Stranger #28 - Tim [Explore #262]

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    Follow my 100 Strangers project on: My Website | Twitter | Facebook or view the whole set here on flickr. COMMENTS & FAVOURITES very much appreciated. **No sparkley banners or awards please.

    It had been a successful day shooting strangers in Melbourne's CBD with Trish, Rebecca and Johnny (#25–#27) already photographed earlier in the day. Now normally that would be well above my quota for one day of shooting, however as I walked back to my tram stop to head on home, I spotted through a shop window a man with a magnificent beard that I simply could not let pass by – and that man was Tim, officially Stranger #28.

    Now before I walked into the store I patiently waited outside until all the customers had left so I wouldn't bother his sales. Upon walking in to the store a smile emerged from within the thick beard of his and greeted me kindly. From their I told him about the project, handed him one of my cards and without hesitation Tim was all prepared to be apart of my series.

    Tim works for a store called soleDevotion in Little Collins St, Melbourne. Its the kind of place you go to find those special, beautifully crafted designer shoes that will inspire you and make you look at footwear in a whole new and exciting light. The appreciation and knowledge that Tim displays with his products is really reflected in his calm and soothing approach to his customers. I've actually seen Tim again since this shoot, out the front of his store, helping to give directions to a tourist - he's just that kind of guy. There was also a copy of one of my favourite magazines on his counter top (The Smith Journal), which really summed up Tim's character perfectly I think.

    Now conditions for this shot weren't ideal for photography, its was indoors and the light in the store was dull with only a few small LED spotlights to showcase the shoes on the wall. I could of taken the easy route and asked him to step outside into some light on the sidewalk, but I wanted to take his portrait infront of the beautifully arranged displays of shoes on the wall, which would also add a sense of location to the story.

    So thats exactly what I did. With a slight bump up on my iso settings and a much slower shutter speed than I would normally use I went ahead and photographed Tim in the ambient light provided in the store. We moved around under the different lights just to get the right balance of shadows and within a few minutes we were done. Immediately when I had seen the results on the back of the camera I knew this was a favourite of mine and I'm very glad it turned out this way.

    Tim has worked at soleDevotion for 4 years now, and been in retail for most of his life thus far. He actually really enjoys working in retail and since he was such a relaxing guy to chat with, I'm sure this translates well with the customers. He is born and bred here in Melbourne, loves dogs and has a Staffy Bulldog Terrier named 'Harper' which he adores. Whilst he hasn't officially entered yet, he also claims he would be a real contender in the World beard growing championship :)

    So a big thank you to Tim for letting me include him in my photo series, its one of my favourite portraits in the series so far and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did photographing it.

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    This picture is #28 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at or the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page

    K.A. Sprouse, johncarney, and 21 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 3 more comments

    1. evansrobinson // Armchair Photography 34 months ago | reply

      What an amazing shot, love the beard but really dig the shoe-bokeh! You've done a marvelous job with the lighting situation here. it's adds a lot to the overall feel that you just wouldn't have been able to achieve outdoors.

    2. bobdeinphoto 34 months ago | reply

      Interesting perspective. He looked up a bit, getting light into his eyes. And this projected his beard forward, accentuating it's size. Great!

    3. spottiewattie17 34 months ago | reply

      superb beard and good pose

    4. Steven Hamburger 34 months ago | reply

      great shot of a cool looking guy! really like the bokeh, tones and the light!

    5. priscilesjouesrouges 34 months ago | reply

      The colours are great! He seems pretty proud of his beard!

    6. gtpete63 34 months ago | reply

      fantastic write up. You have discovered so much detail about him and his life.
      you are very observant with your strangers and engage with them in a way that really shows in your portraits.
      Love the indoor lighting. His pose with his head tilted up and the beret makes him look like he is a

    7. Mattman1111 34 months ago | reply

      More great work Dave. I'm going out today in search of my number 2, and maybe 3 or 4.

    8. eddyvan 34 months ago | reply

      Love the shot man!

    9. neilwinch / NWP 34 months ago | reply

      That beard is epic. Great write up and terrific use of the indoor light. I like how we can still make out the shoe shapes in the background. To bokeh that out completely would have taken away the environment aspect of the shot. Nice work again Dave.

    10. José Luis Luque 34 months ago | reply

      Congrats on Explore!!! Greetings from Spain.

      ✄ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ✄
      Excelente trabajo!!! enhorabuena. Saludos
      Excellent work!!! Congratulations. Greetings

      Via Today's Explore at #262 on Fluidr

    11. dreamer@desh 34 months ago | reply

      Fabulous shot!

    12. Sprengben [why not get a friend] 34 months ago | reply

      Magnificent Photo, great how you did this! It really deserves Explore. I wish a great Tuesday.

    13. gaussian blurian 34 months ago | reply

      You surely have a lovely portrait here!

    14. haggisandchips 34 months ago | reply

      Great story and the background works well - just enough detail to add the context you were after. Well done dealing with the ambient as well - it was worth it.

      What a character though - instant ask with that awesome beard.

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