It was yet another great day in Santa Monica and I was keen to find another Stranger. One of my favourite places to go is the 3rd St Promenade, as there is always a great mix of people strolling the streets. The downside of shooting here though is that because there are so many people walking around, it always difficult to find a location that isn’t amongst the big crowds. Fortunately I was able to spot Trevor amongst the crowd and bring up number #41 in my Strangers Series.
If you visit the Promenade on a weekend in Santa Monica you’ll notice a lot of very talented street performers with crowds that gather around and watch. This is a great way to find people who clearly arent in any kind of rush, which is perfect when searching for strangers. It also gives you time to look over the area you are in for any potential spots to shoot, should you find your subject.
I had spotted Trevor with his family as they stopped to watch one of the musicians performing in the street. Trevor was quite tall, over 6ft in fact, but he was also wearing a fur hat which made him look even taller. He had a really great style, so I waited till the musician had finished his song before going to ask Trevor for a photograph. Without any hesitation he had agreed and I took him away from the large crowd and over to a very small but unmarked wall that I thought would contrast Trevor’s style nicely. This was the advantage of scouting a location while waiting for the right moment to approach.
As I began to take a few shots, Trevor’s family had come across and suddenly we were surrounded by a paparazzi of smart-phones taking our picture as I worked with Trevor. It was quite hilarious I must admit. In the midst of all that I was attempting to stand on my tippy-toes and try and get an angle that didnt get any reflection in his glasses. In the end I could of done better, but I’m still happy with what I got in the short time.
If I was to give myself a critique, I wish I had shot a couple more shots with a slightly wider DOF. If I’d shot at around f2.8 I may of retained a little more detail in his hat and facial hair. I was really happy that I shot him against the white background, but this also naturally separated him from the background and I wouldn’t of needed to shoot so wide open. Thats what this project is all about though, learning as I go.
After taking some shots I started talking with Trevor about what he does and his day so far. He had travelled a while to be Santa Monica and was just enjoying a day shopping with his family. By day, Trevor works as a game programmer and is currently working on a game called Obstakill. For the gamers out there, this is a retro-style 3D Side-scrolling game. As someone who works in a very related field, I was very interested in hearing more about this game and the ‘nerdy’ side of what he does specifically. From what I’ve seen from the gameplay videos online it looks to be a game to watch out for in the future, its great.
Thank you Trevor for literally standing out in the crowd, it was a pleasure to meet you and your family and I hope you enjoy the portrait. Good luck with the game, I can’t wait to see the finished result.