100 Strangers

Step out of your comfort zone to a new level of portrait photography: take 100 portraits of people you don't know.

The idea
The One Hundred Strangers project is a learning group for people who want to improve the social and technical skills needed for taking portraits of strangers and telling their stories. The method is learning by doing.
The project is lots of fun and improves photojournalistic skills. During the process you might expand your every day living experience - and who knows, maybe you will even get a couple of new friends during the process.
We welcome both beginner and advanced photographers. You may be new to photographing strangers or already have experience of this type of photography.

The challenge
Take 100 photographs of at least 100 people you don't know. Approach a person or group of people and ask for permission to both take a photo of them and to post it to the flickr 100 Strangers group. Get to know your subjects. Who are they? What is their life like?

Try to tell a small story with each photo you take. This may be a story about the person or how you felt approaching that particular individual. You may have, for example, tried a new approach or used a new photographic technique. Try to learn something from every encounter you make.

#77/100 Strangers - Mark

This is Mark. A very reluctant stranger at first but after a little coaxing I got him to relax and agree to a few quick shots. The first ones were serious as he talked about a beaver that someone had killed down by the river. Then I said something that made him break out in a smile and I squeezed the shutter.

This is one of my all time favourite shots. The reason isn't obvious but it is a stranger shot, a set up shot and an action shot all rolled into one.

What am I talking about?

Well first you will have to blow it up full size and look at the reflections in both lenses of Marks glasses.

Eddy was my photo assistant and he is holding up a softbox with a 580 shooting through it. I have a 580 mounted on the camera. One lens shows me holding the camera and taking the shot. The on camera flash fired. In the other lens you can see the softbox and the 580 that didn't fire. So this shows the action of taking the shot, the set up for the shot and Mark acting as todays stranger. It's also my 77th stranger - two sevens - my lucky number doubled. That can only happen once in 100 strangers.

It was a one in a million shot and I didn't notice it until I got home and was cleaning up the final for posting.