[20/100 Strangers]: Chase


[20/100 Strangers]: Chase

When I began the 100 Strangers project, I had a preconceived notion that finding people to photograph, interestingness aside, would be a long, slow process. It’s proving otherwise.

If you have considered taking on a project like this, and are straddling the fencepost (as in: apprehensive), just go for it. Once you begin, a momentum carries you along in discovering fascinating faces and stories behind them.

Those of you who have made daily photo making your discipline, will find that it isn’t a much greater stretch to consider unknown faces within your vicinity and ask permission to photograph them. With today’s post, I’ve reached a milestone of being 1/5th of the way through the project. It feels like a milestone for me, at least.

After a few weeks of nursing a punctured tire on my vehicle, I went to tire specialists to complete the repair work. The business has giant windows in the customer waiting area. It was late morning, and bright light filled the interior space. Of course, I hoped that someone interesting would enter the shop and agree to make a portrait. Through the door walked this subject.

He strode to the service counter to discuss his car’s issues, then took a seat in the corner, only a few feet away from me. I kick-started my tablet on the WIFI hotspot. Then I took the device and my camera over to him, and introduced myself. I explained the project while showing him my own growing set of 100 Stranger portraits. I then asked if he would like to join my portfolio from Albuquerque. Sure thing.

Meet Chase, he is 20/100 in my 100 Strangers project.

He works in back office operations for a small boutique financial services company; a registered investment advisor. With the boss away on business and things running smoothing in the office, he found it possible to take an early lunch break. Chase mostly works in computer technology for the firm. Sometimes he advises the older clients on use of personal technology to help them better examine their investment portfolios. He is a 24 year-old and a graduate of The UNM – Robert O. Anderson School of Management. Chase was born and raised in New Mexico.

Throughout our conversation he remained seated. I captured only a few images of him, and they were predominantly diagonal profiles. During a natural pause in his speaking, I gently asked him to turn his face toward me so that I could include both of his ears in the frame. Once he faced me, I made this shot. Then we ended the photo session. I thanked him, jotted his email address into my tablet, and he reached his hand out to me for a firm handshake.

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