As Fran and I waited around, two couples started walking towards us, thinking they were together I was unsure which couple to approach first and I can’t remember which couple I did ask first, but these people were very friendly and asked about what we were doing and seemed quite interested. I wish I had asked the fun couple if I could have taken a few more than just one image, as I think they would have provided me with a lot more scope to be creative and capture more of their character but I did not want to take up any more of their time.
I think approaching couples to ask if you can take their portrait is a little easier, but as I found out later their position is critical when shooting at lower apertures, one person sharp the other less so, still it was my first day so something to focus on next time.
The last individual person that I photographed, I made sure that my focus was spot on and I asked him to turn towards the camera more as I wanted a little more eye contact. Part of the challenge in working with complete strangers is the communication aspect and I found my confidence growing the more I asked and directed people in terms of their position, still have a lot to improve on in this area, but it provides great opportunities to develop this skill.
With the ambient light falling even further and the cold making my fingers numb I suggested to Fran that we pack up in ten minutes and it was at that point that the last couple walked towards us. I think my confidence in asking strangers had really grown and they seemed keen to let us take their portrait. I think the beauty of this challenge is that I am photographing real people, they have not been done up with make up or specific clothing, they are just going about what ever they do with the leisure time and allowing me two minutes of their time to take their portrait and I would like to thank everyone who did stop and talk to us and say yes to having their photograph taken.
I will be continuing this challenge later on this week in the same area of Leeds, but using a different location. We hope to be using a two light setup next time and we will take some images showing the setup and location so that people can get a better idea and visual image of what we are doing. If anyone has any questions or would like to know more you can post to this blog or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.