100 strangers ~ part 1

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Last winter, I got stuck in a rut with my photography. I love taking photos, and I wanted to do it more; but I had a hard time getting out there with my camera, when I didn't know WHAT to shoot. This was a big problem for me, and I needed to know what to do about this. So I turned to the one place that has all the answers for you--Google.

Searching for different photo projects really got my inspiration to blossom, and I found especially two that interested me. One was to challenge yourself to take one picture every day (I've done that since), and one was to take pictures of a hundred total strangers. It sounded pretty scary; how would I approach them, how would they react, and what if it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to?

This was exactly the challenge I needed.

So, since a couple of months back, I've been out looking for strangers every other day. Different ages, different backgrounds, and different styles. I want them all to be part of my project.

And how these meetings have made me grow. Both as a person, and as a photographer.

It's helped me not to be afraid to take contact. If there is someone who interests you in any way, why not ask them a question or two? I promise, they won't bite. Worst case scenario, they just don't care to talk.

It has also helped me to be both better and faster, when it comes to portrait photography. I know which settings to use, I start looking at light in a whole different way (and realize the importance of it!), and I'm starting to develop my own style. I'm not sure what I expected when I first started this project, but this is far beyond my expectations.

And today I'm proud to say, I'm half-way done with my project! I found my fiftieth stranger at a red light this afternoon; his car just being towed away. That's another thing I enjoy--everyone has a story.

Here are a couple of my favorites, together with a link to the complimentary write-up I do about them:

This is Fatima. I fell for her eyes, which were outstanding together with her veil.

 

Timmy became one of my strangers, after his buddy came up to me and demanded a picture. Timmy himself wasn't very interested in the project.

 

I love this portrait of Chelsea, who was one of the sweetest strangers by far. This was taken within ten seconds of meeting her--she was waiting for the light to turn green, so I was a bit hurried to say the least!

 

Conor is one of my absolute favorites. Doesn't he look like he's come straight out of a Hollywood production?

 

This can be one of the most interesting interactions I've had. I was very curious about the face mask, which is common among Asians; and was STUNNED by the explanation!

 

A gorgeous day for portraits, came along well with a very stylish stranger.

 

Another favorite. This Brazilian girl was working at a model agency back in her home-country. I love when you meet characters that stand out so well in a crowd.

 

I took this portrait of George, the day after I had realized what I look after in my strangers--people who make me smile.

 

One day I went out looking for the natural beauty; something like Galadriel in Lord of the Rings. This girl was just spot on.

 

I love a good red-head! This Guy (his name is actually Guy) is exactly the type of character I love having in my collection.

 

Now, that's my top ten for ya. If you want to see more of my strangers, you can see the whole set on Flickr, or you can go to my Facebook Page, where you get all updates concerning my photography.

Tomorrow I'm starting the second half of the project. New faces, new personalities, and new awesome stories. Part 2 - bring it on!