Maija & 2. Vanessa



The most unnerving thing about starting something new is well... starting!

I had been doing hours and hours of research on starting the 100 Strangers Photography Projectthis weekend. There are several photographers across the globe who are participating, which is very cool. Almost all of them have or have had one thing in common -- the fear of approaching your first stranger.

I decided this morning after sorting out some of my goals for this week to get out and get started on my project. This afternoon, I headed Downtown Greenville, NC to one of my favorite alleys to find someone interesting to shoot. After all of the researching I had done this weekend and reading all of the feedback from others who started, I thought I had this in the bag. I thought I left my nerves at home -- I couldn't have been any more wrong.

I sat in my car for about two hours before I gathered the courage to just walk around.

I finally found the courage to start walking. I took a deep breath, grabbed my camera and headed out towards Fifth Street. I walked, made eye contact with a few people -- even ones I was interested in photographing -- as I was ready to ask and the words were about to spew out, all the courage I built up had exited and I just kept walking. This continued for about an hour until I got too hot -- it was warm out -- and decided to get back in the car to cool off.

After about 15 minutes, I was out again enjoying the scenery. After walking around for about 30 minutes I decided to call it a day and headed back for the car. Just as I started the ignition and was about to pull out, I spotted Maya and her friend Vanessa leaving the Tipsy Teapot -- I think. I told myself it was now or never. As they were walking past my car I finally let it out...

"Excuse me, I'm doing a photography project called 100 Strangers, would you be so kind to allow me to meet and photograph you?"

I'm pretty sure my words were a mumbled mess, but that is what I intended to say. Everything inside me was racing so fast, I'm sure I messed that up along the way. They seemed a bit hesitant at first but replied, almost in unison with a...


I couldn't believe it.

Was it really that simple?

They were super nice and eager to have their portraits taken.

I had this whole elaborate interview planned out to find out more information about the two of them but completely forgot because I was so nervous. Today was nice so from what I can gather, the two of them were just out enjoying the beautiful weather. I wish I had asked more questions to get to know more about them as that's the foundation for this project, but this was the first day. Hopefully they will be able to find their portraits and let me know a bit more about them. The whole project is about "learning by doing" and getting me out of my comfort zone. I think I did well for the first day.

Thank you Maya and Vanessa for allowing me to capture your portraits and for being incredibly nice!