Whilst browsing the streets for strangers on another warm Melbourne day I had remembered seeing a unique face from the previous weekend at a cafe in central Melbourne. This time with my camera in hand I headed towards Melbourne’s GPO building to see if they were there working today. Unfortunately he was not, but luckily enough for me I had found another person who was perfect for this project – his name was Pascal and he is officially Stranger #17.
Pascal is a Chocolatier at Cacao – a Chocolatorium of-a-cafe and Patisserie in Melbourne’s General Post Office building. Now this is one of the coolest job titles I’ve heard in the series so far. I’d spotted Pascal as soon as I entered the building, working away with a smile on his face and serving the queue of people waiting for their little chocolate treat. He was also wearing a great hat and an outfit that reminded me of someone from years gone by. There was numerous people walking around with there wonderfully crafted small paper bags, hiding their chocolates they’d just purchased for when they get back to their car or quiet corner on the tram 🙂
I waited for the line to quiet down a little before I went to order a hot chocolate and got the chance to speak to Pascal himself. After introducing myself and asking if I could take his portrait, he politely agreed without hesitation and asked where he should stand. As we were shooting indoors the lighting wasn’t the best, but the large skylight in the roof of the old post office was giving me some soft light that was far better than the normal fluorescent’s I’d normally shoot under in these circumstances. After shooting a quick few frames we then got talking about his life and of course his wonderful job. He said he is a local boy from Melbourne who’s been making chocolates here for 10 years and has been in this current store location for 5yrs to date. He also travelled to Paris for 2 years to learn his craft and this was where ended up meeting his wife. I bet he had plenty of women after him knowing his day job 🙂
All-in-all Pascal was a wonderful stranger to shoot and more than welcome to do anything that was needed. He had mentioned that his wife had been following another photographer who was known for his photographs of strangers (whose name I cant remember) and that he would be keenly following my series from now on. So if your ever near the wonderful GPO building in the city and are after a wonderful hot chocolate or the Best Macarons in Melbourne, drop by Cacao Fine Chocolates and say hi to Pascal if he’s working.
In researching his business later on after the shoot, I also found out that he had recently been awarded the prestigious award of Best Chocolates Showpiece at the recent Chocolate Australia Championships. So congratulations Pascal on your success and thank you once more for being apart of this project. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed that fabulous hot chocolate.