Whilst it has been a little while since my last Stranger post, fear not as I have been out shooting and there will be plenty more to come in 2012. And to start it all off for the new year is James – Stranger #20.
It was a day I had set out to get multiple stramgers shots as I had the whole day off and it was the week before christmas – plenty of people about and plenty of potential strangers… well so I thought.
I was out for about 4hrs and barely sighted anyone I was interested in shooting for my series. It was a very hot day but everyone was out for their last minute christmas gifts so the streets were covered in people, almost too many to choose from. After contemplating going back home to avoid the 36˚C heat I resorted to a shady alley which is very common in Melbourne’s CBD. It was an alleyway which was covered in tasteful street art – something that is commissioned in Melbourne and a tourist attraction as well. It was there that I spotted James walking towards me and I knew immediately that I wanted him apart of my series. It was a long alleyway, maybe 60m long and quite dark so in the time it took for him to walk to me I had fired off a couple of test shots to try and get my camera settings correct.
As James approached me I asked him if I could take his portrait. At first he seemed very hesitant and not interested, but as I told him the reasons why I would like him in the series he agreed and said “OK, but it has to be quick as I have to get back to work”. He was very smartly dressed, and had a Tom Ford name badge on his vest which made perfect sense. Without much time to find a suitable background to match his style I asked him to stand in-front of the graffiti wall and fired away 3 quick shots before he said “OK thats enough, I have to go”. The thought of a grundgey street scene in the background with his much more classy fashion style in-front gave a great contrast to each other – which I’m glad as I wouldn’t of had any more opportunity to get another shot anyway.
As he looked to quickly set off and get back to work, a friend of his came by and stopped him for a few moments more and was also intrigued by what I was doing. Thankfully that gave me a little more time to get some details from him before he left. James is a ‘retail bitch’ as he put it, working in the Tom Ford section of David Jones. He certainly has a great style and I’m glad I got those brief 50 seconds or so to shoot him.
Thanks James for being apart of my series and I hope you like the portrait.