Friendly Strangers in Knoxville
This is a collection of a few photographs of friendly strangers in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.
Street photography is meant to be candid. Posed subjects tend to seem stiff and unnatural. Therefore, before approaching a stranger, it’s best to already have an idea of the type of shot that you want.
My personal technique: Approach people who are either sitting down, or seem to not be in a tremendous hurry to get somewhere. Next, introduce yourself and your intentions. Say that you assigned yourself a project for the day… maybe your goal is to photograph fifteen strangers in three hours. And then ask to take a few photos.
This immediate introduction of yourself, and explanation of exactly what you want, quickly sets the stage for a simple yes or no response from your subject.
If the person declines, simply walk away. On the other hand, if he or she agrees, then meet your subject. Ask what they do for a living, or how long they have lived in town. Most importantly, however, is to make sure that you correctly spell your subject’s name.
Through small-talk, you will be able to snap a few quick candid images of your subject. Whether it’s a smile, a laugh, a frown, or a funny face, you will instantly have a small set of photographs that tell your audience something about that person.
Aim for quirkiness. Search for your subject’s sensitivity. Engage your own personality into the conversation and you will always get a response.
Hallie and Brookie.
Dylan and his mother, Julia.
Clifton and Jacquelin.
“Yeah, let’s do the Asian pose”.
Kent, “The Bicycle Man”. Vietnam vet.
Dustin and Jared.
Trevor. Bus driver for the band Kris Hitchcock & Small Town Son.
Casey and his mother, Mary.
Good luck out there. Joy to you.