4. Otis | 100 Strangers Project

After the success of finding Plaid Sunglasses, I decided to head over to Barnes and Nobles to sit outside and write about her on my blog. Since my goal is to find at least one new face per day, my eyes were now closed to finding others.

I brought along my macbook, camera, phone and keys as I strolled over to one of my favorite seats outside of the store. I logged into their B&N wifi, checked Facebook for a few moments, headed over to blogger and started writing.

Almost as soon as I was finished typing the post title, out of the cafe of Barnes and Noble walks a guy decked in a Tar Heels t-shirt, athletic shorts and sneakers. His energy radiated through the air as a swift as a bird mid-flight. You could literally feel his energy. He takes a seat on the other side of the table  where I was sitting and begins taking off his shoes and socks.

Needless to say, this was extremely odd to me. I was captivated and knew he would be my next stranger. He was Otis.

Since I was in the middle of writing a blog post, I decided against asking for the moment and made up my mind that if he were there when I published my post that I would ask for his portrait. Almost a few seconds later Otis gets up -- on bare feet, socks and shoes in hand -- and walks away. I thought I had missed my chance.

Fifteen minutes later, Otis returns and sits outside close to the door of B&N -- his energy just as radiant as ever. He seemed so jovial as he greeted each person walking by with a smile, a hello and a slight giggle -- which at first, I found odd. By this time I had just hit "publish" on the piece I was working on. I was a bit reluctant about approaching him for his portrait for some reason, but I had to know his story. I could not miss this opportunity again.

When I asked, Otis was a bit reluctant at first but happily obliged when I told him that I was a photographer and allowed him to see some of my work. He was impressed and quickly positioned himself in his chair where I shot three quick frames of him. The sun was fully blasing so luckily we were under an awning where there was nice even light.  He even moved some of his things to clear the frame.

Otis was born and raised in Greenville, NC where he attended DH Conley High School and graduated in 1986. We discussed his love for sports and how he had dreams of playing football and basketball in high school. I shared that I'm a recent graduate of ECU with a degree in math, he shared that he was currently attending Pitt Community College and majoring in Automotive Service Technology.

We went back and forth about so many things in the ten minutes of conversation. One of the things that I enjoy about people is feeding off of their conversation, especially those things that they are passionate about. It was a pleasure to meet you Otis. Good luck on your degree and thank you for sharing your time with me and allowing me to take your portrait. It's so refreshing to meet someone with such a light and energetic soul. Although my eyes were closed to finding new faces, my spirit wasn't.
Thank you for visiting the Blog at Bryant Tyson Photography! If you'd like to book a session or find out more information, email me at info@btphotographyonline.com or visit www.memoriesbybryant.com.
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