I've always been shy about approaching new people. As a photographer, it hinders my ability to improve my portrait taking skills, because I'm too afraid to ask people to photograph them. There have been countless missed opportunities to capture some fantastic images, which have left me kicking myself for surrendering to the fear.
Right before Christmas, I caught up with an old friend, who challenged my fears and gave me the kick in the you-know-where I needed to get moving (thanks Laura!). The cartoon above says it all - I have 365 opportunities in 2015...therefore, my New Year's resolution is to start two portrait projects:
- "Introductions" - I've started this project by asking a few people who I believe have interesting hobbies, careers or have done something admirable to allow me to make an environmental portrait of them at work, at play or at home. Each participant would introduce me to someone they think would be a fit for the project, I'll take their portrait, and get another introduction...
- "Hands On" - I've identified a list of creative or artistic endeavors and have started reaching out to people in these fields - either people I know or via cold calls - to ask them to take portraits of them while they pursue their craft.
I'm happy to report that despite my fears, five of seven people I've reached out to so far have said yes. Approaching people might be easier than I thought...hopefully by the end of 2015, I'll have pushed my reservations about approaching people aside and will have a number of great portraits to show for it.
While I want these images to tell their own story, my plan is to create blog posts to give some context to the portraits and to introduce their subjects. I hope you follow along, I welcome your comments, and if you have any suggestions for possible participants in the project, please contact me using the form on the Contact page.
Happy New Year and best wishes for a terrific 2015!