Rob Forsythe, Jim Thorpe, PA

Throughout the course of the #TakeOnPocono Instagram Campaign which I had the favorable timing to be a part of, I would venture to comment that I was probably the one in the group that felt less intimidated at the thought of taking portraits of strangers. In essence, our assignment was to capture the charm of the Fall Foliage as it was reaching its peak colors throughout various regions in The Poconos but we were also allowed to incorporate portraits of people into the scenery who we simply needed to get clearance from by having them sign a release form in case the visitors bureau chose to utilize any of the images for marketing purposes. If up to this point if you know me at all as far as my photography then you should safely assume that there was no question I would incorporate portraits into the assignment that was given.

The intention and thought process behind photographing strangers was nothing novel to me in view that doing it was essentially my foray into photography. Back then I invariably received resistance from friends to serve as subjects because they never thought they were "photogenic enough" which is what propelled me to turn to strangers. In hindsight, the experience built my confidence tremendously for casually approaching people.

During the #TakeOnPocono campaign, I didn't simply photograph strangers but in fact I also took delight in capturing a few from the people who I had spent 3-days shooting and dining with over much convivial conversation. Originally from Florida but having lived a great portion of his life in Pennsylvania, Rob very much considered himself a local and his unbelievable command in the region's history cemented that. They say the soul of a place is in its people and this was very much the case with him. Portrait of Rob was taken as we toured the town of Jim Thorpe which is known for its scenery, history and architecture and deemed one of the "cutest smallest town in America".