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The People of Detroit: I Don't Usually... | by Noah Stephens
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The People of Detroit: I Don't Usually...

[Canon 7D | 35mm 1.4 | Natural Light]


People outside of Michigan may be surprised to know that Detroit has become a hotbed for Hollywood film productions. This is due to aggressive tax incentives instituted by Governor Jennifer Granholm.


Some argue Michigan is not netting the full benefits of the incentives because the incentives lean heavily in favor of filmmakers at the expense of being fiscally optimal for the state.


Either way, major Hollywood productions are being filmed in Detroit and that makes a simple Midwestern farm-boy such as myself just ripe with excitement.


As a matter of fact, there was a film crew scouting the building I work in earlier on the day of this portrait.


That's why when I saw this young woman crossing the street from the same building that the film crew was in earlier, I assumed she was from out of town. Her attire had a cosmopolitan sensibility, she was smoking a cigarette, and walking with a stomping determination most suited for pounding the broad, crowded sidewalks of Manhattan into submission


When she crossed over to my side of the street, I quite self-assuredly announced to HER ... that SHE was not from Detroit ( I've always found it useful to make an assumption first and question that assumption second).


"Born and raised..."


Pleasantly surprised and embarrassed, I explained my project and asked if I could include her in it.


"Well, I don't usually..."


I told her that every time a woman has told me that, something really good happened soon thereafter.


I hope this portrait accords with tradition...

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Taken on May 19, 2010