The Eye of the Camera

Strangers

"Strangers. The word conjures up an element of fear. Strangers are around us all the time. They are behind us in the grocery line, pressed uncomfortably close to us on the subway, present throughout our everyday activities. We live in the midst of other people and yet may be lonely, but afraid of interactions with strangers. Who are these people that we see around us every day?  What do we fear?  How do we cross the boundary of that fear?"

from the Artist's Statement regarding "Stangers," 2015

This project began as a way to explore our fear of strangers, to encounter and connect with them. It explores the diminishing cultural assumptions we make based on class, gender, and ethnicity. Many times, we only see strangers through the narrow lens of our own experience or learned heuristics, so in making these photographs, I was challenged to meet strangers and come to know them as they see themselves. My collaborations with strangers allowed me to create a series of honest portraits, showing each person as he or she wants to be seen and as he or she aspires to be, in the urban environments where they live.

Although I have completed a  modest body of work exploring this subject, it is an ongoing series which allows me to explore our urban world and connect with the strangers around me through my camera. This lovely portrait of Angela Rosales is a result of some recent work on "Strangers."  Angela's creative aspirations as an actress, as well as her elegant spirit suffuse her portraits with their own light.

Kristin CassComment