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Charlie and Mr P

(45/100 Strangers) (602/365) "You ready to take a million dollar picture?" Charlie was a talker. "I don't know what I'm saying most of the time. I just say it." As I began taking pictures of this man sitting on the sidewalk, his buddy chimed in from a few feet away. "That's Mr. P." Charlie had him laughing the entire time, and seemed to have something to say to everyone who walked by. Women, men, even little kids. Charlie spends 6 days a week on W 7th Street, and Mr P works security for a building Mon-Fri. After his mother and father died, his sister took over their land, and unable to take it, he moved to New York from the South. "That was 40 years ago. I was mixed up with the wrong crowd, I guess." Charlie spent some time in prison, but "I'm not a child molester, I didn't hurt anyone, and I've never done any drugs. I never will. I am an alcoholic." He seemed to have his wits about him, and had a good spirit toward everyone. "I'm homeless, not helpless." The entire time, Charlie was kidding around, including this shot where he asked Mr. P to act like he was arresting Charlie. The biggest struggle for this shoot was chosing a shot to represent Charlie's personality. He made so many poses, and interacted with so many people. He gave me a good 30-40 shots before we ended. I have been using my 85mm, which forces me to move back from my subject to get the framing right. That has also offered some feels where I feel I'm backing away from my subjects, and sending the wrong message. As a result, my crops are often very tight.

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 1/250 sec
  • f/3.2
  • 85mm
  • ISO 1250
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