It's Week #33: Portrait of a Stranger

red-bird-blank-sign see the album


Believe it or not, 52Frames is about more than just photography. That’s right, not just photography!  It’s about breaking out of your comfort zone, and trying something new. Whether it is a new function on your camera, a new lens, or a new editing technique, this project is here to broaden your horizons.

This week, we’re going to take it a step further. Your challenge is to go out, beat that anxiety, and take a photo of someone you have never met. Capture some the beautiful qualities of a passerby, qualities you never would have noticed otherwise. When times get dark we have to remember that there are many beautiful people in this world. Now let’s see them!

 Tips and Tuts for this week:

  • Take a moment to prep before approaching your subject. Check your camera settings, rehearse how you want to approach your subject, and what you would like to say
  • Introduce yourself, and explain to your subject clearly why you want to take their portrait. Offer to exchange e-mail addresses, and send them a copy of it if they are interested
  • Your subject might be in a rush, so take as many shots as you can, and then check  out thisgreat guide to retouching portraits in Photoshop
  • Be prepared for some no’s!! Odds are you’ll ask multiple people before you someone agrees to let you take the shot. Don’t let this discourage you, keep trying!! I’ve found that most people are very friendly, even if they decline
  • See how Brandon Stanton does it (from HONY fame).
  • Check out this cool project for a little inspiration

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our previous Portrait of a Stranger album from 2012, as well as our “Portrait” albums from 2013 and 2014. And of course, The Googles! Oh you sweet Googles.

Extra Credit: Tell Their Story

For some extra credit juicy joojoo, get to know your subject! Ask them to tell you a little bit about their life, see where they’re headed to, or what their favorite ice cream flavor is. For some ideas, check out Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York“. This may seem daunting, but that’s how friends are made!

Check out the Googles for some more inspiration. 

Remember, it is not necessary to keep this Extra Credit challenge in mind while shooting. It’s extra credit!

*Please note!! You can only submit ONE photo per week, for the week’s challenge. This photo can include the “Extra Credit” part of the challenge, or the “regular” challenge, but you can never submit more than one photo!

Past Challenges - 2015