The weather prediction was fine and sunny, I was on a weeks holiday from work and I was keen to get out in the sun and find my next stranger for the series. Well thats how the day started anyway….
Rarely do I get a chance to go out and shoot during the week but on this rare occasion I had the day off from work, so I decided to hit the CBD in hope of getting closer towards the half-way point in this series. Little did I realise though, that the streets I normally go to are much quieter on a Tuesday as compared with the weekend crowds. Now this, in combination with my extreme pickiness when choosing strangers meant that I may have to wait a while for my next subject to come along.
So after finding some suitable backdrops to shoot I waited… and waited some more… but no one came by that I thought would make for an interesting portrait. So off to lunch I went for a quick bite and whilst having my meal numerous ‘interesting’ people started walking by. Now chasing down a complete stranger with a mouth-full of mexican is not my style , so I remained confident that all the waiting I had done prior to lunch would payoff soon.
Thankfully my patience was rewarded when I found Milanka and her friend Electra taking in some of the gorgeous spring weather within Melbourne’s Federation Square. I had spotted the two girls sitting down on the steps of the amphitheatre from quite a distance. Milanka’s vibrant and flowing blue top along with her hat was the first thing I spotted, whilst Electra’s bright yellow top and stylish headphones also caught my eye.
So whilst they chatted in the sunlight, I scoped the area for a spot which would be out of the crowd of people and in some shade to avoid the harsh shadows of the midday sun. Just as I’d found a suitable position the two girls stood up and were preparing to leave, so I quickly went over to ask before they got away. They were both in a hurry to get somewhere but were happy to be photographed should I be able to do it quickly. Luckily this wasn’t the first time I’d been required to shoot fast with stranger’s so I brought them over into position and started shooting.
Now initially I was only going to ask Milanka to be apart of the series due to her great style, although I managed to grab just the one shot of Electra whilst she was there too. The only problem with the shot I did for Electra was that 1) she was smiling, and 2) I had shot her with her sunglasses on, so not only was I becoming a feature of the image in the reflection of her glasses but it went against everything else I had planned on keeping consistent for the series. So I have included her image in the comments as she was still a big part of this encounter.
After taking just the one frame of Electra I could see the slight adjustments I needed to make in camera and Milanka stepped in for her portrait. First up was the shot of her with no smile, just gazing straight down the lens. Immediately when I seen the result on the LCD I knew I had a ‘keeper’ and quickly shot another image, this time with her smiling. After a total of just 4 frames being shot the girls needed to get going, so I quickly gave them my card and got some basic details from the girls before they left.
Electra currently works in retail but quickly told me that given another career choice she would love to work in entertainment, as a singer, actor and television star – bascially she would love to be famous. I told her that after this single portrait she’d be world famous and she’d have me to thank for it (I may have promised her a little too much but you never know, anyone in Television reading this story??).
Milanka is the manager of a chain of Thai restaurants (Yim Yam) located around Melbourne. She, like Electra, also has another dream career as a Tattoo artist. She currently has a couple of tattoos herself and is looking to pursue that career path later on in life. Electra also pointed out that Milanka would make a great model, and judging by how at ease she was in front of the camera with a stranger taking her photo, I’m sure it could be another career option if the restaurant and tattooing industry doesn’t work out for her.
So thank you both for rewarding my patience and providing me with some portraits that I was very happy with. I hope you enjoy them and I wish you both well in your intended career paths.