100 Strangers 9 of 100 Yana

My 100 Strangers number 9 of 100 is Yana:

9 of 100 Yana

Though Yana isn’t a total stranger, I still classify her as a stranger because I’ve only seen her a few times at a store that my wife and I shop at often. We’ve said hello a few time but nothing really extensive. A few weeks ago when we were at the store I gave her one of my cards, told her about the Stranger Project and asked if she would be interested. She was really quite excited about it, but it really wasn’t the time to do it.

A week or so after I gave her my card she reached out to me via the provided email address and asked if I was still interested in doing photos. “Of course,” I said.

We set up a time to meet at a park nearby and we met up there this morning.

To be honest I was a bit more nervous under these circumstances than had I just been able to take her photo completely impromptu.

Yana is an immigrant from Ukraine and has a couple of young kids She likes to take photos herself and has a nice Canon camera.

“What do you like to photograph?”

“I like taking pictures of flowers and nature,” she said. “That kind of thing.”

We took a few shots in the park and then called it good. She looked at some of them on the back of my camera and asked if we could do some formal photos sometime.

“Absolutely,” I said.

We talked about what that might be like; conceptual things, etc.

I’m rather looking forward to doing a “full blown” photo shoot with her.

I took quite a lot of photos and this is the one that seemed to stick out to me the most.

Thank you, Yana for letting me take some photos of you. I’m looking forward to making some more and no longer being strangers.

Technical stuff:  The sun was still fairly low and I wanted her back to it to be able to get a bit of highlight/rim light on her hair. I had her hold a reflector to throw light onto her face. It would have been best to have a third person hold the reflector at about 45 degrees off to the side and up. I’m not too experienced with using a reflector as I’m more comfortable with off camera flash.


Since I took this photo Yana and I have done two shoots since. Thus far it’s been a good experience as we are both learning; she’s learning how to model and I’m learning how to direct someone who has never modeled before. She’s amazingly photogenic and we’ve done some good stuff. I’m currently working on  a post going over our first two shoots. So stay tuned.

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