Hello and thank you for checking in on week 23 of the 365 Day People Picture Project! After several weeks of having at least one subject a week who has been a friend or acquaintance, this week's subjects have all been complete strangers.
Day 155 - Colby
This is Colby. I met her in the park in Downtown Vancouver. She looked like she was on a mission as she walked through the park with coffee in hand. I suspected she wouldn't have time to stop for a picture, but I was happily surprised when she agreed.
Colby said, "I just got into a relationship with someone I really like," when I asked about the happiest thing happening in her life.
I asked if she's performed a recent act of kindness and after thinking about it, she said that she recently bought coffee for a friend who didn't have any money.
Day 156 - Two Handsome Police Officers
Do you remember how just last week I was saying that I hoped to get a Police Officer in this project, since we've had EMT's and a Fireman?
I ended up being someplace I wasn't supposed to be and three police officers let me know about it!
Monday, I headed to the MAX Light Rail/Bus stop on 82nd and Halsey, in search of a subject. I've gone there once before when looking for a subject (remember Tony from Day 96?), and I know it's always a busy place. I wasn't really finding anyone who looked like they might let me take their picture on the upper street-side bus stop, so I descended down the stairs to the MAX platform. (MAX is Portland's light rail train system.)
As I approached the MAX platform, I could see several uniformed officers. At first I thought they were Transit Officers, but then I figured out that they were actual Police Officers. I stopped. Whoa! What's going on here, I wondered. Unsure if I wanted to venture the rest of the way down to the platform, I noticed that everything was calm and business as usual. I didn't see any sort of situation or drama, so I continued down the rest of the stairs and onto the MAX platform. At the bottom of the stairs, I was
greeted stopped by three officers.
"Do you have your fare?" one officer asked. I told him I wasn't taking the MAX, that I was actually just looking for someone interesting to take a picture of for my picture project. He told me that I wasn't allowed on the platform without a paid fare. I apologized and politely explained that I didn't know that. Then, even more politely, I asked, "how 'bout you, could I take your picture?" Perhaps I caught him off guard with my question because the smart thing for me to do would have been for me to turn around and head back up the stairs where I was supposed to be. He sort of chuckled as he declined my request, but then he suggested that I ask the "handsome guys." (The officer who declined me was also quite handsome, not that I noticed or anything.)
I did a quick survey of the platform to make sure I wasn't going to be distracting them from their work and decided the timing was perfect. I just went for it! I asked these two Officers if I could take their picture and they agreed.
So, there I was, trying to direct these two Officers to, "get closer. A little closer, please." At the time, I was serious and focused on getting a good picture, but looking back at it now, I just have to laugh at myself. I'm so embarrassed! I can't even believe I was trying to direct these two! I'm not sure which I should have found to be more intimidating; that they're beautiful, or that they're police officers!
I quickly snapped a few pictures and then explained that I also had two quick questions if they had the time to spare. I asked about the happiest thing happening in their lives, and the officer on the left responded, "being young and enjoying each day…." Then, before he could even finish his answer and before I could ask the other question or even their names, they had to go. I didn't see what was happening, or about to happen, but our time was up. The three officers left the area where we had been standing, joined a few other officers, and I decided I needed to get out of the place where I wasn't even technically supposed to be.
Once again, time with my subjects had been cut short at this particular station. And, once again, I was sad. As I was leaving, I sent out a little wish (I guess it was actually sort of a little prayer) that the Officers will be safe and protected.
Day 157 - Selene
Tuesday, I decided to look for a subject at a park-and-ride bus stop. Seems I have the best or worst timing. Several busses had just pulled away and of course, they had taken all of the potential subjects with them! I found one group of people still remaining and that's where I met Selene.
Selene had been visiting with another passenger (or friend) when I approached them both to ask if I could take their picture. Her friend volunteered her for the job!
What I hadn't noticed when I approached them, is that they were standing in the long line to actually board the bus which was already there. I had to be super quick! So quick, I was only able to take a couple really fast pictures and I didn't even get to ask Selene any questions.
