Lori (#544) 03-14-14

The fifth Stranger in this series in the Police Officer, Lori. I had watched her chatting with homeless men several times over a 30 minute period. I was impressed with how easily they interacted, with smiles, laughter, and an overall relaxed body language. After meeting and photographing the previous four Strangers, I introduced myself to Lori and asked for a portrait. There was no hesitation. I always expect police officers on duty to decline – this has never happened.

Lori is heading up a task force (my words) to act as a liaison between the Police Force and the homeless. In prior years, the Sarasota Police Department had the reputation of being extremely homeless unfriendly. A new Police Chief was installed a little over a year ago, and she has pledged to have kinder and gentler relations with the homeless. Lori's booth was to provide information to the public about this initiative. I didn't spend much time with her, as she was in great demand in the booth. At home, I checked the Department website: although it is fairly comprehensive, there is no information about Lori's new position. I have kicked myself for not picking up some literature at the booth.

When I got the photos, I was enthusiastic about the backlighting. But as there was little light reflected into her face, there is poor contrast, and the camera's autofocus did not do a good job. It's ironic that in the 100 Strangers Flickr group there is currently a thread about working with backlight. Often the photographer uses a reflector to kick light back into the face. I have not done that. But I have had good results when there is a white wall behind me, acting as a natural reflector.