I often find myself wondering why I shoot a lot of photos of strangers rather than family and friends. While most people will buy a camera and take hundreds of thousands of pictures of their relatives and friends, I tend to keep mine in the bag whenever there are gatherings. Considering that I also bought my camera to take family photos, I only have a few to show at the end of the day, or sometimes even none at all. I suppose one of the reasons for this is because I become an observer once I start shooting and I become non-participative. Another reason is that I rarely am successful at getting my subjects to pose in front of the camera, especially my kids.
I’ve been taking a lot of close-ups of people I don’t know, and I can safely say that I have fairly portrayed them in their environment as I see it. I would love to be able to do this for people I know – people who mean something to me rather than just taking a shot of a random stranger whom I might not meet again. This is probably another project I will take up sometime in the near future, hoping that relatives and friends won’t mind me being around and being absent at the same time. It will take a lot of convincing, but it can be done. I just pray that I will be given their trust and confidence to portray them at their best.