Tuesday, April 10, 2007
27% of Stranger-a-Day
Originally, my sole purpose in starting this project was simply to overcome my occasional shyness in approaching strangers. Any sort of successful photojournalist, I figure, has to be fairly fearless when it comes to meeting and shooting new people; and while I am far from inhibited, I know I've missed a good photo or two through sudden pangs of introversion.
Along the way, I created a few rules to guide Stranger-a-Day;
1. The person must be a stranger. Obvious, yes, but I cheated a few times nonetheless.
2. I am not allowed to direct facial expression, stance, body language, &c.
3. I must actually verbally engage the stranger before photographing him or her. For the first month or so I actually had a mini-speech about the project, but since then have resorted to "may I take your photo?", which usually works just as well and is much easier.
There are exceptions, here and there, but generally speaking the list holds true. Of my first 100 strangers:
55 are men, 43 are women, 1 is a fish (male), and 1 is an inanimate sculpture,
67 were photographed in New York City,
17 were photographed in some way for The Spectator or The Eye,
12 were photographed on Columbia's campus,
11 were photographed in the subway,
3 were professional models,
3 were people I'd known well through the media but never met,
7 were people with whom I didn't actually interact,
8 are complete lies and people I definitely know,
8 are people whom I'd never met before but now interact with regularly,
4 strangers asked me to take their photos before I could ask them,
19 strangers were subsequently spotted by people who read this blog.