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100 Strangers Challenge

100 Strangers Challenge

A challenge of EPIC proportion: approach 100 strangers and convince them it’s cool to be taken in picture.

My 100 Strangers project ! The goal is to approach random strangers and ask them if they want to contribute to your project. You must approach 100 people anywhere and in any situation. It helps you build journalistic skills like asking questions, remembering their story, convincing, relating to people, etc as well as developing photography skills in general. It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone and have fun doing so. It might look easy but it’s pretty scary at first.

I’ve added a few fun TWISTS to the game in order to make it more memorable, which include some social and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) skills:

  • I don’t care about if the pics looks good or not, it’s more about the “social experiment” and pushing my comfort zone.
  •  I added “Tell me the 1rst word that comes to your mind” as a fun way to intro yourself instead of the typical “I’m taking picture of people, do you want to be part of this?” which makes people run away. It also tells a lot about the current mindset of people when you talk to them (NLP).
  • “Tell me a FUN story/adventure/anecdote that happened to you recently”. This is a great way to anchor (NLP) a good feeling to the discussion/interaction so they can remember this was fun and you leave with a positive experience. So it’s VERY important to use the word “FUN” to anchor the emotion. It’s also a great way to practice remembering complex and different stories in a short period of time (I don’t write them down as they talk, be rather later the same day). It’s also great to practice catching keywords about things they like or learning to fork discussions toward things that interest them on the go.
  • I added a list of situation, actions, location, etc to spice things up a bit. As an example: I need to take the picture of someone dressed in red, in the subway, with a big backpack, wearing a cool hat, convince someone to take a picture in a photo booth, take a picture while pretending to tell a secret, doing a high-five, in a café, in an art gallery, etc. It’s fun and it makes you “jump on occasion” when you see someone that has the “thing on your list”, for example if you see a “girl with blue hair”, you must open! …. which can lead to pretty funny (or awkward) situations!
  •  “Why do you deserve to be part of the 100 awesome list?”. Just a fun experiment before leaving. They can say anything original, funny or silly, it doesn’t matter, it just need to be ANY reason.

Note: the stranger on the picture should be SMILING or fun, otherwise I must re-take the picture.

Although I won’t be able to do all these items all the time, I’ll try my best to incorporate them to as many strangers as possible. All photos will be added to this blog and my flickr 100 strangers page as I take them.


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Joel Alain is on a quest to the 4 Hour Workweek Lifestyle, Accelerated Growth & Meta Learning. He rejects status quo and the so called "common sense" and creates his own vision of reality. The goal being to live the life you've imagined, no matter how crazy that is. Hop in.
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3 comments on “100 Strangers Challenge
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