Random New York Street Portraits

Tom Erikson

Since these September afternoons on Manhattan Island I have experimented with this form in Seattle, Boston, and Portland, with equally interesting results. I have become fond of the process, perhaps because I have always enjoyed talking to strangers. I like the challenge of making a portrait quickly, as a document of an encounter, and without much conscious compositional forethought or posing suggestion. I simply receive permission, look at my subject looking at me, and make the exposure. I approach people on the streets where I am walking, and although I avoid bad lighting situations I try to be on the lookout for interesting people more than for striking backgrounds. I am excited by the encounter more than by the desire for the final image.