On the onset of thinking of this project I thought it would be simple and straight forward, I mean all I am doing is going out to ask 100 people if I can take their picture and tell me about themselves.. seems simple enough, right? I quickly found out that there is so much more to this than meets the eye. I mean, I need to be convincing of why someone needs to take time out of their day to reveal themselves to me, and no one is going to agree to this unless I am confident and clear of my mission. I mean these people didn’t even know me seconds before I approached them.
The other challenge I have is finding courage within me to reach out. How am I going to get the will power and confidence to go up to some stranger and introduce myself and my project? This is crazy and an unlikely feat to do with just one person, let alone 100 strangers off the street. Think about it, imagine yourself doing this right now and you may very well feel the same fear and reluctance creep in just like I did.
So who do I find for this project. Well, I need to find the “right” people. What I mean by this is that I am looking for people that catch my eye and look like they have a story to tell. I am not just grabbing some random person off the street, they need to have a special spark, something unique, something that sets them apart from the rest. This selection process becomes my own spiritual journey to find people that can reveal some truth about humanity. Is it biased? Well yeah, but heck, how can’t this whole selection thing be biased. But most everyone knows that, right? These are the rules I am using, and that I feel compelled to follow.
Some other points of note, maybe some would call a technical challenge, is that I am only using black & white film photography for this project, and mostly with my Leica M3 camera made in 1958. My preferred film of choice will be Kodak Tri-X 400 & Ilford HP5+ as they are my favorites to use for their look and feel. I do all of my own film development at home in my downstairs bar as I prefer to control the whole process as much as I can... and for the fun of it.
Ok, so I have some challenges ahead to contend with. I am finding I need to take this fear and break it down, one person at a time. I can do this, and the only way through it is one person at a time. Then, I need to hope and pray that I don’t stumble, stop or quit before I am completed. One person at a time!
Well so far I can tell you this. I was hoping to learn a little bit of something about each person along the way and make a portrait of them. All I can say is Wow... I am blown away so far. I am learning so much about each person I’ve met. No detail is too small. Another unexpected surprise is that I am learning tons about myself, more than I thought possible with this project. I am finding unexpected courage, regret, happiness, sadness, hope and fulfillment. Each person brings out different emotions and I am finding that sometimes my feelings are just empathetic and other times I just listen and try to hear and learn
Well now you hopefully know what this project is about. It's time to get into it and share what I’ve found when... “I met 100 People”.