Saturday, July 10, 2010

stranger 36 :: dayana

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.

strangers 32 - 35

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.

stranger 35 :: egypt

this is egypt. she's 11 the youngest of the group. i wish i had half of her energy.

stranger 34 :: taytay

taytay is 13, she asked me if i wanted her real name or nickname. always choose nickname. her final image was hard to chose. she gave me many poses and faces to work with. :)

stranger 33 :: imani

imani is 13, she was reluctant to have her picture taken. she started off by covering her face and then burst out laughing. this makes me laugh. i love it.

stranger 32 :: andray

i love this picture of andray. he's 15, the oldest of the group, the tallest of the group, and you wouldn't know from this picture, but the goofiest of the group.

stranger 31 :: rah

rah works as park ranger at coney island. he's been working there for 4 years. i asked him was his specialty was and he told me keeping people safe and flirting with all the pretty women. awe.

stranger 30 :: ana

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.

stranger 29 :: anthonia

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.

stranger 28 :: chelsea

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.

strangers 25 - 27

kee, julio, & chris.

stranger 27 :: kee

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.

stranger 26 :: julio

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 :)

stranger 25 :: chris

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.

stranger 23 :: eser

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.

stranger 23 :: elnur

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.

stranger 22 :: abdula

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.

stranger 21 :: roberto

i was able to snag and individual of roberto before him and victor left. i'm really glad i did! what a great smile!

stranger 20 :: victor (left)

i met victor on the boardwalk in brighton beach. his friend roberto called out to me to take their picture as i walked by. so i did. roberto was out visiting from CT.

stranger 19 :: the russian

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!