I am really beginning to warm to this project now – yet again I popped along to Grey’s Monument in Newcastle but this time I was trying my hand at street candids and I had some success there as well. This shot had just made me smile from ear to ear when Alex walked past – I stared after her for a few seconds then decided I couldn’t pass up this 100 Strangers opportunity so I chased after her and I can honestly say I did so with purpose but she was a quick walker and it took me a while to catch her.
Once I caught up with her and explained about the project she seemed quite receptive to the idea and again, like Robbie & Eve, asked where I wanted to take the shot so we moved back towards Grey’s Monument a bit to give a nice backdrop. I took 3 shots all about ¾ length but I really wish I had taken one up close as ultimately I decided to crop in close instead. The tattoo is what caught my eye initially and I wanted it to be dominant. With hindsight, using the monument as a backdrop was a bit of a distraction.
I did talk to Alex throughout but didn’t find out too much about her other than that she lives just outside Newcastle and wasn’t working today but the very obvious response to that fact went unasked so I don’t know why she was in the city. She did tell me that her husband bought an SLR about 4 months ago but it has barely come out of its packaging – what a shame with such a fantastic subject so readily available. Towards the end of the encounter Alex asked if anybody could take part in the project so I asked if she was thinking about encouraging her husband to have a go to which she replied that she was.
Alex says that she hates posing but seriously, could you tell? I’m no expert but that looks a pretty great pose to me, angled away but looking at the camera, nice natural smile and even the poise of her right leg (see additional photo in the comments) is straight out of a magazine. This was all Alex’s doing, there was no direction from me.
What was going on at Subway today? Both outlets that I passed had queues out the door and my encounter with Alex started right in front of one of these queues and then played out in full view of it and I never gave it a second thought as I knelt on the road photographing a complete stranger. I only really thought about it as I noticed several of them looking at me as I set off after saying goodbye to Alex.
Whilst talking to Alex a man asked me to photograph him and his son (?) with their compact – which I did but only very quickly (hope it’s OK – sorry, but I took very little time to compose it). So in the space of about 5 minutes I photographed 3 strangers – one candid, although he knew I was doing it, one 100 Strangers encounter and one because they asked me to – life’s weird!
Alex, thank you for taking part, I really enjoyed our brief encounter and I hope you manage to persuade your husband to get started.
PS: It occurred to me today that “photogenic” is a cold, soulless word to use when speaking to someone – fine when speaking about a person but I’m not sure I’ll ever say it to the person’s face again.
This picture is #6 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page