Aug 13, 2010

Strangers 101

Welcome to Strangers 101


Hi everyone!  I am so excited to be at the studio today!  Isn't Kim just the best? 

So...are you ready to do something totally different?

Wanna shoot a stranger?

Oh that sounds bad doesn't it?  Ah well, I am sure you know I mean with a camera and not something else...

I am currently in the throes of my 31 strangers in 31 days photo challenge.  And I must say...it's been life changing for me.  First, I am a huge chicken s*#t when it comes to approaching someone and asking for favors (in this case, asking if I can take their photograph). Second, it's been a crash course in really knowing my camera...as I am taking photos inside, outside, in bright sunlight, etc...you have to know what settings are going to get you the best picture possible (and I am only using manual mode).  Finally, I am getting out of my comfort zone!  And that is really why I took on this challenge.  I wanted to get out of my comfort zone!

As an artist, I need to push the envelope with myself.  My ego often wants to keep me safe, but how does one grow by playing it safe all the time.  Now, you don't have to live life on the edge all the time...but a good challenge now and then really does shake things up.  It gets you thinking outside of the box.  It will help you grow.  It will build your confidence. 

So, do you think you want to try this?  How about over the weekend?  Take your camera out for a walk and approach a total stranger and ask if you can take their photograph.  Then on Monday post it on your blog and we can all hop around and meet some new people?  Now don't think you can't do this...you CAN!  And the best part is, you will feel so awesome for the experience. Because you never know who you will meet.  I will say, I have meet some incredible people!

Here are a few helpful tips:
1. Smile and introduce yourself.  Tell the stranger that you are doing a photo challenge and would like to take their photograph. Make them feel special!
2. Do tell them that you will be posting it on your blog or flickr site.  Be prepared to give them a card (or even handwritten on a piece of paper) with your email address and blog site.  (I printed cards up that I hand out to people...if they want their photo it's up to them to contact me).
3. I found it's easiest to approach someone who is not in a hurry.  I approach people that are sitting or standing (not walking).  I also approach people in a group...I find that the group ads a bit of peer pressure to the person I asked...egging them on to take the photo!
4. If you get a rejection...don't take it personally!  Just move on.  It's really no big deal.  Honestly, I have had only 1 person say no.  Most people are really honored to be asked!
5. Safety comes first!!! Do this in a public place with lots of other people around.  Don't approach people that you think could harm you. I am staying clear of homeless or drugged out looking folks (as interesting as they are to photograph)...because you just don't know what the reaction could be.  Not that I want to judge, but the purpose of the project is to actually meet the stranger and get permission. This is not a shoot and run kind of thing.
6. Finally, have fun with this!  It's totally natural to get butterflies in your stomach...I just take a few deep breaths..and then go for it.

So what do you think?  Are you going to try it???

If want to see my strangers, please visit my blog.

Thanks so much for having me today!  You guys rock!  Hope to meet some strangers on Monday!

xo

p.s. you can add your stranger pics to the Inspiration Studio Flickr Pool, or share them on your blog.  Please add your link below so we can meet your stranger.  :)

23 comments:

Victoria said...

I saw your blog, and I want to do this! :)

Kelly Warren said...

very cool. I've never had any trouble striking up a conversation with strangers, and there have definitely been a few I secretly wanted to photograph. Maybe now, this will inspire me!

Suki said...

Aww.. I need a big shake up again and this might be it. Maybe. I will think about it and let you know.

You rock! Wonderful writing.

Caroline said...

Hi lovely ladies...I do hope you join me in this challenge. It's fun...I promise. And you only have to ask 1 person...not so bad. Just 1 person!

I have asked 13 people so far and have 18 more to go!!! Eeek!

xoxo

Kristine Norina said...

i will try to do this ;)sounds fun

Monica de Moss said...

I will try this! Thanks for the encouragement!

Marcie said...

As I continue to say on your blog - I am finding this whole 'strangers' project totally inspiring. Thanks for this. I'm going to have to give it a try..maybe..if I can get up the guts to do it..or maybe not.
THANK-YOU!!!

gibknitty said...

this is an amazing idea. i just keep thinking how i would feel if someone came up and asked to take MY picture. i am quite camera shy.

i usually take pictures of strangers without their knowledge (don't hate me) and i have done a few posts on my blog with those photos. i will have to think about trying it your way...the direct approach. thanks for sharing this idea. i really do love it.

JackDaddy said...

I sent this to a photographer friend of mine. She would be perfect for this!

T Opdycke said...

This is a wonderful idea, Caroline! I'm going to walk out of my comfort zone and give it a try this weekend. Thank you for the inspiration!

Caroline said...

YAY!!! I can't wait to see the photos on Monday...don't forget to leave a link where we can see them. Awesome! And have fun!!!

I promise, it's not as hard as you think!!!

Jill said...

I have seen quite a few strangers that I wanted to photograph that either I didn't have the nerve to ask or I was with all my kids and just couldn't stop to do it. I live in a small town so probably wouldn't ask anyone here. It's a great project.
I love the irony of adding your link so we can "meet your stranger"--bummer, no longer a stranger then huh?!

Caroline said...

Jill, my kids have come with me a few times...I think it makes it easier. And do it in your small town...Have a diner? Ice cream shop? Ask a patron or even someone working!

Connie Lou said...

I'm in....

Caroline said...

YAY! SO glad that many of you are gonna go for it! Be sure to add your link above. I just added mine :)

Gilding Lilies said...

With a deep breath, I agree. This will be hard for me, but a really good exercise. So, with trepidation, I'm in too.

Caroline said...

Gilding Lilies...I was terrified and almost did not do the project. The day before I could not sleep. I actually dreamed about it. I really wanted to back out. But I thought...OK...I put it out there. And really the worst that can happen is the person says no. Just be yourself and even tell them that you feel nervous approaching them. I find that people want to help and will gladly let you take the photo.

Goodluck! Can't wait to see who you captured!

Carolynn said...

I'm very tempted....and I do love a double dog dare. I'll take my camera with me on Sunday and see what happens. If I shoot someone I'll tell all on Monday. *wink*

Jamie said...

What a cool challenge! Wish I'd read this early in the weekend when I had a chance to participate, can't wait to see what everyone else posts.

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

I tried it! Both gentlemen were very agreeable and it was fun! I think I uploaded them to the flicker pool...not too savvy with the technical end of things. :)

T Opdycke said...

Caroline...Well, I did it and it felt good. Your inspiration is phenomenal! Thank you, thank you!

Caroline said...

See...it's not so bad! So glad you guys took the plunge. Congrats! xoxo

michel said...

ok ok enough is enough. I'm going to do it today. dang I am such a chicken. thanks for the tips love your blog I just stumbled here its great. Hopefully I will get to cross something off my life list today! Photograph a stranger.