Everyday for the next 30 days I will ask a complete stranger if I can take his portrait.
I see strangers on the streets or subways in the world all the time who I know would make a great subject for a portrait, but I shy away from asking, upholding the unspoken code among New Yorkers not to unnecessarily bother each other.
Or maybe I've let fear get in the way.
I heard two great recommendation at a photography workshop around getting out of a creative rut.
1. Do the thing you are afraid of for 30 days to get over it.
2. The Costanza approach: Do the opposite of what you are comfortable doing.
In other words, if you normally have big, planned, production photoshoots, do the opposite- a barebones, spontaneous photoshoot with a stranger.
I did a hybrid of the two recommendations, or what I call the "30 days to conquer Costanza" approach.
So, for the next 30 days, everyday I will ask a complete stranger if I can take their portrait and I will post at least one photo here.
Good or bad.
These are the parameters I gave myself:
It has to be a perfect stranger.
I have to ask their permission. (and get a model release, I added this a few days after I started, which is why there is no demographic information on the first day)
I have to photograph 1 person every day before midnight. (more than 1 a day doesn’t count toward the next day.)
I will share the photos everyday on this blog
I started yesterday. I asked 3 people, 2 said yes.
I liked his straw hat, his bag and his book. He looked a little like Indiana Jones ©Katarina Kojic
I liked his shoes and the yellow Nathan’s Hotdogs box ©Katarina Kojic
The first day was really about conquering the fear of asking and being told no. Until I closed the loop by asking and getting a yes or no, I would always wonder.
I started day one by asking the first person who struck my eye because of what they were wearing, or surrounded by or combo of; made me smile or think of a story or a character.
Both of these two said yes to being photographed and one person said no. I happily took the yesses and tried to be quick about it. I didn't interview them further, you know, didn't want to be a bother... tired old story.
Tomorrow, I will be a little bit bolder.