Lomographer Robert Rohe, a.k.a. rrohe will soon start an Analogue Lifestyle series in the magazine, entitled “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” Let’s welcome the hero as he introduces himself to the masses and embarks upon an existential journey into the unknown with you, dear reader, one awkwardly taken candid shot at a time.
Name: Robert Rohe
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Series/Section: Don’t Talk to Strangers on Analogue Lifestyle
Salutations, readers. I am Robert Rohe. You can find me wandering the streets of St. Louis, Missouri with my trusty 500DTL at the ready, hair disheveled by the wind, wife looking annoyed as I burn through yet another roll of Fomapan 100, and generally trying to be sneaky/unobtrusive (but as I’m not the most inconspicuous gentleman just end up in the way); all this in an attempt to capture the essence of the times — documenting the American Midwest on the weekends (until I take a vacation day).
Last summer, I discovered street photography (sure, I was late to the party). I’ve been experimenting with films and cameras over the last year and have found myself quite comfortable with the 500DTL and shorty 15 shot rolls of Fomapan 100 (self rolled and abridged for caffenol developing purposes).
So, strangers. When I take pictures of people on the streets, typically I don’t speak with them. I don’t ask permission most of the time. For the most part they don’t know I’m there. However, I’ve decided to start taking proper portraits of people on the street. Posed photos of people in a specific time and place. For this recurring monthly article, I’m thinking of featuring two or three photos. The words part will be about where the shot was taken, what else was going on that day, the setup (camera/film/lens) for the shot, what I had for lunch that day, etc. You know, all the important stuff. And maybe it’ll be street portraits… maybe it’ll be just street shots… who knows?
Now, don’t think that I’m cold or uncaring (I’m just somewhat socially dysfunctional), but most times I only go so far as to ask the person if I can take his or her picture. There are a few that I have a conversation with and learn their names. But, otherwise, I don’t say much. And you know what’s awkward? Asking to take someone’s photo, getting permission, and just walking away.
I’m looking forward to sharing stories and talking shop with the community and would love to hear about your experiences photographing strangers too. Feel free to send your stories along!
The international Magazine team of Lomography is currently looking for dedicated writers who are interested in contributing articles (to any section) on a regular basis. Eager and interested? Read this call-out article and we’ll be waiting for your emails!