Carlos And His Bermuda Blue Car
And so, my 100 Strangers project is complete.
Six year after I photographed my first stranger, Agatha, on July 17, 2008, I photographed my last one Carlos, on June 22, 2014.
Whew. Took me long enough, didn’t it?
A guy over on my Flickr page, when I posted this photo said “You are like the Cal Ripken of the 100SP. No one is going to ever top the span of your project.” I don’t know whether to take that as a compliment – ol’ Cal is a Hall of Famer – or be kinda insulted.
Though I also can’t really argue with him. It DID take me a long time to shoot 100 people. Probably longer than it should.
Anyway, the close came like this. On Sunday, I had packed up my truck from the TriRock Triathlon that I had shot, and was ready to leave Philadelphia and hit the road back to Jersey.
In the corner of the parking lot in West Philly, a guy was doing some work on his stereo. His car caught my eye. As I pulled out of the lot, I cruised over to him.
“Is that a ’77 Pontiac?” I asked?
“No, it’s an ’86,” he said. “Just got it off eBay from a guy in Iowa.”
“It’s very cool,” I said. “What IS that color?”
Carlos is from San Diego, but has been living in Philadelphia for a little while. His mom lives in West Philly. However, he’s getting ready to head off to Arizona and shake the Philly dust from his wheels.
He’s an ex-Marine, done a couple of tours in Iran and Afghanistan and has the tattoos up and down his arms as evidence. Now he oversees the John B. Kelly Pool (he’s the father of Philly girl Grace Kelly (Princess Grace of Monaco), and an Olympic Rower) behind the Please Touch Museum.
Pretty big guy, wouldn’t have taken him for a pool guy. But one thing I’ve learned from the 100 Strangers project is you never know what someone’s story will be until they tell it.
So we chatted for awhile. As we chatted, I just knew he was going to help me close out my project. I told him about 100 Stranger and how I’d love for him to be my #100.
He said sure.
I shot a few frames, shook his hand and wished him luck with his car, and his move.
And just like that, my six-year project was over.
Now, I did take my time. I didn’t shoot just anyone I came across. And I did want them to have a good story. I wanted them all to be processed in B&W, and have the white frame.
It didn’t really feel like it took six years. But it did and now it’s over.
As I’ve said before, sometimes my courage ebbed and flowed in approaching people. Maybe the next project will be to shoot one person a week for 52 weeks. Or 10 people in an hour.
Time will tell.
(If you want to see a slideshow of all 100 Strangers I met, click here.)
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014