I have decided to finally start my street portrait project. I have been wanting to start this for several months now, but I’ve just got up the nerve to actually start it. For almost a year now I have been taking candid shots of people on the street, but now I want to make posed portraits with their permission (say that 3 times fast), which means I’ll have to talk to them. This will be made a little more difficult by the fact that I don’t speak Korean. Thankfully, many of them speak English and I think that holding up my camera and pointing at them with a questioning look on my face is the universal sign language for “Can I take your picture?”. Another challenge will be that for some reason, Koreans insist on holding up their fingers in a peace sign when they have their picture taken, something I want to try and avoid. I want to take nice pictures, not touristy shots.
Instead of just taking the pictures for my own use, I have a different plan. With the help of some Korean friends, and Google translate, I have made up these cards to hand out when I take the pictures.
The Korean text says the same thing as the English. This way, I get the pics for the project, and they get to download a nice portrait of themselves. They can even order prints of them right from the Web page if they want to.
I have two main goals I would like to accomplish as part of this project. The first is to get some practice shooting portraits in all types of natural light conditions, but more importantly, the second goal is to force myself to overcome my apprehension about interacting with strangers. I have always been very quiet and introverted, and I hope this helps me develop the confidence to overcome that.
This first portrait in the series is of my friend Naraein. I have been shooting with him here in Korea almost every weekend for the past eight months and we have learned a lot from each other.
I will start with the strangers tomorrow and post an update in a couple days. Wish me luck.
If you would like to follow along with the project as it develops, just follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to get the updates.
Thanks for stopping by, and if you have any advice, tips, pointers, or questions please put them in the comments below. I can use all the help I can get.