Stranger 82 – Samantha

It was great to meet up with Sylvia who was in the UK on holiday. Colin, Katya and I couldn’t miss the opportunity for a 100 stranger get together even though the weather was yo-yo-ing between heavy rain and a lovely day.

By the time around 2 o’clock came I couldn’t take it any longer and suggest we break for lunch. It seems my stomach had predicted the weather as no sooner as we were in the diner, heavy rain started to pelt down outside.

Colin was talking about sharks or something (sorry Colin but I was distracted 🙂 ) but all I could think about was a shot that I had on my mind for a long time and that was to use window light with the booths in a diner to lead into my subject. I tested the shot out and loved the effect I was getting. All I needed was a stranger and Samantha was there sitting with a guy two booths down from us. I could see she had a gorgeous smile but was very unsure as to whether or not I should do this in a restaurant while she and other people were eating.

The guys could see I really wanted to do it but I think they appreciated the predicament I was in. At this point the booth next to us was empty and while everyone was chatting all I could think was should I or shouldn’t I. Then 3 guys went and sat in the booth in front of us, and my heart sank. The opportunity was lost.

Still I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted this portrait. The guy Samantha was with left his seat for the toilet and I knew it was now or never. I also knew that if I didn’t do it that it would eat at me all day. So in the words of Nike, I decided to Just Do It.

I went over to Samantha explained the project and asked for her picture, she was surprised but happy to agree. Now all I needed to do was get the right position. Oh yeah, the 3 guys with bow ties and braces were sitting in my spot. Well, now that I had started I had to finish so I went over to them and asked them to let me sit on there table so I could take a picture. Meanwhile Colin and the guys were cracking up at my audacity.

The guys were brilliant in allowing me to get what I wanted and were also having a laugh and joking that they weren’t good enough. Although they would have been good stranger material, I am afraid they were right.

I got Samantha in position making sure that her face was pointing towards the light but with her eyes looking back at me and reeled off a few shots. My hands were unusually shaky but the shots seemed to be fine on the back of the camera. By this time Samantha’s guy came back saw the pictures and thought they were great.

Thank you so much Samantha for being a part of my project and helping me to complete on of my bucket list stranger shots.

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