Monthly Archives: May 2018

Stranger 91/100 – Ambika

Stranger-91-Ambika.jpgStranger 91/100 – Ambika

“I’m not a pushover. I feel like I can stand my ground. I can be strong.”

Meet Ambika.

What’s the biggest misconception that people have about you? “I smile a lot. I can’t help it. I see new people… I don’t know what to say… I just smile. So I come off like, I wouldn’t say naive, but just too sweet maybe? I’m not a pushover. I feel like I can stand my ground. I can be strong. I like to come off sweet, but, hey, don’t take me for granted. I have a mean side too. {laughs} It’s not something I advertise, but I feel like people don’t see that when they see me.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Take more time off from your usual work and learn to have a little more fun.”

What form has that taken? “For me it’s just new experiences, going to new places, meeting more people, just doing anything… take a new dance class, learn something new.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “I had a baby six months ago. I have a three year old, and now I have a six month old which is great. I love it. I’ve wanted kids for a long time, but just trying to figure out what to do with this new arrangement.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in ten years? “I just want to be healthier, more active for my kids, spend more time with my family… I have a lot of family back in India. I don’t travel as much because it’s really far away.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “I guess something about animals. I have a big soft spot for my little dogs and cats… adoption, fostering… something that would promote that. Save the animals.”

Technical Notes: It was an overcast day, so I used my small LED panel to light up Ambika’s face. However, I might have added a bit too much light in this particular instance.

Stranger 90/100 – Lindsey

100 Strangers - LindseyStranger 90/100 – Lindsey

“Don’t be fearful…”

Meet Lindsey.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “I’d probably say just don’t be fearful. Fear doesn’t really solve anything… it just prevents a lot. As a kid I feel like I was really fearful, and I feel like, now that I’ve grown up, I feel like there wasn’t much to be fearful about.”

Did something change? “I guess it was an epiphany.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “I guess just thinking outside the box. Like it’s really easy to get caught up in living life, doing the 9 to 5, working, getting money, paying bills… like getting caught up in that. Being more creative, getting outside of what I usually do, experiences…”

What is your creative outlet? “I make music.”

Now you’ve got my interest… what kind of music do you make? “I would say it’s alternative R&B.”

Are you active in the local music scene? “I’m not. Not yet. Getting there… but not yet.”

What are your goals? “I guess right now just like gaining experience. I don’t really have any goals other than working. Just gaining experience so I can have that wisdom so I can speak it in my music.”

What’s the biggest misconception about you? “I feel like a lot of people think I’m really chill… kind of like very laid back, easy-going, but I’m very like a child… I’m very childish. {laughs}”

Technical Notes: It was an overcast day, so I decided to bring my LED panel instead of a reflector. We were under an overhang, and I used the LED panel to light up the right side of Lindsey’s face.

Stranger 89/100 – David

Stranger-89-David.jpgStranger 89/100 – David

“Hanging out… celebrating that I’m done with finals.”

Meet David.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Get involved more with community activities or groups… building connections.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Figuring out what I want to do with my life after I graduate.”

Got any ideas? “Stay in school until I figure it out… just keep going. I’m in Political Science right now. If I can actually find some internships or anything that will be helpful, but, if not, then I’m probably going to start studying Psychology.”

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

How would your friends describe you? “Sarcastic probably.”

What would you do with a million dollars? “I’d probably travel… see the world. Meet new people.”

Any particular place? “Everywhere. I kind of want to see China because it has everything… it’s so vast.”

What music are you listening to? “Everything right now. Hip-hop, metal, rock, classic rock, even some classical music.”

A well balanced diet… “Oh, yeah. I love music… just all around. Not country… I’m not very into country.”

Technical Notes: It was a bright sunny day. I used a reflector to add light to even out David’s face, but I think I added too much light creating a flatter look than I wanted.

Stranger 88/100 – Kenneth

100 Strangers - KennethStranger 88/100 – Kenneth

“I’m pretty much on a no-plan plan…”

Meet Kenneth.

You’re a photographer… tell me about that… “I’m constantly shooting. I just mostly shoot 35mm. I shoot film mostly, but I also shoot some medium format film. I’m taking photos of people more than anything else, but also some people’s relationship to their environment. If I don’t have a rangefinder on me, I have like a pocket camera of some sort, but I kind of always have a camera on me whether it’s just a phone as well. It’s funny, you carry a camera around so much then, when you’re not carrying one, so many things happen.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “It makes me think of a question someone else just asked me… would your younger self be proud of who you are now? And I would say yes. But let me answer your question… Yeah, I guess just more so listening to other people’s advice instead of being stubborn. I guess there is a point of wanting to do things your own way, but I think older people have been trying to help you your whole life, so maybe more listening to advice that people have to offer.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Making money I guess. I’m getting older and, yeah, it’s just reality… being stable I guess financially.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in ten years? “I don’t really think that far ahead. I’m pretty much on a no-plan plan… I kind of just go with what comes. Yeah, I’m pretty open for whatever opportunities arise.”

If you could out a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “It sounds so corny, but let go a little or just like live a little. I feel like it’s a pretty conservative place. Just let go a little and have more fun.”

Technical Notes: The sun was very bright, so we stayed under the covered walkway where I first approached Kenneth. I used a reflector to even out the light on the right side of his face.

Stranger 87/100 – Jessica

100 Strangers - JessicaStranger 87/100 – Jessica

“Don’t give up on your children…”

Meet Jessica.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Don’t try to grow up too fast… and listen to your mother. Because mommy is right! {laughs}”

And did you do that when you were younger? “No, I didn’t. I definitely should have took heed of some of the advice mom gave me.”

What would she have told you? “Don’t meet strangers online.”

But here is ok, right? “Yeah, here is fine! {laughs} She also told me to be guarded with your heart. I think I was too nice to a lot of people. I think that played a part. And always staying true to yourself… you don’t have to lose yourself meeting people.”

Your mom’s very wise… “Yes, she is. I should have remembered that when I was twelve.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Not taking everything personal. I take everything to heart.”

What’s the consequence of that? “I think it affects my relationships. I get upset then I shut down, and it makes it hard for me to communicate. So, I think it definitely impacts… it has impacted some of my relationships.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in ten years? “I will be 35. {laughs} So, I want to be married. I want to have two children. I want to adopt two children. I want to be a licensed social worker. I would love to mentor young girls with self-esteem issues. I wouldn’t even mind volunteering at a group home like for pregnant teens.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Don’t give up on your children because it will impact them later on in life, and it will affect the relationships that they have and their outlook on life.”

How would your friends describe you? “Sarcastic, loud {laughs}, friendly… I have a hard exterior, but I’m very soft on the inside.”

Technical Notes: It was a bright day, but we were in the shade of a building. I used a small LED panel to light up Jessica’s face.

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.