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…