Monthly Archives: May 2018

Stranger 86/100 – Derek

100 Strangers - DerekStranger 86/100 – Derek

“Love everybody because everyone deserves it.”

Meet Derek.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Never stop being creative.”

What is your creative outlet? “I have a few. One, I’m a therapist. I like poetry… I really like music a lot too.”

I don’t think people realize how much creativity there is in therapy… “Yeah, it takes a lot. People think all the time that ‘yeah, you’re just talking to people all day’, but the thing is there actually really is an art to communicating with several different people. Because I do group therapy… you’re talking to like twelve different individual personalities everyday. It takes a lot to know what to say, how to say and what they’re looking for out of this whole thing.”

How did you get started in that? “Basically where I grew up at… there’s a lot of things happening and therapy wasn’t a thing no-one really cared for. Especially with black people in the black community, therapy has a lot of stigmas to it. So, I’m trying to break that mold and actually trying to get people the help that they actually need”

What’s the best technique for building rapport? “Humor. I think having a sense of humor, being able to crack jokes with people, it takes the tension out of the room. So, you don’t have to be serious all the time to do this job… it’s ok to have fun.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Slowing down. That’s my biggest challenge because I want everything right now. So, it’s just remembering that I’m still young. I have a lot of time. Just take everything as it comes and breath and everything will be ok.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in ten years? “I want my own private practice. I want to be a professor at a community college. I want be a father and a husband. Yeah, have everything just kind of settled and still exploring and trying to learn new things.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Love everybody because everyone deserves it.”

Technical Notes: We were out of the bright sun under an overhang of a building. I used a small LED panel to add some light to the right side of Derek’s face.

Stranger 85/100 – May

100 Strangers - MayStranger 85/100 – May

Our next stranger is a sophomore in college and had just finished finals.

Meet May.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Be more outgoing and not care so much about what other people think.”

What made you realize that? “I met a lot of nice people. I made more friends.”

What are your biggest challenges right now? “Well, I’m a college student so just like focusing on school and also having a social life.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “I’m trying to be an actuary. I’m trying to get a job.”

What would be the ideal job? “One that pays well. {laughs}”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Live life to the fullest.”

Do you feel like you do that? “I think so. I try.”

How would your friends describe you? “Probably cheerful. They always say I smile a lot.”

I can vouch for that… “{laughs}”

What would you do if you had a million dollars? “Probably buy my parents a house or something. Maybe go on vacation. Definitely travel a lot… everywhere.”

Technical Notes: It was a bright day, but we found a nice shady spot in the city to take this portrait. I used a reflector to add some light to May’s face.

Stranger 84/100 – Noor

Stranger-84–Noor.jpgStranger 84/100 – Noor

Our next stranger is from Holland and was in Charlotte visiting friends.

Meet Noor.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Don’t be afraid. I was very afraid of things when I was younger. And I got to the point where… I did a lot of art school and theater, so I became less afraid of things.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Don’t take things too serious. Just do it. Stop thinking about it so much.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? ”I love to be in nature… a funny, cute little house. I would love to go back to just working your land you know… make food. It doesn’t have to be forever, but for a little bit I would love to do that.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “I’m more a visual person, so I would put a picture up… a spouting volcano! {laughs}”

How would your friends describe you? “I guess they would call me funny. {laughs} I don’t know!”

What do you do in Holland? “I make clothing. So that’s what I do actually for fun.”

Technical Notes: It was midday and the sun was extremely harsh. I directed Noor to a shaded walkway and had her face the bright park area behind me.

Stranger 83/100 – Sasha

100 Strangers - SashaStranger 83/100 – Sasha

Our next stranger remains a mystery…

Meet Sasha.

Do you mind if I ask you a few questions? “I have an interview… {laughs}”

Unfortunately, Sasha was in a hurry to get to a job interview and didn’t have time to answer questions. I gave her my card, so hopefully she’ll get in touch.

Technical Notes: This photo was shot in an open area with indirect light in front of a dark window.

Stranger 82/100 – Jay

100 Strangers - JayStranger 82/100 – Jay

I ran into our next stranger as he was on his way to open a bank account for his new tattoo business.

Meet Jay.

Tell me about Tattooing. When did you get into that? “I was around 19 when I got into it. My brother was the one that really was the first one to tattoo in our family. So, he got me into it.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “Honestly, an empire. Yeah, an empire of tattoo shops, some property and definitely having a shop in Europe. I heard the Netherlands are really nice. I’ve been to Sicily. But I do want to check out the Netherlands. I’ll be going there hopefully this September. I’ll at least be able to go out there for a week and check it out and, you know, meet some people.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Save up every dollar. I’d start with that. When I started tattooing, I realized that I could have definitely had a shot when I was about 22.”

If you had saved up? “Yeah.”

What did you spend it all on? “Hell, I was young. {laughs} I was young, man. What did I not spend it on?”

What made you realize that you needed to save money? “I did end up in a few situations where I was actually incarcerated. I was in jail for a little while… nothing serious… just six months. After that I was like… I just need to focus on my art.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “That’s kind of a tough one because I mean it’s like, right now, I feel like the path has cleared up a lot. So, I guess staying focused… because there’s always things that are just popping up and trying to take you off your task. Yeah, just staying focused that’s basically number one.”

Technical Notes: It was a clear, sunny day, so I positioned Jay in a shaded area facing the bright street. I used a reflector to light up his face.