verb [ with obj. ]
1. unexpectedly to be faced with or experience
(something hostile or difficult): we have
encountered one small problem

2. meet (someone) unexpectedly. what do we know
about the people we encounter in our daily lives?

Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange

Faced with the limitations of daily life and the strong will to learn as a photographer and social researcher I set out to make the familiar strange, and perhaps the strange something familiar. I asked strangers I met during my daily life if I could take their photo. This could be the local grocer, the security officer at the train station, people working at information desks, anything. Really anything, get creative. By doing so I put a strain on the individuality and anonymity that dictates life in public urban spaces. I created an unexpected and unfamiliar encounter. It made me uncomfortable, it made them uncomfortable, and sometimes, it made for beautiful moments. Some fleeting, some turned into conversations shared over coffee. Whatever it was, it wasn't ordinary, it wasn't daily, it wasn't familiar. In fact, it still isn't, I still work on this project every day. It is a practice for me, to make me feel more at ease and experienced in the role of a researcher. As a researcher I will also have to put a halt to the familiar routine of daily life. I will be an anomaly. As a relatively shy person that is something I find extremely difficult. So, I will keep doing this until it feels familiar, then it is time again for something new, something strange.


Ethical considerations:

1. Always introduce yourself, however briefly. Explain a little about the project.
2. Ask if you can take a photo. Inform person on its use. Get explicit verbal consent.
3. Give out details of the project's online location.
4. Wish them a nice day!


I asked all these wonderful people some fine questions too:

Hoe vind jij dat mensen zich normaal gesproken op straat naar elkaar gedragen? / How do you think people in the streets normally behave amongst each other?


Maakt dit je ongemakkelijk? / Does this make you feel uncomfortable?


Waarom? / Why?



Ok so yeah, that's awkward

With the help of some dear friends I made a little video of the wonderful, uncomfortable moments which made for the photos you can see above. Enjoy!

video Block
Double-click here to add a video by URL or embed code. Learn more

If you feel like answering, please feel free to do so. Maybe even add a selfie to finish it off. Please title your e-mail as follows: 

"More social research please thanks"

And send it to:


Actually. I asked them one more question. What do you think?


Als er ergens sociaal onderzoek naar gedaan zou moeten worden, waar zou dat naar moeten zijn? / If you think social research should be done about a certain subject, which subject would that be?