Marcus (Stranger #40/100), Buckinghamshire Black Park

On Mother’s Day we went to check out Buckinghamshire’s Black Park. Having got some nice shots of Jessica, I thought I’d see if I could find stranger #40, whilst she explored the adventure playground. It was full of children, and wandering around with a reflector and softbox was getting me odd looks.

Just outside the playground was a soft slope down to a gate by the lake. With the cold winter blur of forest reflected in water, and a handful of pillar-like trees, it looked like a decent backdrop.

Seeing Marcus chatting with his father, I was struck by his strikingly chic hair and boldly coloured, casual top. He had a sort of “Richard Gere does Cowes Week” look to him. He kindly agreed to the short walk back to the location I had scouted moments before.

The walk back made me think of another advantage in having a nearby location, and not shooting right where you introduce yourself. The walk allows for a natural chat along the way, which can feel forced when you stop someone dead in the street.

Marcus was out for Mother’s Day,with two daughters and his parents. This was my first visit to Black Park, and he filled me in on how it had changed since he first came back in the 1970’s. It was much more basic then, just woodland – “rough and ready”. You could swim in the lake, and there was no playground or cafe like today. Would he turn the clock back?, I asked. Yes. In fact, he suggested another park nearby that retained some of the rawer woodland. Somewhere to check out in the future.

Thank you Marcus for stopping and chatting; you’re a gentleman! Hope you like your portrait!

This is portrait #40 of my 100 Strangers Project – check out the group page and get involved.

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