William Albert Allard, or Bill as he's affectionately known in the Midwest, at first glance looks like he lives the life of those he enjoys documenting and being around. It feels like in a short and concise 12 minute video, The Camera Store found a way to tell what seemed like the full story of this man. The way they followed and framed him approaching his subjects so close they're occasionally surprised at his presence and talking to himself while framing a shot. Making sure they made it clear he was an avid Leica user even before he mentioned it in the latter half of the video.
Immediately as Bill began speaking you could hear his experience and tenure in his voice and his words were extremely powerful, even from the first phrase...
"Looking for the moment- Every time I'm making a photograph it's just like putting together a puzzle. Everybody does it differently but everyone is looking for the best way."
William's view on light especially working in the Midwest is very interesting stating "There's no such thing as bad light." Of course he loves the light in the beginning of the morning or right before sunset, being an experienced photographer, but also noting that it's important to use harsh light and shadows to craft an image to the best of your ability.
Something that caught my eye in the work from Allard that I've seen so far is majority of his images are coloured in a way that encapsulates what I imagine middle america to look like. An emphasis on browns, creams, dust and yellows. I'm unsure if this is due to happenstance or it's intentional but it creates a look that seems unique to him, not much unlike almost every one of his quotes in the video.
"Be aware you're in someone else's backyard. What you project is important- Something very important in documentary photography is access, but afterwards you have acceptance. Acceptance allows people to give you pictures. Most of my best photos were given to me, not taken."
It seems like every time I'm watching a video on one of these masters of photography I see Leicas galore. It truly makes me wonder, should that be the next step on my photographic journey?