Today was the first day I went out and tested this little social experiment and website concept. It was surprisingly full of anxiety. I walked by at least 30 cool and diverse looking people in The 6, but didn't speak to a single soul... until I ran into Ted.
I was literally steps away from home when I spotted Ted. At that point I was feeling super defeated and down on myself. The voice in my head that loves to shit all over me was shooting on all cylinders. Every human that passed felt like a punch in my gut. Each missed opportunity made the next even more dreadful. It's like standing at the edge of a pool. The longer you stand there, the colder, deeper and more dangerous the jump seems.
In reality there really is nothing to be scared of. These people will forget me in seconds. The worst they can do is say "no" or "fuck off". Seriously, there nothing to fear except a fleeting moment of rejection from people I will likely never see again. Why do I care so much if strangers reject my offer to take their portraits.
Maybe there's a reason why there are only a few street portrait photographers, who specialize in strangers. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who feels these nerves. I am determined to hack this. My gut tells me being transparent with how I feel on this blog will be really helpful to the process. It will allow me to catch myself on my bullshit and sometimes saying things out loud (or typing them in this case) is a great way to see how ridiculous you are being.
Back to Ted. I did not have 6 questions ready for Ted, but I did have a nice conversation with him, that I have organize below.
Question 1: What's your name?
Answer 1: Ted
Question 2: Where were you born?
Answer 2: I was born in Toronto at the Women's College Hospital
Question 3: Where did you grow up?
Answer 3: I lived in Toronto and BC for most of my life.
Question 4: What was your favourite job?
Answer 4: I use to propel out of helicopters deep in the forests in BC. I was the guy they sent to cut down the trees in a hurry, so that the helicopters and firefighters had a landing pad in the mountains. I was so good at cutting trees, that I could hit a tree onto a bottle of beer over 100 feet away. I was that accurate.
Question 5: What are you doing for the rest of the day?
Answer 5: I'm going to the park down the street and going to drink some wine.
Question 6: How long have you been on the streets?
Answer 6: I've been on the streets for years. I got into a fight with a lady at the bank. She tried to bud in line and I called her a cunt. The bank closed my account, so I had no choice but to pan handle.