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#TwitterStrangers - Man Takes Photos of Complete Strangers at Their Request

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Late last year Michael Chapman decided to launch a project where he would take pictures of people he had never met before. He announced that he needed volunteers, he would not be picking, to decide on a location and have him photograph them.

The point of the project is that he does not choose who he photographs nor where. In an interview he explained that one person picked him up from the train station, took him back to their house then into the woods. He did mention he knew someone who knew the person but reckons he would have done it regardless. The aim of the project is that he does not even have a say in how the subject should pose, so it is a complete surprise until the very end. He calls the project We Met As Strangers. 'I'd go for coffee with them first just for safety', admitting that meeting with strangers does have some element of risk.

He was intrigued to see how people react in real life, are they the same as their tweets? 'Quite often with social media I don't think people are being themselves' he said. So by meeting them and giving them permission to choose when, where and how, he might be able to get a glimpse of the real them. And sure enough, after meeting his 100 strangers, he was pleasantly surprised by the truthfulness of these Twitter lovers.


Having started with only three sign ups, the word spread fast and before he knew it subjects were lining up. He met a variety of people, including some who did not seem like the type of people who even enjoyed being photographed. But he soon realised that was the whole point to them. 'It transpired they were doing this as a step towards feeling a bit better about themselves'. Despite people calling the project 'a bit white', Chapman tried his best not to encourage any particular ethnicity as the aim of the project was for people to volunteer themselves. He was aware of the lack of straight men or maybe women, but that was just a result of the game. And as much as he would have loved for his theory of people being a bit weird be true, he found that all 100 people were great people. He said that it would have been interesting to see how a photograph of a person he did not get on with would have turned out, but all in all he cannot complain as every single person was a joy to work with.


Chapman's project may be over but he already has a few more ideas in store still using Twitter. He is hoping to meet with his 100 subjects again as he is pleased by their response to the shoots. Although only one photograph was chosen for the project, Chapman always sent copies to his subjects so that they had a chance to get rid of any they felt uncomfortable with before publishing. Having said that, some participants still posted the unofficial ones. Chapman is extremely pleased by the outcome of the project and I know I certainly look forward to hearing about his next one.




One of the newest members of The SMF Group. Although she loves a good city life, she grew up in the beautiful French countryside. Who knew that talking to a bunch of cows and friendly chickens would get her here? Quite used to writing stories in her bedroom, she is now deciding if she's cut out for content writing. We'll see! Follow her @SophieAtSMF


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#TwitterStrangers - Man Takes Photos of Complete Strangers at Their Request Reviewed by Sophie Giscard on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 Rating: 5

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