I met Todd in the Billiard Room of Glasgow’s Willow Tea Rooms. He was Artist-In-Residence there for the month of June, painting each day among an exhibition of his work. He hails from Pasadena in California, but has Scottish ancestors. He came to Edinburgh for a 4-month Artist In Residence stint – 25 years later, he’s still in Scotland! He loves the Art Deco/Art Nouveau period style and architecture, something which was obvious from his work. Having trained in Oils, he now works mostly in Acrylics, painting images with plenty of bold colour and a strong sense of design. Todd, it was a delight to talk to you, thanks for your time!
After my success with Stranger #37, I walked a little further back towards Admiralty Arch. On the way I encountered Owen and his wife Jenny (Stranger #39). They both stood out as being characters in the way they were dressed and were happily chatting to each other. I explained that I would like to take their portraits and they readily agreed. Owen is a photographic technician at a local college, which means he sets up studio equipment for the students or advises them how to use their cameras, amongst other duties. I made quite a few pictures of him as he was talking, but this was the first – and the best – when he quite spontaneously pointed at his mug with those great red gloves! Thanks for participating, Owen.
Even though I had met my photo course challenge (to make at least 3 portraits of strangers in 10 minutes) with Strangers #33, #34, #35 and #36, I felt I was on a roll and decided to have a go at a few more. I spotted Leonard from across the road, as his bright orange coat stood out from the pale buildings behind him. I also noticed a large Canon camera around his neck, so thought he might be receptive to my approach as he was a photographer himself. He agreed and we chatted about his camera for a while. He’s from Chile and visiting London for the second time. Even though the weather wasn’t very good, he was making the most of it and had just come from taking pictures at Buckingham Palace. He wanted to head for Trafalgar Square next. Thanks for taking the time to chat, Leonard, it was lovely to meet you.
Jamie was stranger number four from the family group I approached walking along The Mall. He was with his brother Rory (Stranger #33), Mum and Dad (Strangers #34 and #35). I had completed my photo course challenge (we had been asked to photograph at least 3 strangers in 10 minutes). I’m not sure if he lives in London (as his brother does) or if he was just visiting. Either way, he was happy to pose for a picture. Thanks to the whole family for being such good sports and helping me out with the project.
Len was stranger number three from today’s outing, walking along The Mall with his family (Strangers #33, #34 and #36. They were all very generous in agreeing to pose for a few pictures while they were enjoying their day in London. He was certainly wrapped up well against the weather! Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in London, Len.
I was in London today for a creative photography workshop with some friends. After our first exercise, our group leader decided to get us out of our comfort zones and asked us to photograph 3 strangers in 10 minutes. That’s quicker than I’ve been used to in the past (sometimes I go months between strangers!), but I bit the bullet and had a go. Rory was in a group of 4 people, who I approached first. He is from Ireland but now lives in London. He was with his family (Strangers #34, #35 and #36) enjoying a walk along The Mall. He’s a big music fan, which is obvious from his ever-present headphones. Thanks for being my first stranger of the day, Rory.
Today I met Tony while I was at the Billericay Christmas Fair in the town. He is the Squire of the Mayflower Morris Men who were performing at the event. I managed to catch him before their first set and had a bit of time to chat. He has been involved with Morris dancing for 27 years. He showed me all the mementos of his Morris career pinned to his hat. One was made from the hair from a horse fetlock – given to him by his daughter, as he used to work with horses. Thanks for taking a few moments to talk, Tony.
Ross was the second stranger I met at the Bikes & Barges event in Maldon this afternoon. He was playing bass with his tribute band The Doll Set Tones, entertaining folks on the quayside with a couple of catchy sets. I made a picture as he was playing – his colourful sunglasses immediately caught my attention. But that image wasn’t great, and at that point, I hadn’t spoken to him, so it was just a candid portrait. Sometime later, I was wandering around making images of the bikes on show and Ross walked towards me and the two friends I was with. I was just about to grab the chance and ask if he would mind me taking his picture, when he suddenly recognised my two companions whom he’s know for about 15 years but hadn’t seen for ages! So of course we got chatting. He started out as an apprentice motorbike mechanic working for my friend Simon, but left a few years ago. The modest rock and roll lifestyle he leads clearly wasn’t sufficient for his wife, who was apparently at a Robbie Williams gig today, rather than listening to hubby play! He also breeds cats as a hobby – Simon and Sue have one of his (now grown) kittens, Sox. It’s a small world really, and although Ross was a stranger to me, he was an old friend to my mates. Great to meet you, Ross.
Tony was attending the Bikes & Barges event in Maldon this afternoon, which I went along to with a couple of friends. There were lots of shiny motorcycles on display which we enjoyed photographing. Tony was admiring a particularly well kept 1959 Harley Davidson and we got chatting. He’s been riding bikes since he was a teenager, but had a break when he discovered girls and decided a car was a much more practical vehicle for taking them out on dates! Having decided he needed to get back on two wheels some years later, he now rides a Kawasaki ZZ1400 which he says can be a bit of a beast to handle, but he enjoys it rather than having a show bike which he would never dare to ride for fear of scratching it! Thanks for agreeing to be Stranger #29, Tony, it was lovely talking to you.
This morning I went to Ingatestone Station to photograph a steam special which was passing through – the lovely Tornado. There were plenty of other steam heads lurking on the platform – I happened to stand next to Brian and we got chatting while waiting for the train to arrive. He has been chasing steam trains since he was a little lad, and had his first train set when he was 8 – a Hornby Dublo set which he still has (much like my Dad’s). His favourite engine is Sir Nigel Gresley, mainly because he has very fond memories of riding behind it nearly 25 years ago on the last railtour he did with his 10 year old son before he died. Today, his wife was keeping him updated of the train’s running times by checking the website at home and sending him text messages. He said he preferred Tornado in its new Blue livery rather than the previous BR Green. Thanks for being my 28th Stranger, Brian, it was great to meet you.