Martyna (Stranger #74/100), London

Out and about with a colleague who is considering starting a 100 Strangers Project of her own (go for it Jennifer!), we had a wonderful location scouted and test shot.

There’s a dense forest of steel pillars amongst offices just north of Great Portland Street station, yet getting there late it seemed we’d missed all the subjects. The only people were in a couple of after work bars. Unwilling to walk away from a great background, I decided to go “Australian” and head into a bar to find someone to complete the shot.

I got as far as the door.

Coming out as I was about to head in was Martina, a fantastically bright Polish ex-pat, working in London as an SEO consultant, and very happy to help.

We snaked through the steel forest of pillars, using a softbox and the sculpture’s floor lights, and shot away.

Martina’s amazing red coat had been one of the things that had first caught my eye. It’s a thin one, she noted, not adequate for a Polish winter, near Krakow where she originates from. Did she miss the snow, I wondered, as I certainly would coming to a drab London winter when I was used to sparkling white ones. No, she explained, with the pragmatic outlook who knew it far better than I – it’s ghastly when it melts.

What strikes me now, is that having immediately stopped Martina based on her red coat and chic spectacles, neither really featured as we shot – I didn’t even realise she’d taken her glasses off! She had an incredible poise and confidence, in chatting and in front of the camera.

Martina – thanks so much for taken the time to chat and shoot in the cold. Hope you like your portrait! Dziękuję!

This is portrait #74 of my 100 Strangers Project – check out the group page and get involved.

Also, I’m now live on Facebook; www.facebook.com/Flatworldsedge.

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