Who Is A Stranger?

Who Is A Stranger ? – a Pier 21 exhibit

On the 18th October at Pier 21 during the night of Nocturne, along with Hannah Minzloff and Orla MacEachern, I spent 6 hours photographing strangers.

The idea was simple: to take two people who have not previously met and bring them into a ‘studio’. As soon as they are together a photograph would be taken to capture their raw interaction, which in most cases would be cool. After, each person would engage in a 15-second continuous eye contact. During this time, the two people will learn of each other through their eyes. Finally, the two people are left to get to know each other during which time a second photograph is taken, which in most cases will show a warmer interaction.

That was the idea and, thanks to Hannah, Orla and the staff at Pier 21, especially Lorraine Plourde, the idea came alive during the six hours of Nocturne.

Here are some pics from the night:

Who Is A Stranger?
Behind the scenes
Who Is A Stranger?
As they meet for the first time
Who Is A Stranger?
And now they are friends…


The night went really well other than a few technical issues. Pier 21 was an ideal location with its history of people arriving and meeting new people. They actually funded the whole project, provided a bunch of volunteers and dealt with many of the logistics so you can imagine how grateful we are to them for making the evening a success.

Who Is A Stranger?
And first they meet…
Who Is A Stranger?
And then they are friends…

With the arrival of cell phones, today people seldom interact with strangers and so it was refreshing to spend an evening watching people interact in the flesh. It was also interesting to watch how different people behave in such an awkward situation.

Who Is A Stranger?
These strangers were happy to see each other,..
Who Is A Stranger?
and they had fun with the strange scene…

Hannah, Orla and I were so pleased with all of the people who came and did their part to meet a stranger. We had a great line up of volunteers too that made the evening run smoothly. We hope to present the best of the images in an exhibit next year.

And then they met,…
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