April 21, 2017
Stranger #9 – Megan
After talking with Ruby (see below) for a bit, I decided to step inside the building on the grounds of the Atlanta Porsche Experience Center. Megan has been working at the center for almost three years and one of her responsibilities is to check-in those who have registered for a Driving Experience. She lives in Atlanta, has loved acting since the age of four, and has a degree in Theater. Megan is truly a nice person, she wasn’t acting.
April 21, 2017
Stranger #8 – Ruby
I visited the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, GA with my husband. While he was driving, I met Ruby, whose boyfriend of six years was also driving the track. Ruby drove earlier in the day – a braver girl than I! She lives in Boston where she earned a Civil & Environmental Engineering undergraduate degree (Course 1) from MIT. After six additional years of hard work at MIT, she just defended her dissertation. The trip to Atlanta was to celebrate!
Ruby’s given name is Xiaojing. As a child in China, she learned English from teachers like my daughter who currently teaches English in Korea. As we continued to talk, I learned she is the same age as my oldest son who also earned his undergraduate degree from MIT….the same exact year! My son, however was in the Mechanical Engineering program (Course 2).
Ruby was loving the Atlanta spring weather – around 80 degrees that day! She left cold weather back in Boston. She talked about wanting to move somewhere warm. I hope she has that opportunity some day.
October 2, 2016
Stranger #7 – Jim
I met Jim at the Novant Health 15K in Cornelius, NC. After meeting Sheridan, I headed to the the finish line to see my husband and others I knew complete the 15K. I began taking photos of runners coming toward the line, and noticed Jim sitting on a bench behind me. He looked like a nice guy and someone I would like to meet.
He said his 35-year-oldish son was running the race. When kids get that old, it’s difficult to remember their age. I know the feeling. Jim’s son began running in high school and is now married to a photographer.
Jim lives in Gastonia, NC and is a retired prison system superintendent. Don’t mess with Jim.
October 2, 2016
Stranger #6 – Sheridan
I met Sheridan at the Novant Health 15K in Cornelius, NC where she was volunteering at a water station at the entrance to Jetton Park. I went to the race to cheer on my husband, and also with the intention of seeking out strangers for my project. Sheridan was standing at the curb, holding a large trash bag for runners to dispose of their empty paper cups. She lives in Charlotte and was volunteering with the Girl Scouts. She’s been in scouts since 2nd grade.
When I asked her if she’s a runner, she said she’s beginning to run. Its’ ok if she’s not currently an avid runner, and it’s fine if she tries it and decides she doesn’t like it. Running isn’t for everyone.
Sheridan is now in 10th grade, and is part of the ROTC program at her school. She dreams of entering the Air Force. Reach for the sky Sheridan! It was a pleasure to meet you and your mom(?). Thanks for helping out at the race.
July 31, 2016
Stranger #5 – Rebecca
As I was walking around uptown Charlotte with the Ballantyne Photography Club, I decided to check out the inside of the Marriott on Trade St. Often times a hotel will have a wonderful lobby for photography – either lots of people or great light. Well…not so much for this hotel. Not great light and it looked like it was under renovation with just a few people mingling around. I headed down the hall to the concierge lounge. Nice window light and several people. That is where I meet Rebecca.
She was sitting alone having breakfast. I approached her, explained the 100 Strangers Project, she invited me to have a seat and allowed me to photographer her. Rebecca lives in Wake Forest and is a high school English teacher. She has been teaching for 20 years and has taught 4th through 12th grades during that time, but high school is her favorite. A soccer game the night before brought her and her son to Charlotte.
Rebecca would like to some day write a book after interviewing people about what they would do if they found out they had just a few days left on earth. She would tell their stories. Sounds like a book I would be interested in reading. I hope she writes it. Good luck Rebecca!
July 31, 2016
Stranger #4 – Alec
After 5 months away from my 100 Strangers Project, I decided to find Stranger #4 on the streets of Charlotte, NC. I participated in a group meetup this morning photographing urban landscapes with the Ballantyne Photography Club. I walked past Alec and really liked the character in his face. I crossed the street, and then circled back. He was sitting with a friend on a street bench when I asked if I could photograph him.
