How to Photograph Strangers by Jonathan Cherry
SOMEONE WHO KNOWS SOMEONE
The best way to get a “yes” when looking for strangers to photograph is to find someone who knows someone. Quite recently, I moved house to St. Neots in Cambridgeshire — it’s a new area to me where I don’t really know many people at all. One of my first moves was to “like” the St. Neots Facebook page and put up a few posts.
The mistake some people might make at this point is to generalize what they want to photograph. For example, you might write that you are new to the area and would like to take some people’s portraits. This is likely to get a low response! If you were to write something more specific like you are interested in photographing leisure activities and then show some of your previous portraits, you are more likely to get a way in.
“A way in” is a great thing because once you have established a connection, you can then be trusted to a degree. You might then take some photographs of a local sporting leisure activity during which you can ask to make some individual portraits. Once you get the ball rolling, it is easy to establish more connections through someone who knows someone.
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