Project: 100 Strangers in 100 Days

It’s been a while…

Hello all! I know it’s been a while, please don’t judge me, yet.  I’ve been quite busy since the last time I posted and it’s been a good busy.  I’m still driving a truck, but like my earlier post, I’ve been scheduling shoots when we’re home.  Last month I was supposed to do 3, but due to the fuel shortage we had in the Dallas and Ft Worth area I had to cancel 2 of them.  Fortunately though I had one great shoot with an amazing young lady who is onto a great start in modeling.  Her name is Robin and she is an amazing gardener besides being a model.  I just have to share one of her photos with you, then I’ll move on to my new project. The above photo is one of my favorite ones from her shoot and I submitted it to a competition.

My Project: 100 strangers in 100 days

I got the idea of this project from one of the many photography facebook groups that I’m a part of.  One of the other members had started this project, I told my husband about it, and he thought it was a Great idea! This gives me the opportunity to get my camera out of the bag and out of the sleeper and put it to good use.  I’ve been thinking about doing something similar for a while, it’s just that seeing this other person do this, it gave me the push (with hubby’s insistence) that I needed to do this.

Not only does this get my camera out of the bag, it also gives me daily practice with it.  It helps me to understand my surroundings when taking the photo.  I’m learning how to shoot with different light and in different conditions.  It gets me to better pose people and better position them in the light or take them away from the light.  It shows me the mistakes I make and helps me to do a better job next time.  I hope this will make me a better photographer, if not, then I need to find something else I like to do besides eat.

The gear I’m using and why…

The camera I’m using on this project is my Nikon D5300 and my 35 mm f 1.8 lens.  I chose this camera because it’s my only DSLR, and the reason why I chose this lens was because it has a wide aperture that lets a lot of light in when I need it.  Plus, on my camera, which is a crop sensor camera, it acts like a 50 mm lens and doesn’t distort people like you would think.  I am not using a flash, that’s too much to carry around but I will take my reflector into places if I think I might need it, and have the kind subject hold it for me. I also take my little notebook to write down the subject’s name and some cool information about them and then I give them my card so they can get a hold of me if they want a copy of their photo.

It’s my 5th week and I’m still nervous…

My first day was about 5 weeks ago, and I was jumpy as a tick on a dog, but I got the shot. My first subject was Gerald, and I met him at the Little America truck stop, restaurant and hotel (great place to stay and visit, trucker or not).   He’s a retired trucker from Louisville, KY that now hauls RV’s across the country and enjoys doing it.  He’s is a salt of the earth type of guy, that can tell you some good stories about his journeys across this country.  He was a great sport and I’m so glad I’ve met him and heard his story.  One thing I need to tell you, when I take these photos I’m on my 30 minute mandatory break, and so are many of these folks, so I have to do this quickly as I can so I don’t “eat” up their time.  Many of these people are just as busy if not busier than I am, and I don’t want to infringe upon their kind generosity. I’m still nervous every time I ask someone to pose for me.  People say it get’s easier, but I’m not really sure about that.  I sure hope I stop getting nervous every time I ask someone to pose, maybe then it will get easier.

With Gerald’s photo I used the reflector, and it helped out a lot with the shadows from the poor lighting.  The lighting made everything yellow in the first photo, so I’m glad I used the reflector.

My second subject was Susan, she is a driver’s assistant at our truck terminal in Dallas, TX.  She is a kind person that will help anyone out at the drop of a hat! She is probably one of the first people I’ve met that was born and raised in Hawaii.  She eventually moved from there then went to California and then ended up in Texas.  Her husband used to be a truck driver, but now has an office job.

Susan, the face of our Dallas terminal

 

I did not use the reflector with Susan’s photo nor with any of the other’s photos and I wish I did.  It would help alleviate the darkness around the eyes.  This is something I’ve learned.

On my third day I came across a couple that were having lunch on the ground behind my trailer which was a nice spot of green shaded grass behind the Flying J truck stop in Kingman, AZ.  Their names were Terrence and Lynn and they’ve been married for 13 years.  I can see this couple being together for the rest of their lives! They were an amazingly loving couple, that was sitting down on the wet grass sharing a lunch.  They were so gracious to spend a bit of their lunch time to visit with me and let me take their photo.

And now for my last subject for this week (I haven’t taken a photo yet today, but will).  This kind gentleman is Rafael from Arizona and he’s a trucker, husband, father of 6 and grandfather of 10.  He hopes to retire soon so he can take his wife on a trip around the US.  This guy exuded hard work! He owns his trucks and a son also drives for him.  He usually hauls cars (something I know I’ll never do) but on this trip into California he was hauling a refrigerated van.  He is a very proud man that is looking forward to retiring and spending time with his family. Note: on this photo I wish I’d put him more in the shade or used the reflector as a scrim (a sort of way to block the harshness of the sun but not the light) in order to keep him from squinting, as I love capturing people’s eyes!

Rafael, proud father and grandfather.

 

80 more people and fewer days…

Yep, after today I’ll have 80 more to go, and less time to finish the project.  I’ve been slacking in my photos lately due to some sensitive loads that we just finished.  Now, I can’t wait to see what my last person will be or how it will be taken.  I hope by then I’ve worked out all of the “kinks” and know what I need to do and when, and my nervousness.  I hope I can light and pose people better at the end of this little project.  This is a learning project and if it doesn’t teach me anything, at least it will show me the beautiful people that make up this great country of ours!

Don’t forget to sign up for updates to this blog below, and yes, I’ll keep updating you on my progress with this project.  Remember to enjoy life, enjoy the day, and take lots of photos for the memories!

Danni Irene signing off!

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