[72/100 Strangers]: Deborah


[72/100 Strangers]: Deborah

It was only for a short time that I could leave my group to approach and photograph Deborah, my 72/100 strangers. When I saw her brightly colored hair, I didn’t want to let the opportunity slip through my fingers. I excused myself in a manner more abrupt than is my custom and pursued her with haste.

I asked her to participate and she said, “Why not?!”

Deborah was chaperoning a field trip at the Albuquerque Bio Park Zoo. Both of us were pressed for time so I needed to act expeditiously.

While dialing in my camera settings and examining the available light, I had the wherewithal to direct her away from the garbage bin where we had our initial meeting. I was toting an 18-135mm walk-around lens and wouldn’t be able to blur out the background. I recommended that Deborah step a few feet to our right near shady foliage. Her purple hair, blouse, and makeup picked up nicely against the greenery. I quickly composed and made two shots.

For one rapid fire minute we spoke and that included the time to collect her email address to where later I could send the image file. We were both all-smiles throughout the encounter.

Deborah is an Educational Assistant (EA) at Ventana Ranch Elementary School, an APS district school in the area known as the North Valley. In a quick internet search to confirm the school name’s spelling, I saw that its mascot is a cartooned purple roadrunner. Deborah earns an A+ for her show of school spirit! Deborah’s father was in the service of the US AirForce, so although she was born in Georgia, she lived in many places before adulthood. It’s been 15 years since Deborah moved to Albuquerque.

Without a moment of hesitation, the answer to how her friends and family would describe her in three words: “Activist, Warrior, Mom.”


I received a reply via email from the subject of this portrait who said the following,

“What a fun project you are creating. Be bold, take chances.
All the best, Deborah”

Great advice for everyone in the project! Thank you Deborah.

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