strangers

Strangers: A Bizarre Series of Composite Portraits, Each Made Up of 200 Close-Ups

Photographer Pelle Cass is fond of composites. The set of so-called 'single frame time-lapses' he put together for his Selected People series has gone quite viral.

But his fondness for composite photography doesn't stop at creating overcrowded scenes, he applied the same approach to taking portraits, creating a bizarre (and perhaps a little unsettling) series of portraits called Strangers in the process.

BTS: Richard Renaldi Introduces & Poses Complete Strangers on the Streets of NYC

Photographer Richard Renaldi's 6-year-long project Touching Strangers has been an incredible success. From viral Internet fame to a full-fledged photo book that exceeded its Kickstarter goal eight times over, there's something profoundly moving about complete strangers posed together, sometimes quite intimately, on the streets of NYC.

In the video above we get a behind the scenes look at how Renaldi does what he does, and how his subjects, sometimes reticent at first, often wind up feeling at ease and connected to this perfect stranger they didn't know existed 10 minutes ago.

Portraits of Complete Strangers Touching Each Other

While photographer Richard Renadli was in the midst of his 2003 project, See America By Bus, where he was photographing groupings of strangers waiting in Greyhound bus stations, he began to think about exploring the idea of expanding on his group portraitures of strangers concept.  “To create spontaneous and fleeting relationships between complete strangers,” as he as stated.

Can You Figure Out What’s Strange About These Family Portraits?

Pay a visit to photographer Jamie Diamond's website, and you'll find that one of her projects is a series of family portraits. The images look like standard family portraits: the members are posed in different places and positions, there are older members and younger members; everyone's dressed nicely, everyone's smiling.

Look a little closer though, and you might notice that certain things are a bit strange... or should we say "stranger"?

Photographer Challenges Social Norms by Touching Strangers in New York City

NYC-based photographer Joy Mckinney has spent most of her life conforming to the norms she believed to be "socially correct." Her latest series, The Guardian, is about breaking through those norms and her own socially guarded personality in order to interact with strangers on the streets of New York in a real and meaningful way.

‘Can I Take Your Picture?’: How to Talk to Strangers Without Upsetting Your Mother

Photographing strangers can be a daunting proposition. It was one of the focuses of the workshops I held in NYC this past summer. What if they get mad, what if they yell at me, or what if they go completely psycho on me? Odds are, most people will simply say no pictures. Even the school of Bruce Gilden photographers have hardly been bothered with their “mugging style portrait.”

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Memphis-based photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero has long been aware of strangers making fun of her behind her back due to her size. So aware, in fact, that she has turned the whole concept into a full-blown photography project. Titled Wait Watchers, the series consists of Morris-Cafiero's self-portraits in public in which strangers can be seen in the background giving her strange looks and/or laughing.

Shooting Studio Portraits of Strangers on the Street As If They Were Famous

Philippe Echaroux is a young French photographer who makes a living shooting portraits of celebrities (among other things). Recently, he carried out a personal project that had been brewing in his mind for some time: using his celebrity portraiture experience and style for spontaneous portraits of ordinary strangers encountered on the street. The short video above shows how Echaroux roamed around with his small team and set up makeshift photo studios for each of the portraits.

Photos of Strangers on a Beach, Captured by the Subjects Themselves

Stranger Tourist Self-Portraits is an experimental photo project by photographer Benoit Paillé that consists of photos of strangers encountered on a beach in Mexico. What's different about the series is that the photographs are captured by the subjects themselves, as evidenced by the remote shutter release cable seen approaching the camera from the strangers' hands.

Non-Candid Photographs of Strangers in Non-Place Places

"Non-lieux," or "non-place," is a term coined by French anthropologist Marc Augé in a 1995 book titled, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. It refers to places that lack history and tradition, places that people pass through, places that are solely meant for transactions, places where people are largely anonymous faces, and places that aren't significant enough to be considered "places."

Since 2007, photographer Benoit Paillé has been going to these non-place places, talking to random strangers, and asking them to pose for a portrait.

Portraits of Strangers in Cars Illuminated by Off-Camera Lighting

Shooting portraits of strangers in cars isn't uncommon, but have you ever tried using off-camera lighting to illuminate their faces? That's what photographer Jonathan Castillo is doing for his ongoing series called Car Culture.

Castillo, an undergraduate BFA student at CSU Long Beach, shoots candid, artificially-lit photos of people driving around on the roads of Los Angeles. While the photos are captured from a car directly in front of the subjects, Castillo lights the scenes using a second specially-rigged vehicle driving to the side.

Voyeuristic Portraits of New Yorkers Seen Through Apartment Windows

The photographs in photographer Gail Albert Halaban's series Out My Window are unsettling and beautiful at the same time. Each of them shows people framed by open apartment windows in New York City -- quite creepy if the images are actually of unsuspecting strangers. At the same time, the voyeur is quite a photographer, as each shot perfectly balances the lighting of the subject inside with the cityscapes and brick walls outside.

The scenes were actually all staged, and are intended to share something that Halaban says New Yorkers can relate to: "connecting" with neighbors through apartment windows.

Crumpled Faces of Random Strangers

For his project titled "Good Morning!", photographer Levi Mandel shot stealthy photos of unsuspecting strangers, printed out the faces, crumpled them up, and then re-photographed them.

A Photographer Who Throws Herself at Men, Literally

Photographer Lilly McElroy has a unique series of photos titled I Throw Myself At Men that consists of self-portraits showing her launching herself into the arms of strangers.

For this project I went to a lot of bars and I literally threw myself at men who I didn't know. I used my body as a projectile, hurling myself toward strong, vulnerable men who were waiting to catch me. Poised in a perpetual state of social awkwardness and in full possession of the ability to subvert stereotypical gender roles, the photographs pose questions concerning relationships, social connection, sex, gender, and the desire to form relationships quickly that are both intense and long lasting.

The project got started after McElroy placed ads on Craigslist asking for men who'd be willing to meet blind date-style in bars and have McElroy throw herself at them.

Portraits of People With Faces Glowing From the Light of Cell Phones

Social Lights is a project by photographer Seymour Templar that's like a nighttime version of Joe Holmes' Texting series that we featured earlier this year. Templar documented social life in NYC by snapping portraits of people interacting with others through their cell phones. Each individual unwittingly helps out by lighting their own faces with their phone displays.