A street portrait is simply a posed, rather than candid, picture of any stranger you meet on the street. You might choose to take them for the image itself, looking for interesting subject, light and background, or at least the best compromise of those that you can find. It might be a personal project, or to offer to give the images back to your subjects. Or you might be interested in the stories of your subjects, HONY style.
One of the great experiences though from street portraits is making connections. I've had street portraits lead to further photoshoots, work and friendships as well as some great conversations.
Depending on your personality and level of comfort in approaching people on the street, they can be a big challenge. For me, I always try to have a specific aim or project in mind, partly as a guide to the images I want to take and to give some consistency, but also so that I can give a clear explanation of what I'm doing when I introduce myself.
Giovanni was the first person I asked for a street portrait last Saturday. You can probably see why I chose to approach him.
As we talked he mentioned that he was on his was to open an art exhibition nearby, and would I like to come along. The opening was of Eden Contemporary Arts, curated by Damabel Cedeno and hosted by the Caelum Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan.
Giovanni was actually cutting the ribbon and giving the opening speech.
Browsing the gallery gave me the chance to talk to the other artists, take a few more portraits and even start another project that I've in mind for a while (more on that another time).
One simple chance (or not) encounter, a couple of hours of photography and talking about art, and a bunch of new connections.