Ralph Williams is a retired English professor from the University of Michigan, and one of the most interesting humans I’ll ever know.
In winter of 2004 I took Williams English 401: The English Bible (Its Literary Aspects and Influences). It was there this young photo student watched one of the most animated lecturers alive and focused more on the logistics of a photo shoot than his studies. A few short weeks later I had chosen a venue, secured the lighting and, most importantly, scheduled Ralph Williams for the shoot.
This was before I knew much about lighting and long before I had worked with and directed many subjects. For many reasons this shoot shouldn’t have taken place. But it did. And it could not have gone better. The reason for my success was that I didn’t know I couldn’t do what I wanted to.
There are many ideas that go to waste because people get bogged down with what they think is needed for a project. Not enough money or not enough time are such examples. Whenever I feel limited, I look at these images of Ralph Williams and remember that a broke, ambitious photo student took these pictures.