[16/100 Strangers]: Tina

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16/100: Tina

I won a used lens on Ebay, and it arrived safely in fine working order. So excited I was to give it a whirl that I brought my camera to the gym in the hope of meeting a stranger to photograph before starting my own workout. This project is now on my mind all the time!

Standing outside the group fitness room was Tina. She was leaning against a wall to check email on a smartphone. I noticed her pink lipstick and side ponytail and how she carried it off. I had never seen her in any of my group classes, nor in the larger fitness room with free weights. She has a face I would certainly remember.

I had five minutes. Not wanting to waste time, I stepped up, introduced myself, explained the project, and asked if she would like to join it to be my 16th subject. She was incredibly flattered and accepted right away. I moved us to a wall without posters or artwork clutter. The hallway is made of brown flecked cinder block. I redirected her to a spot where overhead light was present. Though I have to admit, the drab background color was less desirable than I would have preferred for such a lovely face.

We spoke during and after the shots; I took a total of 4. Tina told me she had just finished her workout with an athletic trainer. This hour once-a-day is the only break she has to herself. Tina cares for her mother who is aging in place and living with Altzheimer’s.

“She gave me the gift of life. Taking care of her now is a precious gift that I am able to give back to her. She deserves it.”

Thank you Tina, you are beautiful inside and out, and I’m glad you are taking care of yourself, too.

One response to “[16/100 Strangers]: Tina

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