Monthly Archives: April 2018

Stranger 81/100 – Quamekia

100 Strangers - QuamekiaStranger 81/100 – Quamekia

“Be careful with me.”

Meet Quamekia.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Oh my god! The advice I would give to my younger self is to stay out of trouble. Because, once you get into it, it’s very hard for people to look at you differently.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “My biggest challenge is, as a Leo, we’re emotional people and, when it’s driven for a positive thing, it’s a really great thing. But, when we’re angry, it’s a really bad thing.”

It’s a double-edged sword…. “Right, we run off of emotion, and typically it’s never good to run off emotions. My biggest challenge is where I’m investing my energy into whether it’s positive or negative. I’m challenged with that because I’m an emotional person, so my heart is always giving, my heart is always pure, but other people’s aren’t.”

Where do you want to be in five or ten years? “PTA president of my kids school. Working a job that isn’t so strenuous on me. Always having dinner done by 6pm… no later than that. In a nice house with really, really green grass and a lot of yard so my kids can play safely. And a better grip on how I invest my emotions.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Be careful with me. {laughs} Have you ever listened to the new Cardi B track ‘Be Careful’? That is what I would say if I had the opportunity to put a billboard up for myself.”

How would your friends describe you? “Fierce. Strong.”

Technical Notes: We were under a shady tree in front of a church. I used a small reflector to light up Quamekia’s face.

Stranger 80/100 – CJ

100 Strangers - CJStranger 80/100 – CJ

“Don’t let society dictate or mold you…”

Meet CJ.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Stay original. Stay true to who you really are. Don’t let society dictate or mold you in any other way.”

Have you always thought that way? “I say it’s 50/50. I’ve always felt that way in some odd sense, but I stay true to who I am and have the outlook of positivity.”

Does it come easy to you? “Not always, no, because the world has a very big impact on the ways you think and see things and interpret, so you have to be able to project it better than you may have taken it in as.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “A lack of knowledge… lack of knowledge of other cultures, other histories. Just to find the truth of all… of all life, of self and just unity and humanity.”

Is that possible? “You know we laugh about it and we joke and these day and times it seems it’s far fetched, it truly does. But…”

Maybe we’re getting there… “I believe we’re there, but it needs to be a more of a unification. You know, we need to come together more so than what we have. For certain reasons and situations and look past the outer aspects of it all and look for the inner aspects of it all. We can get there. I believe we can get there.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “Married to my fiancé, financially stable, and on an island somewhere… and just seeing the betterment of humanity… seeing the world more coming together and equality. Ten years is a long time… you may not think, but a lot can change in ten years.”

Oh yeah. A lot can change in a month…. “It’s true. Good point. {laughs}”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Think.”

Technical Notes: We were in a well-lit, open plaza, and I used a reflector to light up CJ’s face.

Stranger 79/100 – Crystal

100 Strangers - CrystalStranger 79/100 – Crystal

“Please talk to me like I’m someone you love.”

Meet Crystal.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Listen to your elders. {laughs}”

That sounds wise. Is that something you didn’t do when you were younger? “Yeah, I’ve done a lot of kicking myself through the years.”

What advice were they telling you that you didn’t listen to? “Be careful who you hang around with… your friends and stuff. Birds of a feather flock together.”

I always heard that you’re the average of the five people you hang around with the most. “Definitely… that too. I have a very small circle of people that I trust.”

What are your biggest challenges right now? “Being open. It’s hard for me to open up sometimes. I’m a little more reserved… introvert.”

I am too. Does that keep you from doing things you want to do? “Yeah, it’s like, I don’t know, just the fear of rejection. I guess that’s a really silly thing, but I’ve overcome a lot of it over the years. It’s inevitable.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “I’m a cosmetologist… that was one of my goals. I want to be financially stable, not have to work… as hard anyways. I love helping people… anything that involves helping others, I’m very passionate about. You have to give back… I feel like I want to give back to people.”

How would your friends describe you? “That I’m very easy going, very loving and just maybe not as approachable. I would say I’m very friendly. I’m very open to suggestions. Give me my space, I’ll give you yours. I’m very open to hearing other people’s opinions and ideas.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Please talk to me like I’m someone you love.”

