I approached our next stranger while she was waiting at a crosswalk on her way home from work.
Soo works in Uptown Charlotte at a clothing store and at a local restaurant.
“I just love uptown you know? I love seeing people and the city.”
“I came here when I was five years old from South Korea. Yeah, I was born in South Korea, and I’ve lived here for about fifteen years.”
What advice would you give to your younger self? “I guess… have fun. Take opportunities, adventure more, get out more.”
Are you taking more advantage of life now? “Yeah, I go out a lot.”
What are your goals? “I just want to be happy, I guess, and love what I do. I don’t want a job that I don’t like doing. Like, you like doing this (100 Strangers Project)… it makes you happy. I love the jobs I’m doing right now.”
How would your friends describe you? “I’m really friendly. I’m always in a positive mood, or I try to. I’m social. I can be funny sometimes.”
An extrovert, one assumes? “Yeah.”
I explained that I’m an introvert and that this project was a way for me to get out of my comfort zone. “Yeah, I walk up to strangers a lot.”
I then asked her for some tips on approaching strangers. “I always tell people to have confidence in themselves. You can tell when someone has confidence you know? You seem like you have confidence.”
“When I was in elementary and middle school, I was the shy kid. I was shy and really sweet and innocent. But after I hit high school, I decided I should change that because people take advantage of it. I was super nice and people did take advantage of it. I was tired of it. I did change… I started talking more and more. My friends definitely helped me be more social. I guess only you can make yourself better.“
Technical Notes: We were in the shade of a large building on a fairly bright afternoon. The background is more complicated than I would have liked, so I chose a wide aperture to blur it out.
[ Smiles ] She is one beautiful stranger!