Paris is one of the best cities in the world to enjoy a long walk. The neighborhoods each have their own unique vibe, one completely different from the next. The area’s residents seem to build up distinctive personalities, somehow related with their arrondissement’s character. At once, Paris is a collection of villages and an amazing melting pot of culture and art.
When you take a walk in Paris, most of the time you’re surrounded by people. Some of them have appearances that look familiar, but they’re all strangers. You will never know where are they going, where they work, what they think.
Observing people has long been one of my passions; photography another. To combine them, I decided to take one street portrait, each day, of a random Parisian stranger until I reached 365 pictures.
Asking a stranger for a picture can give quite unpredictable results. But I found that one thing was consistent—people show their real feelings when posing for the camera of a stranger. Whether they get embarrassed or serious or laugh, it feels like they give off a real (if small) expression of who they are.
Still, not every picture solved the mystery of my subjects. Sometimes, I was able to discover a little more about the person. But sometimes, even after photographing them, the people remained as they were before: strangers in this great, big, beautiful city.
—Constantin Mashinskiy, Alexander Strecker