Evan (Stranger #12/100), NYC West Village

Evan works in a West Village hat shop and agreed to take five minutes out of a quick circuit around the block between shifts to become Stranger #12 in my 100 Strangers Project.

He’s a really engaging guy, and clearly massively talented. He’s a sculptor and artist as well as a fashion designer, living in Harlem having moved to NYC from St Louis. As we chatted about his work and art, his energy and enthusiasm came through as intense as the late afternoon sun lighting this shot.

Evan – thanks for taking the time to stop and chat on a cold day! I hugely enjoyed our encounter, and hope you like your image! Thank you for taking part in the project.

Regarding the light in this one, I went into the shot with the constant “move to the shade / find diffuse light” mantra churning round and round in my brain – but I chose to disregard it. The warmth and intensity of the end of day sun was just too tempting. I’d seen this shop window opposite the Magnolia Bakery and wanted to use it. I’d hoped it would reflect a bit of light back to the right side of his face, and Evan is holding my reflector just out of shot below his face. I know it’s not classic portrait light, and not the most flattering, but thought Evan had the looks and character to stand up to it and win!

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