Shooting Portraits of Strangers on a Sidewalk with a White Backdrop

What does it take to shoot portraits of random strangers on a sidewalk? Photographer Clay Enos, known for his portraits for the movie Watchmen, walks us through his process for capturing impromptu portraits of passers-by on a white backdrop.

One takeaway is that it pays to be outgoing and social, since your conversation skills can do a lot towards making subjects feel at ease.

(via f stoppers)

  • Pam

    That is so awesome. This is right up my alley and I would love to try this! Thanks for the info and the fun!

  • Eric Spiegel

    Does anyone know what kind of hand strap he’s using for his camera?

  • Anonymous

    Looked like he maxed out the “clarity” on his raw, which really drove me crazy. I thought he sort of ruined the shot.

  • Zak Henry

    Anyone else find it odd the he had a pro camera with a portrait hand grip but always shot portrait mode with the top shutter button?

  • Tom in BC

    My first thought was why did he need the massive resolution of that camera? Sure it’s a pro camera but the only thing that serves is credibility for his subjects. Looks like either Topaz effects, or he created HDR’s and then converted to B&W which is really the only way HDR works for portaits. Strange result I agree, but unique. It works for some but not all of them. Still, looks like lots of fun on the street!

  • Anonymous

    I think this is great motivation to stop planning and planning and just execute – such a fun way to let loose and get out there and experiment. I envy that inhibition-less action.

  • Picsbynick

    I thought this was a great idea. I’ve always wanted to try something like this, now maybe i will. You can find so many different looking people on the streets all within one day, much easier than getting people to come into a studio.

  • Shoup1960

    I agree this is very interesting. I will have to look into this further.

  • JJ

    So,,just wondering if he got model releases from everyone?

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  • Nine Kontinents

    I do the same thing… a lot.  Possibly he, like me, does a lot in landscape as well.  That has absolutely nothing to do with what model camera one uses.  It’s just a weird habit (at least on my part).

  • Gary Wagstaff

    I rarely use the “portrait” button. I can’t actually recall the time I did.
    And as I use hand straps on all my cameras I’m even less inclined to do so.