Bahar (Stranger #68/100), Stockholm

Alternative shot here.

I met Bahar in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan, wandering through the amazing old alleyways. Normally I have a background worked out and planned, but in this case seeing her amazing green scarf and the way it worked with the wild glow of the shuttered alleyway and her swirling hair, I decided to wing it. Fortunately, Bahar agreed to shoot and, enjoying a morning exploring Stockholm with no where particular to go, was generous enough with her time that we found something that worked.

Bahar was in Stockholm on a solo exploration of a city she’d long hoped to visit, attracted by the unique geography amongst other things. Sadly the batteries had died on a camera lent to her by her brother, so the trip was being documented with mobile phone and memory alone. Untroubled, she was clearly having a super time, however.

Back home in Holland she’s a psychology student working with the elderly. She noted how isolated people can become in their old age, as family become tired of them complaining. Sometimes an outsider can let them clear out minor annoyances, or overlook them, and engage in more positive, interesting, deeper conversations than they’d otherwise enjoy. It starts with giving them a chance to speak, and listening.

In terms of the photography, the shot is improvised at the usual f/3.2. I switched off the on camera flash and softbox, as I always do now when working with people wearing glasses – a very great number of my subjects I realise now. We’re working with two reflectors – a gold one in Bahar’s hands, and a smaller sunfire disc in my hands. The light in the Gamla Stan alleyways was consistently glorious, diffusing much stronger sun from several stories above.

Bahar – thank you so much for stopping. It’s awesome you like your picture; it’s always great to know what people think, so thank you too for following up by email.

This is portrait #68 of my 100 Strangers Project – check out the group page and get involved.

For contacts, please note I’m now back from two weeks in DC. Very busy, but catching up with everyone’s awesome work! Hope you’re all well!

Finally, I’m now live on Facebook;

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