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!
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. :)