A Beatle in Streatham, London

Black & White Photography, Ellie-Dee

Streatham Beatle-1-0745

Fujifilm X30 | 1/5 sec @ f/4.0 | 13.7 mm | ISO 100

This is the first ever portrait photograph I have taken of a complete stranger – I have much to learn! To discover the inspiration for undertaking this (to me) daunting task, visit the ‘100 Beautiful Strangers‘ project of Monochrome Muse Chloe, (The Girl Who Clicked).

When I explained Chloe’s project, this sociable gentleman was absolutely charming about having his photograph taken, although he categorically did not want to look at the result on the camera screen, explaining he never, ever looked at photos of himself!

Thanks Chloe for the inspiration – this is my Beautiful Stranger #1. Shaking so much after taking this photo, I completely forgot to ask the gentleman his name, so I will forever know him as ‘A Beatle in Streatham’. Next time (if I pluck up the courage again) might be easier and I’ll think more about positioning my subject away from distracting doors in the background!

Do you shy away from taking portraits? This is a good way to learn more about taking them while connecting with some amazingly friendly and obliging people. First of all, do make sure you feel safe and comfortable before approaching anyone – I was out with my husband and daughters for Sunday Lunch in a traditional, London, family oriented pub.

14 thoughts on “A Beatle in Streatham, London

    1. Aww, thanks Jane. I was fine while taking the photo, but shook like a leaf for about 15 minutes afterwards! I was glad the family were there in the background for support though 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Jane, he was such a nice guy. I picked him out as everyone seemed to know him and chat with him, so I thought he’d be an accommodating type. I will try it again, but it might take a while before I do 🙂 I hope you do give it a try, I’m sure there are some great characters for portrait photography in France.

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      1. There are indeed Ellie and I’m lucky enough at the moment to have our local theatre rehearsing here for their summer spectacle so I’ve been snapping away behind the scenes! Hope to post some images soon!

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    1. Thanks, Chloe, it turned out quite well really for the first one. I would never have tried this without your project inspiring me! Not sure when I’ll find the courage again, but I will try it in the right circumstances. 🙂

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  1. Ellie, this is wonderful! He has such a joyful spirit that you beautifully captured. I don’t know if I could approach strangers, it is a little daunting to me to consider. 🙂 Maybe if I lived in the city, where there are more interesting people to observe and photograph. Here in my town there are mostly soccer moms and commuters. Not that interesting, but maybe it’s because I live here! xx

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    1. Oh wow Grace, what a great comment, thanks so much. You’re right about it being daunting, but I think having watched the gentleman for well over an hour interacting with everyone, I had a good idea he would not mind posing for the camera. I think I captured a lovely smile by asking him to look pensive! A tip a portrait photographer friend of my daughter uses – who says ‘because it’s not the expected request people smile straight away in amusement’.

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  2. amazing image – such character! i definitely don’t do portraits, would find it so nerve-wracking to ask a stranger, and pictures I take of relatives never seem to capture them fully. portraits of my dog are about as far as I go!

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  3. Great portrait, Ellie! He looks absolutely delightful, and if I had to approach anyone to ask for a photo, he’s the kind of person I’d be most likely to try it with – he has very gentle eyes and a lovely smile. I’d find it very daunting to do this, so well done to you for giving it a go.

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