100 Strangers Project (3/100) Olympic Edition

I started my 100 Strangers Project as a challenge to myself. Approaching people in the street and asking to take their photo is terrifying, so I want to get more comfortable doing it, as I invariably see loads of people who I find interesting every time I leave my house.

Lot’s of people seem to think photography is about being able to work a camera – I have lost count of the number of times people have told me my camera takes good pictures – but what I’m learning, as I get more experienced, is that photography is probably 10% about equipment and technical knowledge and the other 90% is a combination of factors including creative vision, the ability to direct or work with your subject, people skills (even if you don’t photograph people there are invariably people that you need to deal with to get your job done) and the ability to react quickly both to events that are happening and changes in your environment.

You also have to be fearless on occasions and that’s what I’m trying to work on. I love street photography but I always feel a bit conspicuous (my huge camera doesn’t help) and I sometimes feel a bit too shy to take pictures of people I don’t know.

Of course it’s different when I’m being commissioned to photograph an event, portrait or wedding because I have a legitimate reason to be taking the pictures I’m taking but sometimes, when I’m out and about, I don’t take the pictures I want to take because I’m overcome with a little bit of shyness.

That’s the main reason I’m doing the 100 Strangers Project really. To force myself to interact with people I don’t know or that I’m not being paid to photograph. It’s also great for making you think under pressure and work with the immediate environment around you.

I met up with a photographer friend last week and she asked me how my 100 Strangers Project was going. I had to admit that I hadn’t taken any picture at all since my first two attempts back in May. Well that gave me the motivation to get going with it again and then I happened to bump into this amazing lady on my way home the same evening.

We were both in a rush so I didn’t have a chance to ask her name but she did tell me that she was in London for the Olympics…because I hadn’t worked that out for myself… and then I gave her directions home, as she was a bit lost. I loved that she was really getting into the spirit of the Olympics and I was actually a tiny bit envious of her rainbow fury boots.

Laura Babb is a London Wedding photographer, providing quirky, beautiful and creative wedding, portrait and event photography services in London, the UK and beyond.

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