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