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November 2023



Positive psychology pioneer Chris Peterson, summed up the good in life in three words: “other people matter”. From birth, we’re evolutionarily wired to rely on others. As we age, our relationships make life meaningful and worthwhile. We share our positive emotions and experiences of kindness, love, belonging, and vulnerability. Photography can provide an entry point to conversations and pathways for positive connections and experiences.

Objective #1

To become comfortable with the vulnerability and courage of meeting new people and entering new social situations.

Objective #2

To build empathy, discovering ways to read and respond to others caringly and constructively.


Candid Observations

Go out to a busy area and find a place to sit. Patiently observe and capture candid photos of the people around you.

Meet Someone New

Take 10 photos of a stranger. Shoot some from a distance, then be brave, introduce yourself, and ask permission to photograph the stranger up close. Use your camera’s portrait or wide angled lens, or an additional wide angled lens. Each of these lenses will force you to get closer to your subject and interact with them

Friend to Friend

Take 5 photos of a friend displaying different emotions. Use your portrait lens and ask them to show you joy, sorrow, anger, curiosity, humor or any emotions you would like to see. Then swap places and ask your friend to take 5 photos of you displaying those emotions. Explore how to best communicate the emotion. Ask your friend to share with you their favorite photo and why.

Photo Date

Invite someone to join you for a photo date. The only requirement is that you each use your camera or phone to document the experience. At the end of your date, share your photos with each other. How are your photos different? Talk about why these differences might have occurred. Why did you document this date in different ways?

Shared Experiences

Capture moments of shared experiences, such as a group of friends laughing, people enjoying a concert, or a family gathering. This prompt highlights the power of connection and the joy that comes from shared moments.

Pro Tips

When experimenting with different lenses and perspective, think about where the subject is in relation to their environment. How can you make them feel comfortable? Rather than just thinking about how you see the subject, think about how the subject connects with the camera. How can you as the photographer share with us who they are as a person, and how they are feeling when you take the photo?

Reflection Questions

  1. Take a look at the photos of people connecting that you took with “Candid Observations” and contrast those with the more intimate photos that you took when you had to interact with your subject in “Meet Someone New”. What are your thoughts? Which do you like the best? Which shows connection best?
  2. Choose your favorite photo. How do you feel when you look at the image?
  3. What did you learn about yourself or another person in this module?
  4. In what ways did this module affect your relationship(s)? 

Further Resources

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