The “Triple Play” began at the 2013 Symposium at Elgin Community College. The idea: Give three different photographers 15 minutes to shoot a typical assignment and watch each photographer’s approach to the job. The idea was an instant hit, but also a bit of a zoo, as all the Syposium attendees watched live and in person, a gallery of 75+ people chatting and following photographer and subject from location to location. It was a little crowded, a little noisy and amped up the pressure on the participants.
As the Triple Play became a regular part of the Symposium schedule, the format was modified and tweaked each year to find the sweet spot of letting the audience watch the process without being intrusive to the participants. The 2018 format was the most innovative yet: Wake Forest multimedia director Mike Shaw videotaped each shoot, which allowed the photography to happen quietly and privately, with Symposium attendees watching the process afterward. The added bonus of the latest format tweak is that the Triple Play can now be shared with those who could not attend the Symposium.
The assignment? A familiar one for every university photographer: Environmental portrait.
First up was Patrick Hinely, Photographer Emeritus at Washington and Lee University:
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