1/100 Strangers: Simon

October 28, 2010

May I introduce the very first of my 100 strangers series: Mr. Simon Lebrón.

I would not have taken Simon’s photograph had my mother not dragged me back down the sidewalk to the spot where I presumed Mr. Lebrón was cooly awaiting a towncar. Earlier in the day, I’d told my mother about the strangers project I’ve been wanting to start but have been avoiding out of fear. As we passed this well-dressed gentleman standing on Milwaukee Avenue in Polish Village with a paper in his hand, I made mention of his sharp attire and commented that he would make a great subject for my one of my portraits. My mother promptly turned around, approached him, and asked if I could take his picture.

And I did, after which I quickly slid away. I like to think that this was a very important man on his way to a very important meeting. My mother believes he was simply on his way for a coffee.

This is a flawed portrait. It was rushed, and harsh sunlight cast shadows across his face. However, each time I look at it, it speaks to me. I see my perspective peeking out from behind this man, and I am thankful that he allowed me to capture his spirit on film. It is a completely unique experience, approaching strangers in public and photographing them. I am pleased with the portrait I was able to capture and present here.

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