Shooting With Strangers

I did a photo shoot yesterday evening in City Square with three girls I barely know.  Met two of them at a party Glenna threw a few weeks ago.  The third was their friend.

I had taken photos of Glenna back in August and was showing them at her party.  Dacey and Amanda immediately asked me to take photos of them.  It’s always flattering when that happens.

As usual, things got off to an awkward start.  A photo shoot is an intimate thing.  Intimacy requires trust.  There is me with my camera searching for something, and there is her (or them) letting me past her surface.  If we don’t know each other, there is no trust, and the photos wind up looking… surfacy.

Amanda was open and giving from the beginning.  Dacey was self conscious.  Sam had just met me and wondered what the hell she was doing there, standing in the middle of City Square in a four year-old grad dress.  It took a while to knock some ice off the vibe.  Amanda was a big help there.  Pretty soon I was snapping photos I was happy with.

We went back to my place afterwards and did three more set-ups.  I shot solos of Amanda on the balcony.  I did a thing with Dacey in the mirror and another one on my couch.  Four hours had passed by this time and Sam was spent.  She said she wants to do her solo stuff another time.  Fine with me.  You can’t disguise tired eyes.

The next time I photograph someone, I want to make sure we’ve spent some time together beforehand.  Just one hour over drinks getting to know each other, would yield amazing results when it comes time to stand in front of my lens.  Trust builds.  Intimacy begins.  Art blossoms.

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