When I first spotted Wycliff he was walking along listening to his music and singing to himself. When I tripped out my usual "excuse me, can I ask a favour" he looked at me in such a way that I stopped talking and moreover he was making no effort to stop his music. I can’t explain what it was about his expression but I knew I was about to be sent packing … and so I was, but not for any reason that I saw coming … "I’m on the phone" he explained. Ah sorry, that’ll teach me to leave my own headphones on until the last minute as I approach my stranger!
A while later though he wandered back to the same area where I was still lurking and he didn’t appear to be talking so I tried my luck again (I’m certain that this is the first time that I’ve approached someone twice). He stopped to listen to me this time and after a short explanation I got the "sure, go on then" that I was after.
Now I normally try very hard to get eye contact but Wycliff didn’t seem to know where to look and like Zat several strangers ago he moved about a lot turning his head this way and that and not looking at me much – however, I really like this off camera pose so I’m going with it as my main shot and I’ll post an eye contact shot in the comments – or at least face on anyway, hard to tell where he’s looking behind those glasses but I wasn’t going to ask him to take them off and in fact I had asked him to put his headphones back on after he had removed them to listen to me. What you see is the full package that caught my eye in the first place.
Wycliff is a student in Business Management and is currently working in Kettering. "You’re a long way from home" I commented and when he looked blankly at me and I actually started to think about what he had just said and the logistics involved, I hesitantly repeated back to him "Kettering?" … "In Northampto…" … a huge smile creased his face and he stopped me in my tracks … "no , ‘catering‘". Ah, that makes much more sense ;).
Given the strong influence that his headphones had had on our meeting so far I asked him what music he liked – Rap – and who he was listening to right now, explaining that it wasn’t my kind of music but try me and see and maybe I’d have heard of them … DMX right now – cool heard of him! – and erm, someone! – and erm, Immortal Technique? Ah OK, I’ll go back to Planet Rock then – or Stone Sour as I had been listening to when I approached him!
The maddest thing Wycliff has ever done is a solo sky dive from "very high" in Sydney, Australia. He loved it but hasn’t done one since and I don’t think he has any inclination to do so – it was a really cool tick in the box and nothing more.
At this point Wycliff told me that he was meeting a friend so we shook hands and I took my leave.
Wycliff – thanks very much for taking part in my project today – as I said at the time you have a very cool and chilled style that I really liked and a few seconds before I approached you the first time I saw you greet a friend with a little girl – the smile you extended them both was awesome ;). I’ve left a few of my strangers with the impression that they are full of life and I put you up there with them, it was a pleasure meeting you.
Please feel free to provide constructive critique on the technical aspects of this photograph.
This picture is #97 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