#37 Isaac

#37 Isaac by haggisandchips
#37 Isaac, a photo by haggisandchips on Flickr.

Via Flickr:

I got off to a slow start today …

I didn’t venture outside immediately for lunch …

Then I bumped into a friend that I stood and talked to for a while – about 100 Strangers for much of the time but I think my recruitment drive failed and even if he does start then his project will entirely comprise fit girls that are victims of less than honourable intentions 😉 …

Then it started to rain …

Then I walked past Isaac …

It took me a minute or two to decide to go back and ask him but I did and I’m glad that I did …

Excuse me, can I take your photo please?” … a moment’s delay then he simply burst into laughter – I love it when they do that because you know that they are going to say yes. Which he did and without asking why although he did ask why me at which point I just pointed at his hat and said that’s why. I then handed him my card and explained about the project as usual.

Isaac was standing in an archway waiting for a bus when I met him and there was a great big plaque behind his head so I asked him to stand on the other side which was less cluttered but still needed a bit of direction to get him framed against a plain section of wall with no major distractions. It took a few attempts to get a decent image – my first shot was 1/4s and whilst I’m tempted to include it for a laugh I won’t clutter my project with it – I then tried a few with the pop up flash but they looked over-exposed on the LCD until I dialled the flash down a bit and finally got a reasonably balanced shot that I’m happy with.

In the middle of my technical floundering I asked Isaac if he was OK with me taking time to try and get this right and he said no problem but I still don’t think that I put as much consideration into the shot as I should have. I know that many are of the opinion that once a stranger agrees to be photographed then the photographer should do everything that they can to take the best portrait possible but I still can’t get past the feeling that I’m intruding if I take too much time over that part of the meeting – when they are just standing there without too much communication from me … and I do like to get my stranger’s stories.

Isaac was great fun to talk to and really easy going – he’s unemployed at the moment having recently lost his job in London and moved back to Newcastle (he first lived here between 2006 and 2008) and he’s currently looking for work in a customer services type role. He did talk about going back to college but I ran out of time to ask him what he originally studied as his bus arrived but he did quickly volunteer to email me with a little bit about himself as he headed off.

Before his bus arrived I also learned that Isaac is really into music and I think that he described himself as a bit of a “bedroom DJ” but he likes all sorts and when he grew up in his native Barbados he listened to a wide range of music including country and reggae with the latter being his favourite.

It also cropped up that Isaac has an interest in photography but he doesn’t like photographing people and nor does he think that he would have the courage to walk up to a stranger and ask to take their photo. I must admit that on many occasions I have acted as if this project was difficult but today I hope that I demonstrated that it’s really quite easy … it certainly is when you ask the Isaacs of the world anyway!

I was so tempted with my “what’s the craziest thing you have ever done?” question again but his bus had other ideas – perhaps if you read this before you email me Isaac you could give this some thought and let me know that one anecdote instead?

Issac, you were really cool today and I greatly enjoyed our chat so thanks very much for taking part in my project – like a few of my strangers I am confident that you will have a look so I hope that you like the photo.

This picture is #37 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


About Ivor Potter

Ivor is a keen amateur photographer. Having completed a project called 100 Strangers, Ivor now finds himself spending much of his time approaching people going about their daily lives to photograph them and find out a little about what makes them tick.
This entry was posted in 100 Strangers: Round 1, Street Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

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