Street portrait photography of faces of strangers who become friends, usually in black and white.
The images within these galleries and blog
technically fit the definition of street portraiture. Some were taken
indoors, of waitpersons, docents, baristas, etc. But most were
photographed in the great outdoors, of people who I saw/met in public places,
always with permission. The common denominator is this; I had never
seen, nor met, any of these people prior to the photographic
Chris 058 Mar 29-14b
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This picture is #337 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page
I stood in a location that is usually unsuitable for portrait photography. But on this morning, the overcast sky made the light acceptable. As Chris walked toward me, his loosey-goosey gait, and amused look caught my eye and made a portrait attempt necessary.
His initial response was interest, tempered by shy caution. As I looked into his eyes, he seemed younger than I had first thought. He attends Sarasota Military Academy, not one of the larger schools in the area. I know a man whose daughter goes there and Chris knew her.
Chris was quite proud of his shirt. The logo, “Parents For Sale – Buy One, Get One Free”, could be interpreted as a serious insult. But Chris' face suggests to me that it is all in good humor.
Thank you, Chris, for allowing me to photograph you for the 100 Strangers Flickr group.
Jo Ann #336
Three ladies were walking toward me. As I addressed them, I was careful to make eye contact with each one, in turn. I looked for a few seconds at #1, then turned to #2 and #3. The second time around, #3 was absent, never to be seen again.
When I was done speaking, (Jo Ann) said, “Oh yeah, I've heard of that.
You've heard of 100 Strangers?”
“Where? Were you photographed?”
“I don't remember where, I wasn't photographed.”
I Wasn't sure what to make of that. But then Jo Ann added, “And I follow Humans of New York (HONY on Facebook.” Well I'll be darned.
So I photographed Jo Ann, but #2 held up her hand and declined. Oh well, 33% success – not so great.
Thank you, Jo Ann, for allowing me to photograph you for the 100 Strangers Flickr group.
Akeia 182 Mar 27-14a
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This picture is #335 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page
Akeia was on the cell phone while sitting on a bench in Macon, GA. This was on Cherry Street, next to a bridal shop. She works there. When I explained 100 Strangers, she first smiled, and then broke into laughter. She was certainly not adverse to being photographed. Her friends call her Keia (sounds like Kee-a).
She was born in Macon.
I asked, “How do you like living in Macon?”
“I hate it.”
“I'm too young. There isn't much for young people here. I'd rather live in Florida, either Destin or Miami.”
Well, despite this negative note, she enjoyed being photographed. Asking not to smile brought out her inner thespian tendencies.
Thank you, Akeia, for allowing me to photograph you for the 100 Strangers Flickr group.
My wife and I sat at an outdoor Italian restaurant, on a corner in St. Petersburg, FL. It was about 6PM. From my seat, I had a view of North and west pedestrian traffic. Looking to the west, everyone was rimmed by backlight – nice.
When I saw Peter approach from the west, I hopped out of my chair and walked toward him. There were three possible bad outcomes:
1. He would refuse a portrait.
2. I'd get the shot, but his hair would be overexposed from the backlight.
3. I'd get a good shot, but my wife would eat my pizza.
As I explained the project to Peter, he began to smile – all was good. He said, “Sure, go ahead” and he had an obvious accent. He is from Denmark, and has been in the U.S. For six months. He loves it here.
I said, “You look too young for that luxurious beard.”
Peter stroked his beard and smiled, “I'm 35.”
“What are you going to do when it turns all gray?”
Still stroking, and smiling broader, “We'll see...”
Thank you, Peter, for allowing me to photograph you for the 100 Strangers Flickr group.
I walked on Main Street with another photographer, Rob. Rob is a retired professional portrait photographer, trained at Brooks Institute. We must have been quite a sight. I am 6'1”, and carry my micro 4/3 camera on a wrist strap – wrist bling. Rob is several inches shorter and looked like a pack mule. He had a full frame camera with bazooka lens, tripod, strobes, and a bulging photovest filled with God-knows-what. I was about to learn some things that morning.
Across the street I saw a young family of three eating in the doorway of a restaurant. The inside was dark and the light popped them, so I excused myself, crossed the street, and made my move. The three were at a fairly long table with Mom and Dad at the ends, and junior in the middle. Usually when I explain the project to two adults, I make eye contact with each, alternately. But Dan and Oana were so far apart that I did my male chauvinist pig thing and addressed Dan. While I spoke, he had a look of puzzled amusement. Finally he said, “No. No, I thank you.” He had a European accent that I did not recognize. I thanked him, wished them a good day, and moved on.
I spoke with Rob about 40 yards away when Dan quickly approached and asked me to repeat the request. I did so and showed him my cell phone with Flickr Photostream. He smiled and said “That's OK,” and we walked back to his table. They are from Romania, and visiting Florida for a few months.
When I asked to photograph David (the child), he said sure. Like most kids, David was squirming all over the place. I got a few bursts, and only the very last frame was usable. Then I had to decide which of the three to use for the posted image. Duh! The lady, of course.
Thank you Oana, Dan, and David, for allowing me to photograph you for the 100 Strangers Flickr group.