100 Strangers… Facing the challenge of talking to strangers and doing it anyway

Meeting Strangers can be a way of opening up one’s world.  For those of us who are less outgoing, it can be challenging, but when faced with the need to photograph a stranger, it can be terrifying, even for people who find it easy to mix and mingle.

The challenge to seek permission from a stranger to take a photograph can be daunting and the easy road is to stand back and take the long shot with a telephoto while hiding in the shadows.  There are so many opinions of what is the right thing to do when it comes to pointing a camera at a total stranger that the novice has difficulty in finding the correct path. Sometimes it is necessary to take the quick candid shot, especially when the moment cannot be recreated, while on other ocassions, it may be better to strike a conversation and seek permission to make a photograph and so be able to take a series and have a deeper story to tell. Remember, everyone has a back story and most of them are fascinating.

There is no right answer to this delema, but I suggest that even when taking the candid shot, permission to use it should be sought after the fact. This has two benefits.. It provides an opportunity to get a model release signed so that if you make a masterpiece you will be able to sell it on and you have the opportunity to make a new friend.

All this being so I still have not mastered the courage to comfortably point a camera at someone I don’t know and so as a way to develop my skills at street photography, I have taken up the challenge to make photos and stories of a new 100 strangers on this page…

These are their stories

Sunday Night At The Gold Coast

After a few weeks of full on preparation for the Commonwealth Games, my workload has diminished a little and last night I took a stroll through Broadbeach precinct. It was a tad after 9PM and there were surprisingly few folk out and about given we are in the midst of one of the larger sporting carnivals in the world this year.

The streets had the look that cities get when the crowds have returned to their homes and all that’s left are the cleaners; those nocturnal souls who rejuvenate the sidewalks and parks at the end of day. The blowers that inflated the blow up castle were now silent, and it now spread across the ground like some invasive slim often seen in sci fi movies.

The beach, now deserted, had transformed into a tapestry of texture where thousands of feet had churned through it during the day.

Like an endless desert the night lights cast harsh shadows on the tapestry of sand

Coffee bars still plied their trade while groups of spectators sat watching one of the giant screens, scattered across the city, to see Australia pick up a trifector at the swimming.

Watching the games…. street style

Looking up at the tall apartment buildings, one got the feeling that, despite the enormity of the event, there were many vacancies as the lighted rooms were far out numbered by those which shed no glow.

Wandering the streets, I came across several stages that have been erected to provide spot entertainment for the crowds that have been expected.  I stopped a moment to watch a troop of performers.

A troop of gymnasts strut their stuff on a street stage in Broadbeach

One feature of these games, and a sad indictment on the state of our world today, is the level of detail that has been put towards public safety. Almost everywhere you will see security or police officers, often just standing about, ready to act should there be any reason. Any place where public will gather is shielded with concrete bolards sheathed in colourful covers, preventing any vehicle attacks.

Following the herd, I made my way back to the tram station and so on to Broadbeach South where the line ends. From here I decided that a walk back to my apartment would do me some good. A pleasant night for a stroll.

If you have spent time at the games, what was your experience?

Please leave a comment if you had a great time or what were your grips?