3d pan white

stranger #100: Angel

this may seem a bit anti-climatic to most of you. (in fact, i'm pretty sure no one even follows my flickr anymore. i know i don't even follow my own). but, when i started this project back in 2007, i knew it would be a challenge, and that i would eventually finish it. i've seen hundreds of people start and quit, and start and finish this project YEARS before i did. really. 100 strangers made me nervous, shy, apprehensive...all of it. i looked forward to completing it and meeting each person, but each and every time i shot a stranger, the nerves came back. i'd say i really enjoyed about 99% of the people, (i hope you can all guess the ONE that was not a good one!!) which says a lot about people. so, if anyone is out there anymore, THIS is my 100th stranger!! yes, i shot this way back in july--you know--i'm a slacker. just getting around to uploading now.


i learned about myself too. of course, the nerves, etc. were a huge factor here. but something else occurred. i learned that photographers are not only people with big fancy cameras and lenses and know about f-stops and apertures. well, maybe they are. and if so, maybe i'm not a photographer. because i don't care about any of that, and i was able to successfully capture images of 100 strangers, and furthermore, to get their short story across...most of the time anyway. and i usually did it with a point and shoot. i think that art, photography, whatever--is totally subjective, and that there are a million ways to get an image across. film, digital, iPhone, whatever. one doesn't make you better. it just makes you YOU. you know?


so doing this project somehow made it ok to be like that. i often told complete strangers that i was doing a "photography project" and had to show confidence in my craft---even when using a beat up lil camera. that was HARD! i had to convince them of my project, and therefore muster up confidence in myself. overall-i think i did ok w/ it. a wise friend once said: "its not the wand, it's the wizard", and perhaps that's true.


i also started LOOKING at people differently as a result of this project. where are they going? what is their story? why are they so happy/sad?..... i've always been intrigued by people, and this really opened my awareness. i learned how to approach them and not be intimidating. i felt it was important not to always choose the "expected"...very bizarre looking person....but sometimes, the everyday person was "my perfect stranger". i became aware of the idea of exploitation, and didn't shoot pics of the interesting homeless characters just because they "looked cool."


will i ever do this project again? hell no. but i have another one up my sleeve. if i ever get back on flickr regularly, that is.


stranger #100: Angel. I do not know a lot about this amazing person. What I do know, I adore. Angel was part of the crew for the Monserrat, which was our boat in the Galapagos Islands. He welcomed us when we got off the bus in this "panga"/dingy boat and took us to the main boat. His smile greeted us every day we were there, and he happily shuttled us from island to island. He watched over us as we snorkeled...scanning the water for sharks (although that was never said). There were a few somewhat scary incidents in which the engine on our "panga" died (flooded?) and we were left to float...out there...alone...in the waves....600 miles in the middle of the ocean...yah. Angel remained calm and tried over and over again to pull start the engine--never showing any fear. I know that he is Ecuadorian, and that he speaks very little english, and that he is an incredible asset to this team. Thank you for letting me shoot you for my 100th stranger, Angel. You truly are. :)


here's my full set of 100: www.flickr.com/photos/artsyt/sets/72157603410944930/with/...


go check out other strangers at www.100strangers.com

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Taken on June 29, 2011