For 4 weeks now my #1 hit list "stranger" has been someone sporting a Movember, in short – a moustache grown throughout the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues (and commonly to raise money as well). I’ve seen umpteen potential movembers whilst out on the prowl but never quite plucked up the courage to ask someone in the early stages on the basis that the question could be somewhat offensive if the fluff they were sporting on their upper lip was actually a lifetime’s achievement. Then, as the month progressed, it got harder and harder to tell what was likely to be a movember and what wasn’t.
When I saw Sean’s moustache I suspected it was a movember but I liked his style anyway and he carried himself with a confidence that promised an interesting encounter either way. As I caught up with him though he had just approached a street vendor to buy a crepe so I wandered around a bit keeping my eyes open for other strangers but also keeping rough tabs on where he was.
When he finished his crepe and I first approached Sean I asked him for a photo the same as anyone else, making no reference to his moustache and he quickly agreed before I had even mentioned the project. I dug out my camera and whilst checking a couple of settings on it I popped the movember question and was relieved to hear my suspicions confirmed. So Sean ticks off my Mr Movember quest with only a couple of days to spare.
Movember, as far as I understand it, is first and foremost about awareness of the issues but most people raise money for charity as well and Sean has raised around £300. Apparently there was a Movember party in Newcastle yesterday and he informed me that a group of students that managed to raise £2000 last year have managed £40 this year … a definite sign of the times.
As Sean seemed more than happy to stand and talk to me for a while I took care to ensure that I had good focus on his eyes through his glasses … and moreover was rewarded with a pretty cool jovial smile/laugh in the third and final shot. I failed to take the time to spot the great big monument sticking out of his head though – Ahhhh!!!
After I put my camera away I asked Sean what he did for a living and he answered with quite a glint in his eye – it was really obvious at that point that he loves his job and is very proud of it … Sean works in the film industry writing film scripts and he is currently working on the life story of Larry Grayson – an entertainer to whom he has a very tentative link as his father knew the nephew of Larry Grayson. I enjoy my job on the whole but I think Sean is one of the lucky ones in life that is truly passionate about his job … you make your own luck of course!
Sean used to work in Finance but left his job and as part of his escape from the sector he did a bit of performance poetry as well. We had a bit of a joke about the Finance thing as well as we were just down the road from Newcastle’s Occupy movement and whilst I work in IT rather than Finance my current project is for a Hedge Fund. Sean seemed happy that his current disguise would protect him though ;).
By the way, for anyone considering growing a movember next year – yes he does have an “other half” and she hates it!
Sean, thanks very much for taking part in my project – I hope that you like the permanent testimony to your achievement this month.
Please feel free to provide constructive critique on the technical aspects of this photograph.
This picture is #60 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