Saturday, July 10, 2010
this is dayana. i met her when i was heading back to the subway from coney island. i obviously couldn't pass up the opportunity. she was sitting on a folding chair in the shade of a building doing her own "makeup". i asked her if she worked in the park. she shrugged and said, "yeah...". i think i'd be correct to assume that she is a freelance face painter on the weekends. how cool.
i met these hooligans on the boardwalk at coney island. :) they stopped me and asked me if they could take my picture. wait. what? i told them i'd give them an even trade. picture for a picture... of all of them and then all of them individually. deal.
i approached ana as she was stretching after a run down the beach. she let me know that she was on vacation with her family in brighton beach, and that this was the first day it's really been cool enough to take a run. even though i'm not a runner, i had to agree. i had a really nice chat with ana about where she's originally from, the fast pace of the city, etc. i began to leave the pier ahead of ana, but when she ran by me she wished me good luck on the project. it was very genuine.
anthonia was also on the pier out at coney island handing out religious tracks to strangers. she probably approached more strangers on that pier alone than i did in the whole day. you could see in her smile that she is full of life and love.
i met chelsea while she was waiting for a friend out on the pier in coney island. i saw her hair blowing and it looked so pretty that i knew i had to ask her for her portrait. so as soon as she set down her phone i headed right over to her. the wind didn't pick up as much as i would have liked, but i still love this shot.
this is kee. he came over as i was shooting julio (yes, another stranger!). he let me know that they have all been friends since they were very young. it seems to be a common story in a few of these portrait groups, but i still love hearing people tell me that they've know each other since they were kids.
julio was one of chris' friends that happen to be in the same area waiting for a few more friends. it was really hard to choose just one photo from the 5 that i took. they were all subtly different from the one before. this was the last one i took of julio. good choice :)
chris was another stranger that happened to tell me to take his picture as i walked down the boardwalk. i know that's really not how the project is supposed to work, but i highly doubt when people do this, they actually think i'm going to stop and turn and make a 10 minute portrait session out of that one moment. chris was sitting on a cooler waiting for some of his buddies. i told him that he was in luck because i don't have any strangers on coolers yet. and luckily for me chris had friends around that i could approach for more stranger portraits.
before i could take his photo, eser asked me if i was from a talent agency because he's looking for work as an extra. unfortunately for him i'm not, but fortunately for me, he was excited to have his portrait taken anyway. eser also works at coney island, but just for the summer. he told me that his girlfriend in Turkey says he looks like River Phoenix. i couldn't stop myself from pointing out the obvious, "Isn't he... not alive anymore?". he said yes, and we both had a good inappropriate laugh.
this is elnur. now i know i shouldn't promote smoking, and i'm not a smoker myself, but for some reason i love photos of people smoking. anyways, elnur works at coney island in the park. he was very friendly allowing me to bother him while he's on a break from work.
abdula, abdula, abdula. i met abdula in brighton beach as well. i heard his whole life story but only retained the part where he told me that he came from Albania in the 60's. i wish i could have talked to him for longer; he seems like he'd have a million stories for me. this is definitely one of my favorite shots of today. i have a feeling that if i ever see abdula again, he'll remember exactly who i am.
this is my new russian friend. i met him at brighton beach in brooklyn. his name i didn't get. but we spoke back and forth, (him in russian, me in english) and in the end we resolved that i would take his picture and he wouldn't object. stranger #19, tada!