Week 3 is a wrap! In case you're checking out the 365 Day People Picture Project for the first time, I've been taking a photograph of a person (or people) every day for the past three weeks. A few of the pictures are of people I know, but the majority of my subjects have been strangers. I post the pictures daily on Instagram and will post the weekly recap here on Sundays. My goal is to take a picture, daily, for an entire year!
Day 15 - Mario
I met Mario on my favorite trail. He had just run 4 miles and was stretching, and I had just aborted my 14 mile walk - only 3.5 miles into it. I had been stung by a wasp, and as you can probably guess from this picture, we were caught in a total downpour!
Mario told me that he runs a race nearly every weekend. It's no wonder he was such a trooper and let me take his picture in the pouring rain. A few raindrops mean nothing to a person who races nearly every week!
Day 16 - "Creighton"
I didn't realize it until later, but Mario and "Creighton" look like they could be related! "Creighton" was at the stairs of one of Portland's best "outdoor gyms." It's not really a gym, it's a park. The park is so popular with runners, walkers, cyclists and skateboarders, I think we could actually call it a fitness park. "Creighton" was waiting for the rest of his group to arrive when I approached him to be day #16. I could tell he was a little unsure of me at first, but once he decided to let me take his picture, he went above and beyond the duties of being a subject! He actually did a stair climb down the stairs. This takes so much strength that I would be too embarrassed to even try it. He did it with less effort than it takes me to walk up the stairs on my own two feet. After taking his picture, my friend and I continued with our workout and ran into him and his group a few more times as they were alternating between running the stairs and doing these brutal climbs.
Day 17 - Christina
Christina is a manager/cashier at the grocery store near my work. Don't worry, we weren't holding up the express line! Christina's friendliness is just what I needed, at just the right time.
Although Mario and "Creighton" were both excellent subjects, I had been stressed on both of those days and quite worried about finding subjects. When it started to pour on Sunday, I was struck with the reality that winter would soon be here and I am such a newbie, I don't even know how to take pictures in the rain. I mean, I'm sure that rain can't be good for a camera. As I was contemplating the need for a waterproof housing, I then realized that it is going to be extremely challenging to find subjects once we change from daylight savings time. When I stopped at the grocery store that morning and was met with Christina's cheerful smile, I just knew that everything will work out as long as I don't get too worked up about it. There are friendly and willing people all over and when it gets dark and rainy, I'll just have to look for them a little harder and indoors. It's going to be ok.
Day 18 - Jacob
My co-worker and I were on our way back to the office when we spotted Jacob and his roofing crew, who were just wrapping up their lunch break. I had to move quickly because the guys were just about to hop in their truck to drive away. Had Jacob been alone when we approached him, I'm pretty sure he would have declined. Luckily, his co-workers basically ribbed him into being day 18.
Day 19 - Melissa
I had just parked my car and was contemplating on whether I should do my workout and then search for a subject, or vice versa, when somebody parked right in front of me. I waited to see who would get out of the van, thinking maybe this person could be my day 19. As soon as I saw the person exit the van, I just knew she would be it! When she exited her van all I could see was this natural beauty carrying a giant bouquet of flowers. I didn't know if she was making a floral delivery, or perhaps meeting someone for a picnic in the park.
I explained the project and she happily agreed to let me take her picture. She was so sweet and she thought it was so cool that she was going to "be a part of an art project." Wow, I hadn't ever thought of it like that! As we were talking, I asked where she was headed with the flowers and she explained she was on her way to a memorial service in the park. Of course, I was completely shocked to hear she was there for such a sad occasion. I was little choked up as I gave her my condolences, but she assured me it was going to be a big celebration of life. All the while, she had the most caring and genuine smile on her face. If the person whose service she was attending had other friends as lovely as Melissa, then I'm certain that person had a wonderful life and was very much loved. And indeed, it was to be a celebration.
Later that evening, I was looking at the Instagram picture I had posted of Melissa and I had tears running down my cheeks. My husband asked if I was ok and what was the matter. I explained I was fine but that I had been really affected by my subject that day. I explained how Melissa was so nice and seemed so happy, she flashed the biggest smile, but she was dealing with some really sad stuff and people would never know. It just made me sad to know that every day, people are dealing with sad things and they give us a smile, and we just never know…
Day 20 - Becky, Gina and Rindy
For the past two years, I've accidentally stumbled upon the Kumoricon Anime Convention in Downtown Vancouver. Friday was such a beautiful day and I had already made up my mind to find a subject in downtown Vancouver after work. I was just thinking there would be several people out enjoying one of our last sunny days and the likelihood that I could find a subject in the park would be quite high. What I quickly realized, (after seeing a group of "vikings") is that I had struck people-watching gold and for the third year in a row, I had managed to be downtown during Kumoricon!
I can't even begin to describe how awesome this event is! People from all over the country come to this convention and they go all out with their costuming! Some of the attendees look like they spend the entire year planning their costumes. The event site is actually the Hilton Hotel but the attendees often spill into the neighboring Esther Short Park. For three days, you can see just about any anime character you could possibly imagine, just hanging out in the park.
I wandered around searching for just the right person to be day 20. You're never going to guess who I found?! Waldo! Yep! I found Waldo! I figured that Waldo had to be day 20! There was just one problem. Waldo was surrounded by a ton of people who were all just as excited to have found her as I had been. (This Waldo was actually a girl.) Although the novelty of having Waldo as day 20 would have been awesome, I started thinking that there were tons of other people there who would also make for a great picture. So, I patiently searched until I found this beautiful Trio! I could see their parasols and Gina and Rindy's purple locks coming from a mile away. These young ladies are not actually specific characters, they're just their own beautiful creation.
Day 21 - Jen and Tony
I was on my way back to Downtown Vancouver to capture another Anime character but I decided to take a different exit and head toward the waterfront instead. After I parked, I asked Tony directions to the walk-way but then decided to ask him if he'd be interested in being day 21. He agreed and also volunteered his friend, Jen!
They had just run 3 miles in a very hot and humid 90 degrees! Jen is training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and Tony is training for another Tough Mudder race. Before I snapped this picture, we had just been laughing about the possibility of Tony dressing up as Tinkerbell and joining Jen for the Disney race. I have a feeling they're both going to do great in their races. It was such a hot day and if they were able to tough it out in this heat, their training will pay off.
It's been another great week, even though it started with a little uncertainty. I know that as winter approaches, I'll have to strategize to make sure I'll be able to meet the 365 day challenge. That's good though, right? It'll force me to get a little creative in order to push through the rainy months ahead.
I think each of these people has left an impression in my mind that is going to last a very long time. I'm grateful to each of them for reminding me just how kind people can be.
Thank you for checking in on week three!
If you'd like to follow along daily, my Instagram username is: missellanea.