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The heat wave had finally broken, and compared to the previous few weeks, it felt quite chilly. As I walked slowly along, the pedestrian mall was noticeably emptier. The few people who were out seemed to be rushing to their lunch appointments, and even the tourists were scarce. Arriving at a plaza, I noticed a woman with a streak of red hair sitting alone at a small outdoor cafe table. I wanted to approach but for some reason I paused, walked by, then circled back around. As I stood looking at a fountain, I could see her out of the corner of my eye; she looked peaceful, obviously enjoying the respite from her labours. Finally putting my reservations aside, I went over to speak with her. She quickly gave me a warm welcoming smile and invited me to sit with her.
This is Justine. She’s an apprentice electrician. I was pleased to find another woman in the trades, telling her about my encounter with Cara (081), and that I had been an electrical apprentice at one point. As we talked, I discovered Justine is also an artist; her medium of choice is canvas and paint. She told me she has been painting the seasons of Calgary as a way to adjust to being here on her own. We had a great conversation about creativity and life when she suddenly paused and said to me, “I am so glad that you stopped to talk.” As I have mentioned before, these are the type of comments that have made this project so rewarding: the moments that I know in some small way I brightened someone’s day.
100 StrangersStreet Portraiture45mmAlbertaCalgaryEM1OlympusPortraitPortraitureStreetYYCbokehdowntownmarkreiersonpublicquot