That’s how I met Bob, my stranger 63/100. He approached me at the tennis matches between the Boston Lobsters and the Philadelphia Freedoms on July 27, 2015. At the time of our meeting, I was in a media box stationed between a newspaper reporter and the home team’s sports writer.
Seeing as the evening was the last match of the home team season, and I hadn’t been to previous matches, Bob was curious about me. He was following his reporter instinct to pursue my story.
Bob Hatem formerly covered the political scene in Washington DC for the Lowell Sun newspaper. An octogenarian, he is an active tennis enthusiast, husband, proud grandfather and Boston Lobsters Fan.
It was the latter portion of the evening when I asked Bob to participate in my 100 Strangers project. Artificial lighting was generated completely by floods set up to illuminate the tennis courts to record for a television broadcast. I moved to position Bob’s face so that behind him was a full stand of spectators. Having the courts behind him would have required use of a fill flash, and I did not have one with me. When I was packing my gear for the evening, I speculated that use of a flash could be disruptive to the athletes on the court; I left it home. When we finished the portrait, he went back into the stands to join his family and watch the mixed doubles, which are last in the evening lineup.
I emailed this portrait to Bob, and he replied within a few days saying that he really liked it. He added that he passed along the word to his friends about my 100 Strangers project, and that his fame has now spread worldwide. I came away with a portrait that encapsulated Bob’s spark, agility, and confidence.