Sometimes we are asked to do things that are a bit uncomfortable (like a vision statement – heh) and face some inner demons. Instead of putting it off, the best thing to do is to face head on.
In this assignment, we are to make a photograph of a stranger. Not a candid, or a ‘street shot’, but a full on portrait. Of course, you may only have a minute or two to make that shot, so being on your toes and ready goes without saying. Some of you may have a bit more time, but there will be those occasions where you only get a few clicks off – so make sure you are ready. I would suggest shooting several people – once you get on a roll, the momentum carries you and it becomes easier and easier to do.
- The person should be unknown to you.
- It can be a street portrait, studio portrait or environmental portrait.
- The portrait should be simply lit.
- Tell us a little bit about the person – through the image and the caption.
- Tell us how you approached and worked with the subject(s) for the project.
Photographing someone you don’t know can be a scary proposition for many of us. I am fairly shy, or at least not that comfortable with walking up to someone and striking up a conversation. I usually will not do that.
UNLESS… I have my camera around my neck or in my hand. When I am ‘a photographer’ I can easily and without hesitation walk up to people and ask to make their picture. I do it a lot, actually.
You see, the camera gives me cover. The camera makes it about the photograph, not me. The camera is both a shield and a passport to meeting people.
In the photograph that is the cover shot of the Lighting Essentials post, I saw this guy sitting on the cold pier with his 6-pack and I walked right over to him. I smiled and introduced myself, told him I liked his beard and his lunch and asked if I could make a few photographs. He smiled and agreed and I brought some lights over and set them up.
All the while we were chatting about the weather and how it had affected the fishing that week. He told us about having three boats sink under him and how he had great respect for the sea.
I got my shots, and met a very cool guy. It also gave me an idea for a project we are doing at the end of this year.
I saw this gentleman as we were leaving Bean Point on Anna Maria Island. He was grinning ear to ear and I loved that. I simply asked him if I could make a picture with him and he said “sure”!
I put him on the little bridge and used a shoot-thru umbrella with a speedlight at full power just over my right shoulder. The hazy day allowed a little more exposure, and I got three shots off before he smiled, waved and walked away. That’s cool… got my shots!
This gentleman was soaking up some rays on the beach in Bradenton, Florida. We sparked up a conversation with him and his wife and found out that he is a jazz saxophone player from London, and had played for the Rolling Stones and many other rock bands. I had to get a photograph, so I asked – he said “sure, why not” and we went down to the sailboats parked on the beach.
I got a note back from him after I sent him some prints, and he said it was one of his favorite portraits.
NOTE } FLICKR ASSIGNMENT PAGE HERE.
Vokle Show Page is HERE:
Last year’s Audio Discussion.
Good insight here.
Books Related to This Assignment.