Khalid (Stranger #84/100), London

Street Portait

One of the advantages of being London based is the great community of fellow photographers. I met Khalid then on a third outing with Arnab, who helped a great deal in creating this shot.

Seeing a potential “stranger of interest” (SOI) we set up quickly in a little recessed doorway where a silvery, textured wall offered some interest. Having set up a white shoot through umbrella (camera right, 45* up/side, Canon 600-EX-RT at 1/16) I shot a few test images with Arnab standing in. Things looked a little bright on his skin, so I stripped off my main reflector and agreed he would hold it over the stranger as a diffuser.

Returning to the SOI, however, something didn’t feel quite right about her for the background I’d now composed. So I wandered back to base, and set about finding a new subject.

It was ten minutes or so before before Khalid and a female companion came up the street. He had a sleek assurance to his gait and a hint of the Thierry Henry poise to his features, so in I jumped to explain the project.

Though laden with bags from a Birthday shopping expedition for his mother, and en route to an afternoon tea, he kindly agreed to take part. He held a reflector, whilst Arnab held the giant diffuser over him. A few shots in, I roped in his companion who gamely agreed to hold another reflector camera left, create in effect a giant lightbox. I’d accidentally left a spare 600EX-RT on at Khalid’s feet facing upward along the wall behind him, adding an extra pop of light at 1/32.

Khalid works in brand marketing, cheerfully admitting he likes consulting, giving advice and being listened to – but he shared this with a neat, self aware smile that spoke to a well rounded soul. Every bit as cool as he looked as he’d approached, he held the camera’s attention with some intense stares, and we shook hands.

Khalid – many thanks for stopping, and I hope your afternoon cup of tea lived up to billing. Hope you like your portrait!

This is portrait #84 of my 100 Strangers Project – check out the group page and get involved.

Apologies for my slow catch ups at the moment… I’ve been enjoying some intense travel with work, which has kept me away from consistent Flickr access. When I can get on the mobile app, I’ve been using that, but at an inevitably slower pace than a proper catch up session on the desktop.

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