Tag Archives: street

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 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 37/100 – Kara

Stranger-37–KaraI spotted our next stranger with a friend in one of our city parks called The Green.

Meet Kara.

“I’m a labor and delivery nurse.”

How long have you been doing that? “About a year and four months.”

And what do you think of it so far? “I love it… very challenging, very rewarding.”

Is that something you want to do for a long time? “Yeah, I want to catch babies eventually. I want to be a midwife and catch them.”

What do you like to do for fun? “I like to do yoga. I like to shop, sleep, eat… just hang around the city.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “That nothing was as serious as it seemed back then. Yeah, just live and be who you want to be and really figure out your voice. Because nobody else can live your life except you. Love yourself. Do your own thing. Have your own voice.”

Was that something that was hard to discover? “Yeah, I think, especially in high school, you’re still living with your parents, so you’re still kind of following what they want you to be. And then you go to college or you venture out into the world and you figure out what you really do like, what makes you tick, what makes you happy. And, after a while, your parents aren’t responsible for you. They do the best they can with your upbringing, but then it’s up to you to make yourself a great person.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Adulting… {laughs} Adulting is hard! Work-life balance. And as we’re growing up, my friends, we’re doing different things. People are getting married and having kids. So definitely trying to maintain friendships. Adulting… you know, is hard… but it’s fun.”

How would your friends describe you? “Very spontaneous, but serious. Quiet, but loud. It’s like my life is just like total contradictions. I can be very quiet. I can be very loud. I can be very shy, but then I’m also outgoing. But I’m very loving and loyal, so those things are constant.”

Technical Notes: This photo was taken at the end of the day as the sun was setting. Kara’s face was lit by sunlight bouncing off a nearby building.

Catwoman

CatwomanAs seen on the Saturday before Halloween 2017 in uptown Charlotte…

Stranger 5/100 – Aleah

100 Strangers - AleahWalking by Two Wells Fargo Plaza, I noticed this beautiful, soft light that seemed perfect for a portrait. I quickly looked around for a suitable stranger and, as luck would have it, this young, photogenic female was walking by.

Meet Aleah.

Aleah is 19 and lives in Charlotte. She was in the uptown area with her boyfriend and is currently in the process of enrolling into a community college.

When aksed what she does when she’s not working or going to school, she replied “Right now I’m very much of a homebody.”

When asked what advice she would give her younger self, she said “Look up more.” In other words, get out of your bubble and your head and pay more attention to the outside world. In today’s technological world, this is advice we can all take to heart.

It was a pleasure to meet you Aleah especially under such serendipitous conditions. Thanks so much for participating in my 100 Strangers project.

Technical Notes: This photo was taken in an open plaza with light grey pavers. The sun was behind a building and the light was very soft. If I could do it over, I would have rotated her 90 degrees counter clockwise to light her face more evenly and reduce the shadow on her right side.

Stranger 3/100 – Will

Stranger-3-Will
I took a short trip up to Durham, NC to see and photograph the band Touché Amoré. After the second opening band finished, I headed outside the venue to take a break. As I glanced over the crowd milling around outside the Motorco Music Hall, this gentleman caught my eye.

Meet Will.

Will is from the neighboring city of Raleigh and works at North Carolina State doing IT work. He’s also the bassist for a hardcore band called Oxidant.

When asked about a cause he believes in he said “I think veganism is important, but I don’t feel like I’d push that on everyone. Not everyone can be vegan necessarily because everyone has different dietary needs.”

When asked what advice he’d give to his younger self, he said “I think I’m a strange person because I don’t think I’ve changed that much. I wish I could tell myself to be less awkward or kind of be more outgoing… I don’t really know.”

Approaching complete strangers can be challenging but Will made it so easy with his relaxed and confident personality. Thanks so much Will for being part of my 100 Strangers project, and it was a pleasure to meet you.

Technical Notes: This picture was taken at night, so I positioned Will under the neon sign of the venue. There was also a very bright streetlight lighting him from his left side. The out of focus lights behind him created an interesting background element.

Stranger 2/100 – Al

Stranger-2-Al
Shortly after photographing Justin (stranger #1), I crossed Tryon Street and headed towards the main library. There were two women taking pictures of each other in front of the Charlotte Buddy Bear — a 7-foot tall artistic bear statue given to Charlotte by several German organizations. I offered to take a picture of both of them using their cell phone, and they were happy for me to do so. As I turned to leave, I saw this guy smiling at us as he walked by.

Meet Al.

Al seemed friendly and approachable, so I quickly walked up next to him, said “hi” and asked him how his day was going. He just came from the library and had been been filling out employment forms. I asked him what kind of work he’s looking for and he said “anything”. He had previously done work shooting video for different groups.
Al is from a smaller city southeast of Charlotte and has family all over the Charlotte area. When I told him about the 100 Strangers Project, he smiled and said “…and I’m one of them.”.

We walked a little further down the street together after taking the photo. I wasn’t able to learn much more about Al as our conversation was interrupted twice with music blasting out of a nearby car and again with a loud argument on the sidewalk.

I wished him luck with the job search and he wished me luck with the 100 Strangers project.

Technical Notes: I only took three photos over a timespan of less than 15 seconds. All shots were natural light with no reflector or flash. I directed him to hold a serious pose for the first two which looked great. Then I told him he could smile if he wanted to. He turned his head away and came back showing some teeth. This is the picture I chose because I felt it showed more of his personality.