Preston College

Would you photograph a stranger?

News - Wednesday, 24th June, 2015

Preston’s College Photography students took to the city centre on a three day project inspired by works in the ‘Picture the Poet’ exhibition.

Working alongside the Harris Museum & Art Gallery and professional photographer Pete Milson, the students had to learn the art to taking portraits of strangers.

The Level 3 and HND students worked in pairs to capture their shots which had to portray the elements of ‘confidence’ and ‘wonder’.

The exercise gave students the opportunity to experience project based learning to give them more industry experience in a real working environment.

The students’ work is displayed on the National Portrait Academy’s official Flickr account, featuring a series of individual responses to the Picture the Poet Exhibition.

The exhibition, in collaboration with the National Literacy Trust and Apples and Snakes, displays high quality photographs of living poets touring six regional venues.

Talking about the students’ experience, Photography lecturer at Preston’s College, Alyssa Gilbert, said: “The benefit of this project is that it gives students an experience which is true to the experience outside of College.

“They are also getting to practice more with their cameras outside of the College environment. They are able to go out to take pictures and interact with other people which gets them working more professionally.”

Talking about the art to taking a stranger’s photo, Pete Milson added: “For me photographing a stranger is easier than photographing a friend. When we meet a stranger we can reinvent ourselves – for the short time you are with a sitter you can pass yourself off as a different character in order to get the job done.

“Part of the job of photographing somebody else is that you need to be ok with who you are in order that you take ‘you’ out of the equation.”

Check out this short video about the students’ work.

Alternatively you can take a look at the students’ images on their Flickr gallery.

Photograph of stranger

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