Everyday for the next 30 days I will ask a complete stranger if I can take his portrait.
Aside from pre-arranged photoshoots (in which I have time to get to know a person and do my research) I love shooting in a photojournalistic, fly-on-the-wall style and have done it for years. The opposite is going up to a stranger on the street and asking him to pose for a portrait. I love looking at portraits and often I see strangers on the streets or subways in New York that I think would make an excellent portrait, but I shy away from asking. At the recent APANY ReFresh Workshop with Karen D’Silva and Kristin Duvall, they suggested doing the thing you are afraid of for 30 days to get over it. Or for some, the Costanza approach: Do the opposite of what you are comfortable doing.
So for the next 30 days, everyday I will ask a complete stranger if I can take his portrait and I will post a photo here. Good or bad. Of course, I only ever want to show my best work, but for the purpose of this project, I wanted to show everything, I wanted to share the process.
These are the parameters I gave myself:
1. It has to be a perfect stranger.
2. I have to ask their permission. (and get a model release, I added this a few days after I started)
3. I have to photograph 1 person every day before midnight. (more than 1 a day doesn’t count toward the next day.)
4. I will share the photos everyday on this blog
I started yesterday. I asked 3 people, 2 said yes.