• 27°

Through the lens

Photographer focuses on documenting the unknown

Capturing the stranger on the street is what captivates self-taught photographer Abby Kuehne, of Wheelersburg.

“I have always been able to talk to people,” Kuehne said. “When I was in Europe, I talked to more people on the streets… homeless people. I think people’s lives are interesting. It is part of where we live and a part of life. We don’t take the time to say, ‘what is your story.’”

So when Pati Payne of the Ironton Artists Association asked Kuehne to come up with a show, she grabbed her camera and started exploring her hometown.

“I thought a show would be fun,” she said. “That is when I went out to Portsmouth. There is something you can find out about people from a total stranger. If you know somebody too much, you can’t pick it up.

“What is challenging is if you ask a stranger, ‘can I take your photo,’ you have to develop a rapport.”

Kuehne first started out taking photos with an old film Nikon when in Europe. When she discovered a digital camera, she started exploring its nuances.

“I decided I would start shooting manually,” she said. “I learned about aperture and how the camera works. I could see what works and didn’t. That is part of the fun.”

When she found Ironton attorney Lloyd Moore’s book, “Face to Face,” she got even more inspiration.

“They trusted him with everything they had,” Kuehne said. “Some day I hope to be able to go and document the lives around our area.”

The show will be at the Ironton branch of the Briggs Lawrence Library through Sept. 10.