Some interesting posts overnight - thanks for your comments.

Two thoughts: (1) on whether I'm, shooting too much; and (2) on reading negatives. The first is easy. No I'm not. The opposite in fact - I'm not making enough negatives. The second point is more complex.

I used to select negatives for printing by looking at them on a lightbox, just as a couple of you have suggested. But I've realised there are several problems with that approach. Firstly, it's not possible to read the subtleties of body language on a negative (I can't anyway). Yes you can see if the eyes are open or shut, but does a slight tilt of the head work or not? I believe a proper print is required for this.

The second problem is that choosing from the negatives pushes you towards selecting the obvious pictures - the ones you know will work. More subtle compositions, especially those which don't work back to front and with inverted tones, can easily be missed.

The third problem is more of a question: how can I learn unless I see the print? Suppose a model blinked as the shutter fired. Should I discard the negative because her eyes are closed or print it to look at the rest of the composition? How about if the lighting is a bit off? Again, looking at the print will tell me where I went wrong. Or what if the composition just sucks? Obviously I saw something that appealed to me because I made the picture, but to understand what appeals and what I need to avoid in the future requires a print.

Lastly, I'm still trying to find a way to engage with models in the post-polaroid world. In the past I used a lot of Polaroids in the studio. Seeing the printed picture enabled the model to understand where I was trying to go - and this enabled her to work with me to achieve that goal. I'm hoping that by developing and proofing immediately after the sitting then this collaborative engagement will be possible again. OK, the discussion will have to be spread over several sittings, but I prefer to work that way anyway.

Regarding why I proof on Lodima, that's easy to answer. Compared to platinum it's cheap and easy. I can make lots of proofs quickly without much effort. And it's got a long enough range to match my platinum negatives (as I noted on an earlier post, I tried this once with RC paper but it didn't show enough detail).

Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions. There's plenty of food for thought here.