The images within these galleries and blog
technically fit the definition of street portraiture. Some were taken
indoors, of waitpersons, docents, baristas, etc. But most were
photographed in the great outdoors, of people who I saw/met in public places,
always with permission. The common denominator is this; I had never
seen, nor met, any of these people prior to the photographic
Although a veteran of the 100 Strangers project, I am starting anew: Carolina is #1 of my second life in Stranger Photography.
Florida has had an insufferably hot summer, but after a few days of rain we finally had a tolerable Saturday morning. Carolina was cleaning and arranging outdoor tables in front of a restaurant. She was about to become hostess, but as it was 15 minutes before opening time, she was doing more menial tasks. I stopped and explained my intentions, to meet, chat, and photograph. She wrinkled her brow, looked quizzical, and asked why. I explained that I like to meet new people and that I am an introvert, but the camera was a tool, an icebreaker, that allowed me to “get out of myself.” She reluctantly said “well, I will talk to you, but I don’t like being in pictures.” I said, “What? You look great, you will look fine.” She said that if she expected to be photographed, she would have used make-up prior to coming to work. I explained that I like to photograph people as they are, not how they can make themselves up to be. Then I pulled out my smartphone, opened Flickr, but could not find my Photostream. This shows the amount of rust that I have accumulated by being out of Stranger Photography for a few years. I found the list of comments on my Photostream which has teeny tiny thumbnails. But I showed her these and Carolina immediately brightened up. She liked them, and that there no weird pictures, so I assume she decided that I was not a creep. Immediately she became warm and friendly, the rest of the time was very relaxed and open.
I am not usually this verbose, but this was a tremendous way to re-start my project. It was so gratifying to “get through to someone” who was skeptical, and it rekindled my resolve to get back into meeting strangers on the street.
Carolina was born in Seoul, Korea. Her mother was Catholic and named her at birth. In parochial kindergarten, in Korea, the nuns had names like Maria, Mary Therea, etc. Now most of her family lives in the U.S., and she has zero accent. No family members live near Sarasota but she loves the beach. Carolina lives alone with her cat and is perfectly happy that way. Nevertheless, she looks forward to someday to living in other locations, both in America and abroad. Specifically Colorado appeals to her due to the outdoor activities; she loves to go on walks. Also, New England is a possibility.
Thank you, Carolina, for being the first Stranger of my resurrected project.
“There are no strangers here, only friends that you haven’t met yet.” W. B. Yeats
More photos of other photographers of the group "The Human Family" can be found here: