I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself, so I teamed up with Texas Portrait photographer Francisco Hernandez and Michigan Wedding Photographer Robert Hall, for this 60 second challenge on the Las Vegas strip. We each approached 3 random strangers and did a 60 second photo shoot with them. The challenging part was making these people feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. We're strangers, they didn't wake up planning on having their photo taken, and some probably never been in front of a camera before.... well, "some" lol.
I'm very proficient in the technical aspect of photography, so I decided to focus on communicating with my subjects and making a connection with them. I tried to bring my humour and personality out in these shots, and what that did was bring out the personality in my subjects. These are things that go through my mind when I'm shooting a wedding, and I feel it's super important to master these qualities.
First up were Kevin and Anthony.
They were walking towards me, and most people would be intimidated by these guys. On the outside they appeared rough and tough, some may mistake them for gang members. I thought they looked like Cypress Hill's entourage. But I'm a big Cypress Hill fan so they didn't scare me. I initiated conversation with them, made some jokes, and they agreed to having their photograph taken. I wanted to go for a "Rapper" look, so I had them back to back, and then arms crossed.
Next up was Melissa. I saw her approaching my direction, we made eye contact, she smiled, and I liked her vibe. She agreed to the shoot, but informed me that she had a black eye after removing her sunglasses. "OWWWWWW!" I yelled. Even though she had a black eye, I still got a good vibe from her, and didn't let that stop me. She agreed and I could tell she felt comfortable. She knew how to pose, knew her angles which helped a lot.
But we weren't done with Melissa yet, her friend (who's birthday it was) jumped in for a few shots as well. Melissa then felt comfortable enough to take off her sunglasses, and I got some great shots of them two.
I then ended off with Khalil. Now many people thought I paid him to be there, or that I secretly planned for him to show up, as he was dressed well, had that model look, and killed it in front of the camera.
It was pretty evident that this man was no stranger to the camera. Just the way he posed, he knew what to do with his hands and legs, needed no direction. I'm thinking he might be signed to a modelling agency, or perhaps an R&B singer. Who knows? And the first shot I popped off was the winner. I was ready to pack up and leave after that. Such a powerful shot, and Rob mentioned how the chair I found matched his pants. Total fluke, I admit lol.
So those were my 3 strangers. I had a lot of fun. I'm naturally a social guy, but this challenge helped strengthen my social skills, which will help my subjects relax in front of the camera, thus resulting in stunning, natural, candid images.
Here are some of my fav images from Rob and Francisco.
Francisco Hernandez - @fjhphoto
ROB HALL - @robhallphoto
These guys are such huge inspiration to me. Be sure to check out their videos as well. Let me know who you liked the best. Leave some comments and feel free to share this.
Rob Hall's Video - https://youtu.be/Sjh6AsgGrvw
Francisco Hernandez's Video - http://bit.ly/2FqRqHr
Jason Vong (Cinematography) Youtube: http://bit.ly/2G16jOF
Omer Khan (Cinematography) Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/exo2045