Tag Archives: photographer

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 71/100 – Paola

Stranger-71–Paola.jpgStranger 71/100 – Paola

While at Freedom Park shooting some video for a project, I ran into our next stranger who was waiting for a client.

Meet Paola.

What brings you to Freedom Park? “I’m doing a photo shoot. I’m a photographer as well. I have some people coming to take some family photos.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “To appreciate the little moments. Those are the most important ones. When you’re living them, you don’t realize… then you miss them when they’re gone.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Well, I just moved… settling down, finding a new job.”

What are your goals? “Just have a stable career, be married for sure, maybe have a family.”

What would you do if you had a million dollars? “I’ll buy a nice house. Open a nice photography studio. Help my family like buy them homes. Invest in some properties… oh my gosh, many things. Buy me a lot of pets because I love animals. {laughs}”

How would your friends describe you? “Very extrovert, sensitive, artistic. Sometimes very temperamental. Perfectionist.”

Technical Notes: It was an overcast day. I used a reflector to add more light to Paola’s face.


Stranger 60/100 – Alvin

100 Strangers - Alvin“I spent the last five years traveling to Ferguson, Baltimore, Berkeley, Chicago, Standing Rock, Milwaukee, Madison, Charlotte of course, Charlottesville…”

Meet Alvin.

Alvin is a featured photographer in a local exhibit called Know Justice, Know Peace — a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “To do everything I can do that day. I wasted a good fifteen to twenty years of my life thinking that there was tomorrow. I would do everything I needed to do that day… everything that day. Educationally, financially, spiritually, physically… do it that day. Stop putting off assuming that you have another opportunity to be great. Sometimes you only have that time, you only have that second.”

What do you think is your biggest challenge right now? “My pockets haven’t quite caught up with my ambition. A lot of people think that activism work just happens. Well, fuel… there’s a price tag attached to that. Food… you know, you have to pay to eat. You have to pay for lodging and things like that. If you’re an individual that has a good job, well, financially you can handle it, but how do you take off from work at a good job to go cover or document a protest in another city or state? So, there’s that balance that a lot of people don’t take into account with the work. It’s morphed into working with the Panthers. It’s morphed into being on Jay Z’s 4:44 Tour. It’s morphed into this exhibit. I have an exhibit at Davidson College entitled Three Steps Back. It’s happening. Everything that I’m wanting, that I’m speaking to, is happening, but I have to show up.”

Do you have a life philosophy that you follow? “I’m really here to get everything that they said that I couldn’t have. Everything that I wasn’t qualified for. Everything that I wasn’t educated enough for, I wasn’t in a proper position for, didn’t have the right pedigree… economically, religiously, I want. I want to speak everything that I need and want into existence, and I want to manifest it. My life’s philosophy is: go get it. Go get it. There’s no such thing as enough time. We talk about, oh I wish I had more money, I wish I had more time, but you’ve had more money, you had more time, you had more food, you had more clothes… just do it.”

Technical Notes: This is my first stranger portrait using a strobe. I used a 21” softbox attached to an XPLOR 600 strobe held in my left hand.