100 Strangers – A Photography Project

100 Strangers – A Photography Project

100 Strangers, that’s my new personal photography project I have been talking about. Shooting strangers is not new to me as I have done it a lot during my travels in the past. Some of those travel portraits of strangers can be seen below. I also wrote my top 10 travel portrait photography tips before, so check it out. But, I am giving it a little twist to make it more interesting.

A Man at Banteay Kdei, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2009

To make it different from what I have been doing in the past when shooting strangers on the street, I will do the followings:

  • I have to tell them that it is for my 100 Strangers project and get their approval before I shoot
  • I have to talk to them and find out at least three things about them. Getting their name and where they are from is a must and I will find out more about them, such as what they do for a living, their hobby, their likes and dislikes, their motto for life, our similarities, etc. The more the better.
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2009. Taken with Voigtlander Bessa R3A and Nokton Classic 40mm f/1.4 and Fuji Provia 400 (pushed 1 stop)

The idea to shoot strangers as a photography project is not new. A lot of people have done and have been doing this and it is something close to my heart too as I like shooting people when traveling, but giving it a little challenging twist above may make it more interesting and more challenging at the same time. Think about the thought of approaching a stranger on the street to get to know them, for a good reason of course. Scary enough? To a lot of people, myself included, definitely. But, if you are not doing this kind of photography project, this fear should not stop you from being friendly and kind to others. And we as the recipient should not think that a stranger is kind and friendly to us because he/she wants something from us. Do not judge, as  you too will be judged.

Preah Khan, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2009. Taken with Voigtlander Bessa R3A and Nokton Classic 40mm f/1.4 and Fuji Provia 400 (pushed 1 stop)
Mysore Market, Karnataka, India, 2006
Mysore Market, Karnataka, India, 2006

This will be a long project as I may get lots of rejections. I don’t set the end date for this even though I hope to complete it within a year before I start all over again.  🙂  So come back here to check the progress of this photography project and I hope it inspires you to always be friendly and kind to others.

How wonderful it is to live in a world without strangers, where smile and kindness are the only two things people know about how to interact with each other.

6 responses to “100 Strangers – A Photography Project”

  1. Hendra,

    I like your project – esp. on the communication part. It’s been my weakness when taking photo of strangers.

    You took those Siem Reap photos in films? :salute:

    p.s. I miss Siem Reap already. Some how I can recognised the greenish wall as “one of the ancient temple in Siem Reap” immediately from your 1st photo. 🙂

    • Hi WK,
      I brought my film camera as a backup during that trip and the worst thing happened. My digital SLR battery went dead and I had to use that film camera. But I have to admit I enjoyed the process of shooting using that camera. I always do everytime I shoot film.
      Thanks for coming here.

  2. 🙂 wow, what a nice challenge. sometimes when i shoot people, its either i shoot them secretly, or i ask them for approval, shoot, then i leave. interesting.