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100 Strangers Project #73 Shane Philips

While strolling around my local downtown, i fancied a lovely latte at the coffee shop Planet Bean. It just so happens that Planet Bean was selling my mugs and the mugs of two other local potters. I thought I might catch a photo of the promo poster outside. Sitting quite close to the window was this lovely photogenic man. I strode forward and asked him if he wouldn’t mind if I took his portrait for the 100 Strangers Project. He said he was fine with it as long as I didn’t spell his name incorrectly. You can’t see the t-shirt that he had on under his jacket, but it had his name promoting his music. Apparently, the t-shirt company misspelt his name by adding an extra l to Phillips. So he ended up with some free t-shirts. I asked Shane his style of music and described it as having social policital lyrics. He was soon to leave for a three week tour across the US, one of the highlights for him being playing the San Francisco Folk Festival. I was very impressed. I checked out some his music on the u-tube and his voice is just amazing! For fun, I asked Shane to guess which of the mugs from the poster was mine. He laughed and said that he would have to use his special ‘pyschic’ powers…he guessed the right one! Shane was a super nice guy and really has a lovely voice. I hope you will check him out at www.shanephilips.com Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at www.100Strangers.com

100 Strangers Project #72 Claudio

For the past couple of years I have started to photograph my son getting his haircut at the same local barbershop. I take the same model of camera and the guys are always happy to have me shoot away while they work. I think they are impressed that the old Yash-Mat still works and that I can take some decent photos with it. As a thank you, I always make a nice wet darkroom print for each of my subjects.
Over the years we never had a haircut from Claudio. It was the end of the day and he said he would get to us if we didn’t mind waiting. My son was adament that he get the TinTin cut that day and that we weren’t to leave until it was done. Claudio’s dad started this barbershop a loonnnngggg time ago.
Claudio has been a barber for 17 years learning the craft from his Dad. I asked Claudio what his favourite thing about his profession was and he replied that meeting the people made it all worth it. Like me, we realize that everybody has a story or something interesting to say and we like to listen. He did a swell job on my kid’s request and was very patient while I snapped away. This picture is #72 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at www.100Strangers.com

After standing in the cold for a few hours, chatting and taking photos, I could not handle the freezing cold anymore! I had packed up and was headed to the library to warm up. Then I saw one of the players from the game I had just been taking pictures of. He appeared to be a friendly soul and agreed to participate in my project. Having put the light-leaky Holga away, I brought out the trusty Yashica twin lens to take his portrait.

This is Jeremy. A ten year volunteer Hillside Festival veteran. He first started with Kate in the food area and then worked with a friend of mine, Mark Yanchus, site director. Now Jeremy works on the security detail for the week before the festival in July. He also mentioned that he will be getting married this summer out on the island where Hillside is held. I guess you might have noticed how passionate most of the volunteers are for this great festival.

I asked him what his profession was and learned he is a gas fitter (always good to know) and moonlights as a woodworker. He makes bowls and rattles (I was trying to entice him to do my art/craft show, in December). Jeremy lives outside of Guelph and is newish to the city. He told me he likes the community and finds the people ‘interesting’ (oh yes we are!).
I hope he is happy with the great result on his portrait. I will look forward to knowing somebody ‘new’ at this summer’s Hillside!

This picture is #70 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at www.100Strangers.com

I now realize that by taking photos of strangers while wearing a big old camera, makes one rather conspicuous. In addition, I have a bit of a reputation for taking these portraits. So it was almost too easy to get Matty to pose for me because he knows some of my ‘strangers’. Turns out Matt was also volunteering at the ball hockey tournament and is a long time Hillside Festival summer volunteer. Seven years with the summer festival and four years with the Hillside Inside.

I asked him if I would have seen him around the summer festival and he mentioned that it was him who always wears the paper mache sun head. That makes sense now! I had always wondered who that was…..this is Matty P Sunshine!!! It’s nice to know that even though 1,000′s of people attend the Hillside Festival, there are lots and lots of lovely, fun people who make it such a treat.

This picture is #69 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at www.100Strangers.com



100 Strangers Project #68 Joe, originally uploaded by BunnySafari.

Light leak HORRORS!!! This is what happens when I take the mask out of the Holga and think “Light leaks? What light leaks?” Note to self; do not take the mask out of camera when you plan on shooting people…… Or maybe I could say that Joe has a magical aura about him. That’s the ticket!!

Standing in the cold for nearly two hours gave me plenty of time to find some strangers. This is Joe Fortin who was volunteering his time to help out at the ball hockey tournament for Hillside Inside. Joe was 7 years old when he attended his first Hillside Festival at Riverside Park, which was the second year for Hillside. His parents were involved in the festival. Joe ha volunteered with the festival for 2 years and has worked in the ‘Comfort Crew’. I think that is where he helps the performers with any issues that they may have.

I think I will have to do a re-shoot of Joe. Mask in the Holga and perhaps when it isn’t minus 15 outside! So Joe, if you see me out and about, make sure I photograph you again!! Thanks for being a good sport!

This picture is #68 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at www.100Strangers.com

I haven’t forgotten about the 100 Strangers Project…just put it on the back burner. I was invited by some of the Hillside Inside crew to come and photograph their street hockey tournament this past Saturday. Hillside folks are always nice people and I thought it would be a good excuse to make some more numbers to finish this project. The only drawback was how COLD it was outside!!! I persevered regardless……

Here, I present the lovely Jessie. A longtime Hillside Festival organizer and supporter. She was off to catch some live music held in the window of a gallery just down the road. Jessie paused long enough for me to pull my hands of out my warm mitts to push the shutter, then write down her details. Notice how brave she was not wearing mitts! I asked her if there was anything special I should know about her. She confessed to liking cats and I asked if she was a ‘crazy cat lady’. “Not yet!”

This picture is #67 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at www.100Strangers.com

Living On the Edge

Living On the Edge

Way back in the summer, when it was HOT and sunny, I shot a roll of film on my trusty old Canon AE-1 camera. Recently, I had time to finally develop the roll of film since my pottery studio is too cold to work in. The roll was full of pictures of boys fishing, making silly faces and Pee Wee Herman. Yes, we brought Pee Wee along for shits and giggles. I had totally forgotten about his ‘photo shoot’ and love how they turned out. One of our house guests made a delicious fruit & meat platter for us to enjoy on the dock and after a few pints, Pee Wee ended up in the platter. Why? Why not! It was great fun and very, very silly. Isn’t that what hanging at the cottage, dockside is all about?

So, until the weather warms up to around -5, working with clay is a no go. Downgrading to a smaller wood stove seemed like such a clever idea at the time. That was in September, before the arrival of winter and the ‘polar vortex’. Such is life!

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