Stranger Portrait #4 – David

David

David was suspicious of my motives. It seems explaining that you take pictures of strangers to interact with new people and work on your photography skills is not seen as a normal motive for doing something like this. I soldiered on and (semi?) convinced him I was simply odd and not evil. While suspicious in the photo, he was smiling by the time I left (coincidence?).

I did position myself so that he had to turn towards the light some. So I was actually thinking more about the photography aspect of things this time. I’ll consider that progress.

Comments on this post

  1. Alan Levine said on February 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    This just gets better and better Tom! What I love about this shot are the many interpretations one could do with his expression, his eyes, his mouth- it could be suspicion or wry humor or curiosity or just being freaked out by the guy with the camera.

    Making the world less stranger, one photo at a time, that’s you.

    • Tom said on February 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      It is getting somewhat easier to do. I am not sure I’d have approached him in the past but he was an interesting looking guy. It would be fun to know what these people really thought of what was going on. I do run through all sorts of possible conversations in my head when I see anyone I don’t know now. I look at people a lot more as well. It’s weird how easy it is to never really look at strangers.

  2. Jim Groom said on February 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    This project is intensely interesting. The short narrative and image really make this an amazing blog series, that very well could be a book in my mind—or just a blog 😉

    • Tom said on February 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      I, quite literally, just found this book which documents 100 pictures with strangers. That may be my next attempt. It’d be another step towards actually building a relationship/connection. I think that’d be neat but I’m not sure how you pull it off without an extra person.

  3. rowan_peter said on February 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    What a great photo! I wonder if this kind of assignment could start an ‘unintentional chain reaction’. Where the initial stranger also starts taking photos of strangers (to them). It’s like this assignment would be the trigger for something larger… 🙂

    • Tom said on February 14, 2011 at 8:41 am

      Rowan– Interesting idea. Stranger #3 took my photo as well so maybe that will happen more and beyond the initial interaction. That’d be pretty wild. The project has already changed how I’ve been interacting with people even if I don’t end up asking to take their portrait.

      Donna – Thanks.

  4. Donna said on February 13, 2011 at 8:46 am

    VERY nice photo. Great use of the “rule of thirds”…great colors…nice focus and blur in the back. Well done!

  5. Brad said on February 14, 2011 at 10:52 am

    These are amazing. I envy you. When it comes to photography, I am mostly interested in photos of people. I find it so hard and awkward to get photos of people I don’t know. Hell, even when taking photos of people I do know I get a little uncomfortable. Kudos to you for breaking boundaries and getting such great shots. Perhaps one day I will overcome my own fear and follow timidly in your footsteps. I’ll be watching for more.

    • Tom said on February 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Brad– Thank you but nothing to envy here. I usually stick to candid shots of anyone (known/unknown) to avoid having to talk to them or interrupt things in any way. I am doing this project specifically because it makes me so very uncomfortable. I spent 3 hours in a bowling alley (son’s classmate’s birthday party) and had the camera. I ran through 100+ conversations in my head to take a stranger shot for various people but chickened out each time. It has gotten a little easier but we’ll see what happens if I get rejected.

  6. Sandy brown jensen said on October 4, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Interesting conversation about approaching people. I did this assignment yesterday in about a half hour, including a homeless woman, a couple of grocery checkers, a couple of coeds, a guy who wanted to se my iPad2.it was a LOT of fun, and I got great smiles of a complex variety. I got into a quixotic and spontaneous zone that shoved Resistance aside and got me into a flow where everyone got turned on by the creativity of the moment.

    I loved that experience. Interestingly, now that the portraits of these “strangers” are on my blog, they all seem like snaps of friends and relatives that I forgot to caption with their names. Which shows that I probably wouldn’t feel safe approaching anyone who was truly strange; everyone else is a friend I don’t know yet.

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