Quote Originally Posted by blansky
Most portrait photographers that use a tripod aren't looking in the viewfinder when they trip the shutter. However the magic doesn't last more than millisecond, and you still don't know how great it was until you see it on film. The reason that movie makers and some photographer "tested" their subject/actors was to see if they had that magic. It may appear in the viewfinder and not on the film and vise versa.

Also I photograph a lot of kids. That expression can change in a heartbeat. I can have frames less than a second apart that are nuanced very differently.

Michael, all I can say is - it works for me! And I never shoot more than one roll of film on a portrait session (8 or 10 frames) - two or three frames just to let the subject get used to the studio environment, three or four of which I know one will be the final shot used, and the rest slightly experimental to finish the film. What's more, I always look through the camera while shooting if I want the subject to look at the lens (which I do) - this removes a further major uncertainty! If you can hear the shutter click and see the subject's eyes and mouth at the same time, you can't miss!