Stranger 31/100 – Mary

100 Strangers - MaryAfter being out for two hours and not finding any strangers I wanted to photograph, I was just about to get in my car and leave empty handed. Fortunately, our next stranger appeared and saved the day.

Meet Mary.

“We’re here for a wedding. We’re actually from Tallahassee, Florida. I just graduated in August from Florida State University.”

What did you study? “International Affairs and Economics”

“I’ve been a photographer since I was ten or eleven and so that’s what I really want to do.”

What kind of photography do you want to do? “Cocktail and portrait photography… like product photography for cocktails. Beautiful effervescent things.”

“I’ve been a professional waitress for a very long time… about eleven years now, so I do that primarily. Yeah, I take pictures and I just graduated and I don’t know what I’m really going to do with my life.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “None of this will matter in five years. Don’t fear anything.”

How would your friends describe you? “{Turning to her friends} I don’t know. How would you guys describe me?”

Her friends said, “Outgoing, full of energy, very friendly, bright, makes friends with everybody. Very positive spirit.”

Is that natural or did you learn that? “I’m not really sure. I was home schooled, so I think that has something to do with the fact that I’m just very loving.”

Were you home schooled all the way through high school? “I went to one year of high school and one year of middle school. Which is interesting.”

And did you like it? “No, I wanted to continue being home schooled.”

What would you do if you had a million dollars? “I would buy that lens {pointing to the 50mm lens on my camera}. Because that’s what I’ve been saving up for. And I would buy my mother and my grandmother a house on a ranch somewhere in the mountains. And then I would invest… and I would probably buy a restaurant and bar. And just perpetuate everything that I love, I suppose. And then like donate to some wolf refuge or something… {laughs}”

Do you have a philosophy on life? “The only thing that’s real is love.”

She then asked, “Will you take another one now that I know you?” We then walked across the street to an old brick building that we both liked and took several more pictures.

Technical Notes: We had perfect conditions with a partly cloudy day and lots of bright, even light.

100 Strangers - MaryAn alternate picture of Mary.


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