Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders Talks About His Portrait Process

All images in this post are screenshots from the video by Epson.

Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has created photo series’ that have been exhibited at the Sundance Film Festival amongst other places. He’s a celebrity portrait photographer who started out, admittedly, not know what he was doing. But later on he learned and eventually networked with a number of celebrities–which translates into him eventually photographing them. Since he’s been doing this for a while and on large format, he’s still very tied to the print. Until a few years ago, there weren’t any fine art matte papers that got the image perfect. But Epson’s new(ish) Legacy Fibre paper is exactly what he wants.

Epson recently created and released a video interview with Tim where he explains how specific and careful he is about his shoots. He typically shoots a few sheets of large format film and if anything, he shoots 8 or 10 max–but even that’s rare. He’s very careful and a true artist. In fact, you can liken him to being a conductor of an orchestra where he composes the entire scene, lights it perfectly, uses reflectors just right, and gets just the right expression from the person being photographed. This process is a lot different from what so many photographers do these days with digital and because hard drive space is so cheap accordingly.

Tim talks a bit about the colors, tones etc with matte paper. You see, Glossy and Luster paper need to be lit directly from above. But if you’re working with matte paper then you need to blast it with a color neutral light of some sort. The reason for this is because the paper tends to absorb light rather than reflect it. Matte paper in my opinion is perfect for apartments and homes. The print is also part of his process which Tim feels brings us out of screens and forces us to really just look at the images.