I always love to work for the New York Times and Monday I was lucky enough to get a call about a shoot. The story is about the budget crisis that Arizona currently is facing. They wanted a nice shot of the State Capitol building, so because the building faces due east I knew I had a limited window of time when the light would look good and hit the front of the building. It seems silly to wake up at 5:30am just to take a picture of a static object but that is the key to good photography, seeing the light. Light can make or break a picture. There is nothing better than early morning light as the sun is rising or the moments before sunset. I recently had a debate with my sister about what is better a sunrise or a sunset. She said sunsets are the best but I had to go with sunrise since I am rarely awake to see the sun come up it is invariably more special.
The second part of the shoot for the New York Times was to photograph people shopping to illustrate the increased sales tax proposal. By this time it was noon and I was not feeling hopeful that I would see anyone out and about in the 110+ weather. I went over to the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix to see what I could find and I was extremely lucky to catch a wave of people at the mall during the lunch hour. Honestly I was a little worried the place would be a ghost town and my deadline was fast approaching! That picture ran smaller on the following page. Pretty much the worst time for photographs is noon. The sun is directly overhead which causes deep shadows. As a photojournalist I often cannot control when an assignment is but as a portrait and wedding photographer I always try to schedule my shoots in the morning light or late evening before sunset.