100 Strangers - Mark Reierson
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099.100 Mary

099.100 Mary

I was down to my final two Strangers, and for the previous ten days I’d wandered the streets, trying to decide on the ideal way to end my project: what type of person could I find that would be a fitting close to this fantastic experience? I let hundreds, if not thousands, of people on the street flow past me like water, ever scanning, never finding. My spirit was not settled and I struggled with approaching anyone, hesitant to take the final steps of this particular journey.

I texted Scott to join me for a walk. We were both feeling a bit down, but as we walked the bright sunshine burned off the haze in our minds and lifted our moods. We wandered for a long time before I saw someone who I thought was interesting enough to photograph, but she was on the phone. I watched her for a bit to see if an opportunity would arise, and in the meantime, another woman caught my eye. It was not just her look that stood out this time, but I got the sense that she would be open to a conversation. I didn’t notice it a first, but she also had a camera slung around her neck, which gave me an easy point of connection to break the ice.

This is Mary. She’s a journalism student and told me she was out looking for a stranger to photograph and ask some questions for an assignment. I had to laugh when I heard that and told her of my project. She was very happy to participate and I returned the favour by posing for her project as well: a first for me! I can’t help thinking that I ended up with the more photogenic subject, though. The whole encounter seemed to bring my experiences full-circle, so I was very glad to have met Mary at the tail-end of my project.