Talking To Strangers: Model | Reese Ford


Have you ever walked up to a stranger and asked if you could take their picture? Not a street-portrait either. I’m talking about walking up, introducing yourself, and asking if they wouldn’t mind spending hours with you taking photographs of them? It’s not a root-canal, but it’s also not as easy as it may sound. It’s almost like asking someone out on a date…almost.

The first time I took the plunge and asked a stranger was after I’d had three photoshoots. My first shoot was a friend of a friend, my second shoot was a friend of a friend, and my third shoot was of a former co-worker.

A few months before I officially became a photographer I’d seen her in passing at a local coffee shop in Philadelphia. At the time I didn’t know photography would be my calling, so I never thought to start any sort of conversation with her. Not that I was opposed to it, there was just no apparent reason for me to make the connection.

When I decided that portrait photography was something I was going to commit myself to, she was the first person I wanted to ask to shoot. Of course, as soon as I decide that she was who I wanted to ask, I couldn’t find her in the coffee shop anymore. After a couple of weeks of coming into the coffeshop, I decided to look like a creep and ask around for her. 🙂

Luckily for me she wasn’t too hard to track down. The Philly neighborhood I was asking around in is tight knit when it comes to local artists so one of the shops she frequented pointed me in the right direction. I know, sounds kind of “stalkerish”, but trust me, it wasn’t. My philosophy is when you want to make something happen, you go out into the world and make it happen. Period.

Our first meet and greet was super pleasant, and not the least bit creepy. When I showed her the three shoots I’d done in the meantime while I was looking for her, she was more than happy to create something together. The session was amazing and further helped me solidify my decision to pursue photography. Since our first session, she’s helped me hone my skills and create images I’m proud to own. In a way, I feel a little lucky to have initially worked with artists who weren’t afraid to move and work the camera.

Reece definitely has a natural ability to work the camera without over-doing it. I love subtleties, and I can really appreciate someone who’s able to articulate subtitles during a photoshoot.

The video below is from our fourth shoot if I remember correctly. It’s a time-lapsed photoshop edit of me composing some hair, editing the color, and adding text to one of our images from the shoot.

If you’re interested in knowing my work-flow for this type of edit, leave me a comment below.