18 November 2009
joan from chicago was the last stranger I photographed before I flaked out. see, I thought the project would get easier with time. it has not. the truth is that it got harder and harder until I just couldn't do it anymore. yeah, I bailed. I don't know what happened but a different kind of fear took hold and that's when I ran for the proverbial hills. which is funny since fear was the impetus for the project in the first place.
it was seven months before I was able to talk myself off the ledge. we were downtown seattle way back in february when things started to change. the lighting was all wrong and the timing was strange but I saw this teenager and all I could think about was how much I wanted to photograph him. and that's what I did. I walked up to him, told him what I was doing and that was that. I have no idea where the courage came from. I think maybe I was just tired of being afraid. exhausted, actually. it's exhausting work, fear. it will run you ragged if you let it.
so I eased my way back into the project slowly. a few weeks later, I found myself in a tiny thrift shop in south texas. which is where I met stranger #17.
and then a few weeks later, st. louis and stranger #18.
stranger #19 was oscar. oscar of car lot balloon fame.
in august, I photographed stranger #20. the famous olga from illinois. olga of olga's house of stuff.
and most recently, new york city and stranger #21. better known as sevare, the girl with the electric smile.
at this pace, it will take me years cross number 25 off the list. but that's okay. because I'm not really in any major rush, not anymore. I just want to crack things open a little. even if it takes a couple of years. even if it takes forever.