One thing I’ve noticed about Los Angeles, is that fedora hats are very popular. Maybe it was just so in the beach areas, but I had quite often seen people walking around the streets carrying a pole topped with nothing but these hats. That was the first thing that captured my attention when I met Shannon – Stranger #09.
I was once again looking for a place to eat after another long day of walking around taking photos. From a distance I had seen Shannon standing outside a Japanese restaurant called Ozumo, the wind was blowing her hair around all over the place but the hat kept it from going crazy. She was greeting people into the restaurant and running them through the menu. When there was no other customers there for her to greet I went ahead and asked her if she’d like to be apart of the project.
Her reaction was a mixture of excitement with a little touch of shyness. After explaining to her the shots I would be taking she seemed to much more comfortable with the idea and was happy to do whatever I had in mind. We moved aside into an area which had a more consistent background and I fired away some frames from a few different lengths. As I was shooting the close-up shots I noticed the wind blowing her hair across which I really liked.
After about 30 seconds of shooting, Shannon was feeling much more relaxed and as the very last shot I managed to get one with a cheeky little smile and tongue-poke. As a triptych, which you can see in the slideshow above, I think I managed to capture the whole mood of the shoot (which took about 60 seconds) quite well.
Shannon was originally from Florida but moved to Los Angeles to study, where she continues to do so at Pepperdine University in Malibu. I have driven past that university as I was exploring Malibu one weekend and was overawed by the size and green-ness of the campus. She is studying a degree related to advertising and also doing Graphic Design as a major, so we had something in common to chat about for a little longer after the shoot.
So Shannon, I hope you enjoy these images and thank you for being apart of my project.