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127/100 Jimmy Bryant | by Studio d'Xavier
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127/100 Jimmy Bryant

I was out scouting warehouses and old storefronts for an upcoming photo shoot when I began to hear sweet music wafting through the air. Certain that the shop owners had installed speakers underneath the awning and were piping out a recording of classical violin music, I kept scouting locations. As I passed an old Coke machine though, I found the source of the soothing arias among all the hustle of post-Thanksgiving shoppers.


Jimmy Bryant was seated on a bench playing his violin, and I listened a while before I asked to take a photograph. Jimmy just nodded and kept playing. I snapped a couple of shots, and after he completed the piece, we talked a bit. Jimmy has been playing violin since he was a young boy. He laughingly told me how he started in the garage, and after a year, he was allowed to practice in his room. He knew he had graduated when his mother allowed him to play in the kitchen as she was preparing supper.


Today, Jimmy makes his living with his violin and musical talent. He plays in the group Prestor John as well as busking on street corners and giving the gift of music to everyone. His repertoire includes music from Brahms to Leadbelly, from Chopin to the Stones.


I asked Jimmy to walk a block away to a place where a pink stucco wall stood backlit on a corner. The rose color of the wall would complement his shirt. I knew I could catch the light streaming down the sidestreet with a reflector and place it where ever I wanted. I decided to place it at a slight upwards angle to mimic stage lighting. It was only afterwards that I realized the colors generated would do the same, and the faux column would be remininscent of the classical music that drew me to Jimmy in the first place.


Thank you Jimmy, both for the music, and for being Stranger #127 in my 100 Strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the flickr group page.


The 100 Strangers website can be found at


Nikkor 50mm ƒ1.8, Available Light, Gold Reflector.


View Large and on Black


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Taken on November 27, 2010