There’s a magic when you get something in-camera. When in a single image, you’ve balanced the craft with aesthetics. The lens choice, lighting style, moment, talent, place, composition—all come together in one exposure. This process makes me happy in a significant way. It’s a culmination of technique and experience, combined with spontaneity.

There’s planning involved—but if I’m doing it right, it’s not prescriptive or restrictive—it’s supportive. It creates an environment that encourages the creation of a successful in-camera image.

contact sheet of shootin in-camera magic with Nike running athlete David Kojo Aidoo.

Contact sheet of the in-camera results from the shoot with Kojo David Aidoo.

I start each project with a faith in my process and keep an open mind about the difference between where I begin and where I’ll end up.

It’s not always easy to shake off my preconceived ideas and expectations of a shoot. There’s a balance that I need to find between the concepts and techniques I’m bringing to the project, and the need to be open and present to the interesting unplanned.

There’s discovery at work in this—working by feel and instinct, using the tools I’ve been given. Practicing being present in my art and not worrying about the plans or the final images. Seeing what happens when I make a subtle shift or take a creative risk. Failing, but failing upwards. My successful photographs are the fruit of the risks I’ve taken, my openness to spontaneous ideas, and the creative foundations I’ve laid.

P.S. Want to see more in-camera magic? I used this same technique working with modern dancers here!

b&w portrait of photographer Andy Batt

Andy is the artist-in-residence, owner, technologist, cook, brewer, and cocktail maker in chief at Andy Batt Studio. He loves to work with a good crew on complex projects and a good coffee cup. No, a good cup of coffee— there’s a difference. On the side, he teaches lighting workshops because he likes giving back to his community.