After several days of not being in the mood I went out today in the right frame of mind and I was pretty confident that I would grab at least another one stranger today, Jonathan was the first and I think it is possible that some of you might recognise him …
Wandering around Newcastle Monument (where else) I spotted Jonathan photographing a very stylish gentleman while a girl hovered about beside him with a notepad. Curious I stopped close by to watch and decided that I wanted to photograph Jonathan if I got the chance – with this in mind I started to swap lenses to a 18-200mm zoom so that I could grab a candid of the scene to include in my comments if he accepted but before I had done much more than open my bag he thanked the gentleman and started walking in my direction so instead I walked straight up to him and asked if I could take his photo. He and the girl both smiled and laughed slightly but he immediately said yes then asked what I was doing to which I replied “possibly the same as you … 100 Strangers?”. That was not what he was doing though and he handed me his card which explained that he is an accomplished street photographer (Les Garçons De Glasgow) and Cruise have enlisted his help for a marketing campaign.
Jonathan was happy to stand wherever I wanted him to and I almost made a schoolboy error by framing him with a dumper truck prominent in the background but thankfully spotted that (OK it wasn’t difficult to spot the big yellow thing dominating the scene) and moved around to take the shot you see above. Sunglasses have cropped up a fair bit recently and I immediately asked him if he would mind removing them but in retrospect I wish I’d also taken a shot with them on – he is a very stylish gentleman himself and it would have been good to get the full effect as well.
I showed him the image on my camera and chatted a bit more but as we were doing so he spotted someone that he wanted to photograph so he held out his hand and said goodbye before jogging off to show me how it was done. 20 yards down the road he stopped an attractive girl and a few seconds later he was moving her into the shade to take her photograph – job done. I also spotted him again 10 minutes later photographing another girl – they were down a side street and too far away for me to see if she was pretty or not – but I bet she was ;).
Jonathan had been on the streets since 11am and had shot around 20 Personnes de Newcastle so far and he was hoping to get 50 by the time he was going to call it a day around 3 o’clock. Not much time for chat then but I bet that’s a lot of fun!
Strictly speaking I didn’t actually ask permission to publish his photo for the 100 Strangers project but he took my card, had already heard of the project and moreover someone took his photo for the project in London last week so he knows how it works and I reckon that’s good enough. I also looked him up on Flickr (he is here but doesn’t use it much anymore) and Google because when I discovered his surname from his card I began to think that he sounded familiar (although I failed to discover why that should be). Nonetheless, during my brief research Google revealed that he has a biography on Vogue’s website and I’m fairly sure that Vogue has been mentioned on 100 Strangers recently … so does anyone recognise Jonathan as one of their strangers?
Jonathan – thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day to help me with my project – it was a pleasure meeting you and also a pleasure watching you work for a few minutes.
This picture is #24 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