Portraits of Strangers on the Street

Portraits of Strangers on the Street

Taking nice portraits in a studio setting requires a great skill set and understanding of how to set up lights. Doing the same thing, but on the street with complete strangers takes the skill one step further. Benoit Paillé, Quebec based photographer, recently released images from his latest project titled, "Stranger Project" in which he breaks the norm of "not speaking or disturbing" strangers in order to create stunning portraits on the street.

Paille, whose surreal landscapes photos have been featured before on Fstoppers, says the project started in 2007 when he decided he wanted to take portraits of strangers on the street. But rather than doing it hidden or from the hip (as I recently did on my trip to New York) he would talk to the people and let them know what he was up to and get them on board. His goal was to "break the individualism and anonymity of the big city" reaching out to people "break the usual way this modern world works." Currently he is up to 222 photographs of strangers and eventually looks to publish a book with the photos and stories from each encounter. 

[Via Behance - Stranger Project]

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Benicio Murray's picture

The ten most inane discussion topics about street photography. 1. Starting with the old chestnut, "is such and such street photography?"https://www.facebook.com/twocutedogs

He used a ND and shot daytime with very fast lenses. That is the technical side. The artistic side now, this is some really good work that I really dig. The artist really has a vision. 

I would LOVE a tutorial about that beautiful post-processing in those.
Probably it's all about the eyes.
Awesome article!

Don't ask Benoit a question like "what lens did you use". Other wise you will bore him. :p personality of a cardboard box. 

Stephen's picture

Worth linking his Flickr account I think.


Doesn't the Sartorialist do this a lot??

"Meaningless and Exploitative Portraits of Strangers on the Street"

There, fixed that for you.

Seagram Pearce's picture

Yeah this work is superb! I love the changes in very whitened-key to the darker mood in processing. Not often you see someone go so varied in style like that. Love it!