Day 158 - Paul
When I asked Paul about the happiest thing happening in his life, he responded, "I'm about to go get a beer!"
Paul's recent act of kindness, well, I don't know how to say it…he really was kind when he managed to remain nice to his brand new roommate who accused him of stealing her laptop. He told me the strange story and he's a pretty nice guy for being able to be calm, even when someone was accusing him of something he didn't do. His new roommate felt horrible when she found her laptop…right where she left it!
Day 159 - Lillie
This beauty is Lillie.
I've explained before that I don't yet have photoshop or lightroom. The only editing programs I have are iPhoto which just comes on/with the computer, and an app I downloaded from the App Store. I'm still having a lot of fun experimenting with the two programs I do have. It's taking all of my restraint not to post about 17 different versions of Lillie's picture! She's got a pretty amazing look and she looks great in nearly every "effect" I could apply. Ironically, even though her look goes beautifully with all of the different effects, my favorite picture was the plain ol' unedited, original photo. I think the original best shows her beauty. I struggled with which picture to share with you, and although the unedited version was my favorite, I couldn't resist sharing her photo in black & white. I'm too inexperienced to have developed a style, but whenever I see great texture such as in her hat, hair, and jacket, I'm compelled to go black & white.
Lillie looked like she could have been coming from work or on her way to a fancy party but she was actually on her way to the gym! She said she had on her gym clothes underneath her dress.
"Going back to school," is the happiest thing happening in Lillie's life. She's learning to be a grant writer and will work with non-profits. When I asked Lillie if she's performed a recent act of kindness, she explained this is basically her motivation for going back to school. She doesn't feel like she's done enough. She considers herself a nice person, but she said she hasn't really done anything extraordinary. I suspect Lillie is quite extraordinary and when she finishes with school, many people will benefit from her efforts.
Day 160 - Marielle
This is Marielle. She works at the Nectar Cafe, with Natasha from Day 89. I met Marielle on Friday evening. It's been a bit of an exhausting week and I coasted into the Nectar Cafe, needing coffee, just like a car running on fumes coasts into a gas station.
Marielle filled me up and was nice enough to also let me take her picture. Marielle thought about it for a moment when I asked about the happiest thing happening in her life, and then she shared that it was a very happy day for Nectar Cafe! Their coffee was just picked up by a co-op/shop, so good things are happening for Marielle and Natasha!
I also asked Marielle if she's performed a recent act of kindness. She said that always tries to hold kindness with her, and then explained she's a person who does her giving in secret. I didn't want to pry. There have been times when I've done kind things that I've never told anyone about, so I totally understand her philosophy of giving in secret.
Marielle is a kind person. I thought I left my wallet at the shop and when I returned, she was in the process of closing but she still helped me to look around. We couldn't find it anywhere so I was hoping I had just hidden it from myself inside my giant purse/camera bag. Sure enough, that's where I found it! I was relived and finally able to enjoy my much needed coffee. Which, by the way, was the best cup of coffee I've ever had. (Sorry, Debbie.)
Day 161 - Rick
Rick had just finished running 7 miles when I asked if I could take his picture. I remembered that had we crossed paths on the trail and that he was friendly, so I was optimistic that he was going to say yes.
When I asked Rick the happiest thing happening in his life, he said, "I'm just happy to be alive." He went on to say that he's intimate with his higher power and that no matter what life throws at him, he knows he's not alone.
I laughed at Rick's answer when I asked if he's performed a recent act of kindness, "I put the toilet seat down for my wife," he joked. (I know my husband is going to read this and will once again open up the debate that if I were kind, I'd put the seat up for him!) Yes indeed. This is a great act of kindness and one often overlooked.
If you're reading this and you've been a subject in this challenge, thank you! If we were pressed for time and I didn't get the opportunity to thank you properly, I just want you to know that I appreciate your kindness and that you allowed me to take your picture. Thank you.
Thank you for following along in this project! I hope you're having as much fun meeting these people as I'm having introducing them to you.
Wishing you a great week!