Walking about today I walked past a girl construction worker standing in a doorway having a cigarette. After a bit I stopped and thought – she’d be excellent – but as I walked back towards her the door she had been leaning beside (a fire escape) suddenly opened and with a brief word to her emerging colleague the building swallowed her up. A definite missed opportunity.
Later on I was sat watching the world when Vijay walked past – I liked his look with the sunglasses and he also didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry but as ever I didn’t react immediately and soon he had wandered around the corner and out of sight. A few minutes later he re-appeared though and stood still apparently waiting for someone. Out of excuses now I stood up and walked towards him. This is the point I still have problems with – that first step after I’ve made up my mind.
Vijay became by far my shortest “100 Strangers” encounter. He asked why I wanted to photograph him but as soon as I handed my card to him he agreed but said he only had a couple of minutes as he was meeting someone. At this point I had my 18-200mm zoom on but I quickly took the decision that I might annoy Vijay by taking the time to change lens given what he had just said. I asked him to step into the street a bit more and he immediately took a pose at 45º to myself and I took a couple of shots like that but I also asked him to turn towards me so that I could get a couple of shots with a full on reflection in his sunglasses.
The only thing I discovered about Vijay is that he works “somewhere around here”. He did ask “why him” – cheekily asking if he looked particularly model-like so I explained about the sunglasses, so far there is generally something appearance wise about my targets that spurs me into action. At one point I said to Vijay, “You were smiling a minute ago, where’d it go?” – it did the trick as he beamed from ear to ear again but it didn’t half sound corny in my head as I said it. It’s the sort of thing I’d say to my son!
And that was pretty much it, I thanked Vijay and left him on the lookout for his friend.
I feel like I’d stalled a bit with this project – it’s only been a week since my last stranger but I’ve been out twice this week and come nowhere close to approaching anyone even when I’d spotted someone interesting – the first time I didn’t even take my camera out of its bag to photograph anything and on that occasion I really wasn’t in the mood. Today thankfully was much better and I felt much more upbeat right from the start.
Thanks very much for your time today Vijay, I hope you like the photo.
This picture is #10 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