Stranger #65

Posted on June 2nd, by Danny Santos II in Personal Project. 18 comments

Stranger #65

I was looking forward to shooting a lot of portraits of strangers in the 3-day weekend we just had here in Singapore. But due to time constraints brought about by personal chores, I wasn’t able to go out on my usual 3-hour jaunts of just wandering around and looking for great faces. Instead, I just had an hour of shooting last Friday, and another hour last Saturday – and after the long weekend, I only got one portrait. I was initially glum about it. But looking at this portrait, of the 65 strangers I’ve photographed so far, I think it’s one of my favorites – and made me feel better about the weekend that just passed by :)

So after an hour of walking around last Saturday at about 6pm, I saw a slight sunlight partially shining through the overcast sky. I knew this was just perfect soft light for portraits, so I camped out on a spot in Orchard Road that was free of trees and shade. After a few minutes of waiting, I saw her walking briskly, listening to music in her ipod, completely standing out of the crowd with her unique beauty. I stopped her and asked if I could take her photo. I could sense her hesitation so I explained what I was doing and handed her my call card. She finally said ‘yes.’ After a few clicks, I thanked her and she went on her way. I knew immediately that I had a keeper shot.

This photo reached #1 in Flickr’s Explore for May 31, 2010. ‘Explore’ is Flickr’s countdown of the top 500 photos of the day. This is my 2nd photo that reached #1… the first one was my keeper of the month last April.

Big big thanks to this beautiful stranger :)

18 thoughts on “Stranger #65

  1. Really awesome portrait, Danny. My favorite in your stranger series so far. The beautiful freckled girl comes a close second. I was hoping to shoot more strangers last long weekend too. But due to some over-piled-up house chores and schizo weather, I was just able to take 2 shots. Still happy though because both were keepers (if i may borrow the term from you). :)

  2. With a beautiful girl like that, you can’t go wrong. You captured her very well! I absolutely love it! You’re lucky to have met such a beautiful stranger.


    Hi Danny. I love your amazing talent to catch beauty when it’s most unexpected by the object of beauty. I love photography but have no formal training. How do I gather up enough courage to start on my own random “walks” here in Miami?

  4. @Gwendy: The shyness and fear in approaching strangers will not go away.. I’m down to my 65th stranger and I still get nervous. But the more you approach a stranger, the more you get comfortable with the fear. So just take the big first step, and it will eventually get a little easier :) Oh, and it helps to smile and just be honest with the stranger on what you are doing… most are usually open to it :)

  5. Just found your blog through Outre and I loved it! The way you capture things are so incredible! You make Orchard Rd looks different (in a good way!).

  6. Hi, I really love these photos. They really capture the essence of a lot of your subjects, which is really impressive as they are all strangers! I’m just starting photography myself, and am always unsure of whether to ask people before shooting, or just go for it to try and get that candid shot? Any advice would be fantastic!

  7. @Patrick: I started out with doing candid shots from far away, until I got nearer and nearer, until eventually I found myself asking permission to get that close up. I guess it’s a natural progression. But anyone can always start the other way around. The candid shot and the shot with permission both has it’s appeal, but is very different with each other. You just have to figure out which one appeals to you most.

  8. Pingback: Stranger #65 | Emergent Story

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