Stranger #1/100: Haley



This post marks the beginning of a new photography group project I’m participating in on Flickr called “100 Strangers.”  The concept is to take 100 portraits of strangers you approach for an impromptu photo session!  Fellow participants in the group share not only their photos but also their learning experiences – and the motto of the group is “learning by doing.”  It seems a perfect way for me to improve my people skills, practice portrait photography and build my portrait portfolio!

Getting started was a bit of a struggle, though!  Three times I had already specifically gone out to find my first stranger but never approached anybody.  Mostly, I was preoccupied with the worry that I might not deliver a good photo.  By the third time, I had discovered that Azalea Park in Brookings was an excellent location I intended to use.  So for my fourth outing I returned there and practiced on Blanca with my new reflector.  🙂  That gave me some confidence as I was liking the results.

While Blanca rested in the shaded car, I spotted a sweet young couple walking through the park and decided on them.  Trying not to look at them with a predatory stare as they approached, I checked my camera … and when I looked up again, they had gone down another path!  So I was trying to find somebody else but couldn’t quite find the right one.  And then that young couple came my way again!  This time I approached them and they were super friendly and willing.  Haley’s boyfriend encouraged her to be my stranger #1 (obviously a big fan of her beauty) and I offered to also take a picture of both of them.  He told me his name and even spelled it, but unfortunately I have to say that I just didn’t register it (sorry!!! please tell me!).  Anyway, he had his own camera on his shoulder and assisted me kindly in holding the reflector.  They are visiting from Grants Pass.  I didn’t manage much of a conversation so that’s really all I know about them.  I liked the color of Haley’s top and how it complemented all the greens and she was very easy to photograph!  Thank you both so much for your cooperation and for making my first stranger portrait a very pleasant experience!  🙂  Email me and I’ll send you the originals.  I hope you’re happy with them.


Haley and Anthony


  1. John Hayes October 15, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    Sounds like an exciting project for you! I’m glad your first face-to-face encounter was a positive experience, that does wonders for confidence which surely will grow exponentially from here on. I recently ventured to learn “street photography” – taking pictures of strangers (mostly) WITHOUT their permission – and I love it so much that now it even has its own specialty WordPress site. I hope Haley reads your post and enjoys the privilege of being “Stranger #1.” 🙂

    • Claudia Kuenkel October 15, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

      Thanks, John! I had a look at your site. Expanding your boundaries and learning is always a good thing!

  2. Claudia Kuenkel October 15, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    Haley contacted me and let me know her boyfriend’s name is Anthony and they loved the pictures!

  3. carol thompson October 20, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    Interesting project. Should be fun & a great learning experience. Your # 1 is really good.

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