“Wow! That camera of yours takes great pictures!” said Howard, after seeing the professional-quality portrait I had just taken of him using only one flash and 5 dollars worth of white cloth. Of course he was kidding; he was making a reference to something I had said in Day 1 of the seminar, saying that if you ever want to get punched out by a photographer, just say to them “Wow, those are great pictures! What kind of camera do you have?”
This was at the end of Day 2 of the Orlando seminar, just after everyone had gone home, and I had agreed to use the MacGyver-esque wireless flash technique I had demonstrated on Day 1 to take a high-quality portrait of a very special seminar attendee, Howard Herman, the guy who taught me to play Jazz piano in my youth, and still one of the best piano players in Florida. Howard, of course, was the kind of person who always felt much more comfortable behind a keyboard than in front of a camera, and so the assignment had become a double challenge: Get the light right AND get the subject comfortable, relaxed and natural.