On the back of two rejections in a row (most recently a bride-to-be on a hen party dressed as Marilyn Monroe) I struck very lucky today …
Rachel was sat on the steps of Grey’s Monument in Newcastle talking to her Mum when I approached and asked if I could take her photograph. I already had my card ready so when she asked why, I handed it over and explained about the project. As ever “why” is a very promising response and has always turned into a “yes” – on this occasion it turns out that Rachel is anything but shy and retiring and is pursuing a career in the performing arts (my second such stranger) and moreover her Dad is a keen photographer and currently building up a portfolio for her to use. With a quick “what do you think” to her Mum she agreed quite happily.
Rachel was in Newcastle today shopping for some ballet gear but I got the impression that her real passion and ambition lies with her singing. She mentioned that she had recently posted a video of her singing on YouTube so I offered to include a link with the photo if she wanted me to so she wrote down her website address so that I could find the address. The video quality is quite (actually very) poor unfortunately but Rachel does indeed appear to be a very talented singer – Chasing Pavements by Adele. I’m fairly sure she wouldn’t mind me posting her website address but as I did not actually get permission to do so I won’t (she wrote it down specifically so that I could find the video). If the photographs on her website were taken by her Dad though then he is doing an excellent job that I would love to be able to match. With hindsight I didn’t catch whether her Dad is a professional photographer or amateur but he appears to have access to a studio so he at least takes it seriously.
For the second time I was interrupted during a “100 Strangers” encounter but this time I hadn’t even really got started so after a couple of non-committal responses I had to politely (I hope) explain that I was in the middle of something and the man (a fellow photographer who was admiring my camera) took his leave apologetically.
I asked Rachel to stand up and took one shot with the street as the background then asked her to stand against the monument to get a less cluttered background – I took two profile shots there then another with her looking at me smiling but on review the image pretty much picked itself – you just couldn’t ignore a lovely smile like that! The focus is a bit soft but I still like this shot and the little things like the upturned collar make it a better pose than the other candidate which is nice and sharp (I’ll post it in the comments).
Thank you very much Rachel (and to your Mum) for taking the time to talk to me today and taking part in my project, our meeting was quite short but it felt relaxed throughout and I enjoyed it. Good luck with your career, perhaps I will see you again someday ;).
This picture is #15 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