This shits harder than I thought.
Turns out I’m horribly shy when it comes to people I don’t know. After spending two hours walking around town, with the goal of asking strangers for portraits, getting 5 yes’ and no’s, I managed to ask no one what so ever. This first assignment is going to have to spread over a few weeks I think.
I noticed a few things about myself while attempting this:
- While walking around, I was playing our how I might approach someone ‘Hi, I’m a documentary photographer, working on a project about Oxford, can I make a few portraits of you?’ or ‘Hi, what you’re doing is interesting, can I make a few portraits of you? or ‘Hi, …. ‘ etc etc. This most likely stopped me from actually asking anyone.
- No killer instinct. This relates to me in general. When communicating with someone for work, or gaining access, I’ll always tend to email, and avoid the phone like the plague. Recently I’ve been training myself to just use the phone straight away for things, rather than writing an email. This perhaps happened today too. Instead of seeing someone interesting and asking immediately, I just walked around some more, often past them a few times, then I started to feel like a creep.
- I don’t want to be a bother. Most people walked around looking like there going somewhere, or talking with others. Not sure how to counter this.
On Saturday I’m going to try again. This time coach Vicky will be there to push me along. I’ll am going to focus on just asking people straight away.
I’ll let you know how it goes.