When I went travelling, I experienced many instances where I bumped into people in the most random of locations. Some were almost inevitable and some from out of leftfield. While I have been doing my 100 strangers project, I always thought that I would bump into or see people I have photographed before. I have seen people that others have photographed, but had never seen any of my strangers.
Not until this weekend.
I met a lot of people during my travels to South America and a few of us arranged to meet each other this weekend. It had been a while since we had seen each other and I was really looking forward to catching up with them. One of my friends was Kara, someone who I met in Colombia and bumped into at the Notting Hill Carnival, like I said, it’s a small world! Having dismissed one bar for being too full and hot, we settled on the George near London Bridge. Over drinks, Kara was told me how she was enjoying my 100 strangers project and she pointed out to Joe’s portrait and mentioned that it was one her favourites.
Now the story behind Joe’s portrait began when I got placed out in Jersey for work this Summer. I saw him in the coffee shop for 3 days in a row and finally got the courage to ask him on that 3rd day. Self proclaimed wheeler dealer Joe was brilliant and me definitely one of my favourite portraits so far ( you can see my original write up: Stranger 19 ).
Anyway, back in the George in the UK, it was my turn for a round of drinks. As I walked to the bar, I saw this old guy in outline sitting there smoking a cigar. I couldn’t miss him and initially I thought he would make a fantastic stranger shot. That might have had something to do with the white tuxedo and red bow tie he was wearing. Looking at him more closely I recognised him immediately and couldn’t believe it. Joe and I met initially 255 miles and plane ride away in Jersey and here he was smoking a cigar in a pub in London.
So I had to go up and speak to him and although he was drawing a blank at first, but once I showed him the picture and described the story a flicker of recognition came across his face. This is was brilliant and seeing him again was never something I would or could have foreseen. I ended up having a lovely chat with his family and friends including his son and nephew who I will be emailing the picture too.
I couldn’t resist having a picture with Joe who is 88 and so full of life. Everyone loves him and I could see why.
This is why I love the 100 strangers project and love the coincidences in life. Now it’s over to you, tell me about some of your “small world” moments and beautiful coincidences?