Have you heard about the 100 Strangers Project? Similar to the 365 or 52 photo challenges, the 100 Strangers Project has spread throughout the internets as a means of pushing photographers out of their comfort zones and into shooting more. I’ve never done 365 or 52 (which correspond with days or weeks of the year) because I know I would procrastinate and get off my schedule. I also don’t usually participate in these things because I’m too much of a nonconformist to identify with an already-popular movement. Slowly, I started thinking about the 100 Strangers Project and how it is nearly everything that I could hope for my photography to be (especially with the trip I’ll be going on this year– more info to come soon if you haven’t already heard).
Here is my first stranger. Melody is no longer a stranger to me, I really think it was this project that brought us together. When I asked her if I could photograph her I think that it was only my third time briefly meeting her. Melody had previously mentioned that she works with Eighth Day Farm so I asked her if she wanted to do her photos there. Eight Day Farm is a super cool urban farm that acts as an educational center and CSA here in my college town. I met Melody at the farm a little after dawn the next week and she gave me a tour and explained the philosophy behind her work there. The more I listened to Melody, the more I admired her. Since that day that I photographed her, Melody and I have spent even more time together. With her wonderful way with words and my attempts to tell stories through pictures, Melody and I even collaborated on a piece about the farm. Stay tuned for that and much more exciting news in the weeks to come!
As I add to my 100 Strangers Project I hope to make many more friends like Melody. I don’t think any will ever top the friendship I’ve built with Melody, but I can only hope. And if I do make it to 100 I certainly won’t stop there either. If my interaction with Melody is an indication, I think I may have found my gift for building friendships through photography.