tried make some of what was going on with Christina's friend work. Directly above is an example.
I even tried to make in-between moments work like this. Nothing worked, it was just too much of a distraction. Don't misunderstand, Christina's friend was not at all disruptive in terms of behavior, or communication, or anything like you might imagine. It was just being there in the same room, in view that was the influence. My guess is that almost anyone else that Christina didn't know well would have been better or at least more useful.
Here's the upside. Since I couldn't make anything work with any of the process I had used, the last thing I did was something very different. I asked Christina to position herself so that her friend was out of view. Literally facing away from both her friend and the camera. A far more static approach than anything I've done. The photograph at the top is an example.
Guess what. I like some of these and may actually use some more static situations going forward. I like the mix of power and delicacy in these. I only made a few frames thinking it was a waste of time for the project but it turns out as usual, if things aren't working trying something else leads to places you may not have gone otherwise. I'm glad I didn't hang it up and made those last few frames.
Hell, I even like the balance of specific and general that I played with in the last few minutes. I'me definitely going to play with more approaches like this.
All images made with the Fuji XT-1 and 18-55mm XF. Processing via LR CC with VSCO FILM05 BW400CN applied on import.