Technical Notes: I chose this photo, the first one we took, because of Crystal’s simple, elegant expression. It was incredibly windy that day, and Crystal’s hair was flying in every direction for most of the shots. I used a reflector to lighten up the right side of her face.

Stranger 78/100 – Kia

100 Strangers - KiaStranger 78/100 – Kia

“Be yourself and have faith.”

Meet Kia.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Don’t fall for everybody’s opinions.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Trying to be more social.”

Would you say that you’re an introvert? “Yeah.”

Me too. {laughs}

Where do you want to be in ten years? “Doing my own thing. Probably owning a business.”

A big one or just a small business? “We can go big. Bigger is better. {laughs}”

How would your friends describe you? “Crazy. {laughs}”

If you could put up a billboard in Charlotte, what would it say? “Be yourself and have faith.”

Technical Notes: I positioned Kia just out of the direct sunlight. It was so windy that I couldn’t hold the reflector, so Kia’s friend held it for me. Just on a whim, I decided to try a lower camera angle, and it turned out to be my favorite shot.

Stranger 77/100 – Cue

Stranger-77–Cue.jpgStranger 77/100 – Cue

“Don’t wait. A lot of people are waiting around for something to happen.”

Meet Cue.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Actually pay attention in school, don’t be a class clown and follow your goals. Don’t let anybody tell you to wait to do anything. Just do it as soon as you think about it.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “I know what I want to do but just finding out how to start and like where to start and finding a good audience for it. I DJ. I make EDM and house music. It’s just finding a good crowd, man, and figuring out what to do and who likes it and doesn’t like it.”

I know the music is important, but a lot of it is self-promotion too right? “Yeah, self-promotion and finding your niche and finding out what the people like. That’s pretty much it. And you have to be able to take negative feedback.”

Are you ok with that? Can you handle it? “Yeah, I like feedback because it helps a lot. Some people don’t like it. If you tell me what you don’t like, I’ll figure it out and I’ll make something better and you’ll like it after that.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “I want to be a DJ at festivals. Yeah, big festivals like Ultra, Tomorrowland, stuff like that. Like in Germany, Miami…”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Don’t wait. A lot of people are waiting around for something to happen.”

Technical Notes: I used a reflector to even out the light on Cue’s face.

Stranger 76/100 – Melysa

100 Strangers - MelysaStranger 76/100 – Melysa

I ran into our next stranger while she was out riding a bike and enjoying the warm weather.

Meet Melysa.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Take your time to think. Take your time… it’s ok. Slow down a little bit. You just gotta let things go. Take your time and everything’s going to work out.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “I don’t know exactly what I want to do with my life. I have two options, and I’m trying to figure which will be the best for me right now.”

“I was assigned here college then I had to stop doing it since my dad left my mom. He was the one putting the income in the house. So now my option is go back to my country, that’s Spain, and just go to college. It will be easier for me than trying to make it by myself here.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in ten years? “Graduate, have my own career, probably my own business.”

Technical Notes: I used a reflector to light up the right side of Melysa’s face which was in shadow. She helped me by holding one side of the reflector with her right hand since it was very windy.

Stranger 75/100 – Julien

100 Strangers - JulienStranger 75/100 – Julien

“Love one another and maintain.”

Meet Julien.

What are you doing uptown? “Just chilling before I go to work. I went to go like meditate for a second. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sounds of nature.”

So do you meditate everyday? “I used to. I might get back to the swing of things.”

Meditation is one of those things that everybody aspires to do, but most people don’t. “Yeah. {laughs}. Most people don’t.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Stick to yourself.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Just getting back on the good foot. To get equilibrium.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in 10 years? “Maybe I’ll have sold a bunch of music. Have a good life. At least maybe I have my own house to share with my son.”

What kind of music do you make? “I do rap, rock and R&B. I even like some electro-funk kind of thing. I just work by myself. I write music… I’ve wrote like 320 records. Yeah, I wrote a lot of songs.”

“I’m not necessarily going for like a gimmick in music. I don’t want to be limited to doing one thing. I want to do all things. I want to be into like rock. I want to do R&B. I want to be in soul music. I want to be able to do rap music. I want to do different genres within rap music. I don’t want to only do one kind of thing. That’s boring and bland.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Love one another and maintain.”

Technical Notes: We were under an overhang near the side entrance of a bank. Julien was lit from his left side and I used a reflector to even out the light on his face.