Wedding photographers sometimes rant about guests who stand in the way with their phones. But at a recent wedding in Minnesota, this got a whole new dimension. It wasn’t guests who got in the way of the photographer (and everyone else) – but someone who appears to be a stranger.
No matter how many times this subject comes up, it’s always extremely uncomfortable for a great many photographers to approach people in the street. Whether it’s the feeling of being perceived as weird or simply being rejected, a lot of people are afraid to just walk up to people and say “Hey, can I make your portrait?”.
It’s something that photographer Jamie Windsor‘s struggled with, but he’s determined to get over it. So, he reached out to fellow photographer and YouTuber, Pablo Strong, to ask for some help to get over that fear and learn how to approach people in the street.
Have you ever asked a complete stranger to take their photo? Have you ever felt connected with someone you’ve never seen before? It can be strange, right? New York-based photographer Richard Renaldi focuses his project Touching Strangers around these situations.
Richard finds random strangers in the streets and poses them like they’re family, friends or even partners. The result is an incredible series of photos which shows the connection we can form with others even though we’ve just met.
There are certainly several ways to find models for your photography project. But Los Angeles-based photographers Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson (KremerJohnson) decided to use Craigslist, which turned out to be more than successful. Their simple Craigslist ad has attracted hundreds of responses and turned into a pretty big project that’s still ongoing. It captures people of “all shapes, races, genders and sizes” and shows the true beauty that lies in diversity.
Do you find photographing strangers in the street extremely awkward and even unpleasant? I know I do, so this video from Jessica Kobeissi and Mango Street really amused me, but also got me inspired. The three young photographers teamed up, created “Free Portraits” posters and interacted with strangers in the street asking them to take their photo. It’s a fun experiment of pushing personal boundaries.
This is one of my favourite subjects. I love teaching in my workshops as most people feel awkward about approaching people on the streets to photograph them.
Through experience, trial and error, I have had the pleasure to understand the psychology of approaching perfect strangers to ask them for a pic and the wonderful joy we receive by pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone.
My name is Matt Palace and I intend to photograph 1,200 pilgrims. “1200 Pilgrims” is a personal project carried out with the intention of photographing 1,200 Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. Individuals from around the world walked this 800km trail over the course of 30 days, as a spiritual retreat.
The aim of this experiment was to discover if I, as an amateur photographer, could improve my workflow. I was curious to know whether the use of a professional flash head could influence the quality of my pictures compared to my previous work.
Seeing a random person on the street that you’d love to photograph can rapidly become one of the scariest scenarios out there for many portrait photographers as soon as they start to consider how to approach them. With “Don’t talk to strangers!” being drummed into us from a very young age, it’s just one of those things which seems hard wired into our system.
If the thought of asking a stranger if you can create their portrait puts you in a frozen panic, New York based portrait photographers Miguel Quiles and Jeff Rojas are here to help with some tips on approaching people you don’t know in order to get them in front of your camera.