I asked why he was hanging round and he replied that he was waiting for service to begin at Restoring Place Church just up the street. This particular church is based at Kings Kitchen, a non-profit restaurant serving Charlotte, NC. Those who many consider unemployable, work in the bakery and restaurant, and proceeds go to feeding the homeless and at risk-teens.
Alec seemed like such a gentle soul. His friend confirmed that he really is a great guy. I wish Alec all the best.
February 13, 2016
Stranger #3 – Gail (“Glitzy”)
I saw Gail as she walked into a store called ArtWare in Shelter Cove Towne Center in Hilton Head, SC. It was before store hours, so I assumed she worked there. I had just peeked in the window and knew I wanted to returned to that store once it opened. They sell (according to their website) “a delightful blend of American crafts, changeable personal accessories and things just too good to pass on”.
I continued to walk around the area getting some morning exercise and finding other strangers. Once I entered the store, both the owner, Jen, and Gail were friendly. I did a little shopping and Gail asked if she could help. I said that I’d like to purchase the item on the counter and I’d also like to take her photo. She agreed without hesitation.
We talked about why I was in Hilton Head (my husband was running the Hilton Head 1/2 Marathon) and the start of the race was at Jarvis Creek Park. Gail is a South Carolina Notary Public and has married couples in that park. She is also an entrepreneur. She started a business called GlitzyStix – cheesecake or a frozen banana on a stick dipped in one of 13 different coatings and embellished with toppings. Gail also shared with me that she lost her son, Keith Jodway, suddenly one year ago. He was a Hilton Head Island chef who appeared on the reality TV show “Chopped”. She wears his photo around her neck everyday and has a small tattoo on her forearm with his first name and a heart. Gail wants to start a foundation in his name, somehow using his recipes. We talked about blogs, websites and ways to get the word out. I am so sad for her loss, but so happy to have met Gail. She’s a lovely person.
February 13, 2016
Stranger #2 – Rex
As I continued to walk around Shelter Cove Towne Center in Hilton Head, SC, I saw an adorable English Bulldog pushing a basketball with his nose in the grass of the community park. Rex, Stranger # 2, is the lucky owner of five-year-old, 75 lb. waddling cuteness he calls Stewie.
Rex is from Canton, OH and is spending two months in Hilton Head, but heads home in just two short weeks. I hope he enjoyed his stay in HH so far, and continues to enjoy the remainder. It sure looked like Stewie was having fun!
February 13, 2016
Stranger #1 – Allison
Today begins my personal project of photographing 100 strangers. I will over the course of the next several months, approach a stranger, talk for a bit, and ask him/her if I can take their photo.
My first stranger is Allison.
While in Hilton Head, SC, I visited Shelter Cove Towne Center and spotted The French Bakery. It was cold outside and the retail shops had not opened, so the small restaurant/coffee shop was an ideal place to find my first stranger. I looked for someone sitting alone. There were none. I then noticed two young girls at a table with great window light and one friend was taking an iPhone photo of the other. I approached them.
“I see you’re taking a photo of her.” I looked at the girl to my right and said, “I was wondering if I can take your photo too? I’m working on a personal project where I’m photographing 100 strangers. You’d be my first stranger”. Allison’s reply was, “Sure.” I sat at their table to take Allison’s photo and talked with the girls.
Allison is in 11th grade, lives in Hilton Head, and was taking her friend, Anastasia, to breakfast before driving her to dance class. What a great friend! Allison aspires to be a lawyer. Both girls were very sweet.
After taking the photo, writing down some information about Allison, and sharing my website address with her (because I forgot my business cards), I left the restaurant. I then realized that I didn’t take a horizontal photo of Allison. I interrupted their breakfast again and she was more than willing to pose once more for the horizontal image. I left the restaurant for the second time only to discover that I didn’t have Allison sign the model release form I printed out. So back I went for a third time. They were cool with my forgetfulness and I hope they realized it was due to me just starting out the project.
Thank you Allison for letting me take your photo. It was nice to meet you!