The First Time I Asked A Stranger To Do A Portrait…

    It was Canada Day. I had recently finished my workshop about environmental portraits Characters with Dave Brosha and Wayne Simpson. When I first saw Dale sitting at a picnic table watching the crowd. Now he was a stranger to me and I knew I had to photograph him. So I set off in his direction determined that I could this. I could ask a complete stranger if I could do their portrait. Only to be within feet of him and turn away. I am terrified and full of self-doubt.

    Allison Rutley Photography - Portrait

    I spent the next couple of hours circling the grounds giving myself a pep talk. “Ok Allison, Stop being such a chicken and go for it. What’s the worst thing that happens he says no thanks”

    I set off to find this stranger and do what I had set in my mind. Photography him. I thought my opportunity was gone. As I was giving myself another internal chat about missed opportunities. There he was! This time I wasn’t going to chicken out.

    My heart is racing. My mind keeps playing “You got this” over and over again as I approach. Next thing I know is I am right in front of him introducing myself.

    We speak for a little while I start to relax and then out come the words. “I would like to take your portrait if you would be interested” I did it! OH, MY GOSH… I actually did it!!

    He looks at me and says “This ugly old guy?” in a half serious tone. I reply with “Yes, Everyone has a story and I would love to tell yours thru a portrait”. I take out my phone and show him some of the images I have done. His interest is peaked and we swap phone numbers.

    Next up portrait time!

    Its about three weeks later when I finally get the opportunity to finish what I set out to do. Photograph a complete stranger.  To tell the world their story.

    Meet Dale! His passion for being in the backcountry became very evident as we spent more time together. He would tell me stories about how years ago he would go into the backcountry with his horses for days at a time. I knew then that I would photograph him with his favorite horse.

    I couldn’t be happier with how these turned out, now to get out there and do it again.  

    Allison Rutley Photography - Portrait
    Dale and his Horse



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    February 7, 2018