My first major project for Small Format is called Up Close and Personal and it involves taking pictures of strangers and recording information about each subject. We are required to have 36 pictures in all – 12 outdoors in natural light, 12 indoors with flash, and 12 outdoors with flash. I have less than 2 weeks left before the assignment is due and I’m about 2/3 of the way done finding subjects for the photos.
The project is challenging in different ways for all of us who are working on it. For me, I find the toughest part is getting the courage up to talk to the first stranger, not wanting to bother them. Once I get over that first hurdle, then I feel more comfortable the rest of the time I’m out shooting. Another challenge is getting a good picture, and quickly. I still feel less than comfortable with my flash, and as I struggle with nailing the exposure, I forget to make it a good picture. Or I rush so that I don’t take up too much of my subject’s time.
But even with all the challenges, the best part of this project has been meeting and learning about the subject of each picture. There’s a really exhilarating moment as you walk away from a person who has just shared not only their time, but a little part of their story.