Ambi - Stranger #1
December 5, 2016
He is my first stranger. My what, you ask? I've just started a new photography project. You may have heard of it: 100 Strangers. The premise is pretty simple. Take a portrait of 100 people that you've never met before. You have to actually talk to the person and ask their permission - no covert snapping. Ideally, you find out something about them too. If you'd like to learn more about the project, visit the 100 Strangers Flikr Group Page. You'll see this isn't an original idea - thousands of people are doing it.
You can keep up with my project by visiting the 100 Strangers Gallery on this website.
I noticed Ambi as I was walking to market early this morning to buy produce. He was standing near the entrance selling potted plants, and was standing next to someone I knew (a former co-worker of my husband). I loved his bright yellow shirt, kind face and highlands cap. I had brought my camera with me with the intention of finding my first portrait subject, and I decided right away that I wanted it to be him. After I had finished shopping, I stopped. I didn't want to take too much time, as I had my children with me, and one of them was sick and looked like she might throw up at any minute! I tried to explain my project as briefly as I could (in Tok Pisin) and asked if he would like to participate. He agreed. I found out that Ambi lives locally, but is not originally from the Aiyura valley, where we live. He is originally from the Siane language area, though he has lived among Tairora speakers since he was a young man. There are more than 825 different languages in this country, and language, or "tok ples" is a main thing that people use to identify themselves. I wish I had stayed to chat a bit longer, but a crowd was starting to gather, to see what was happening, and my child was still looking queasy, so I decided to wrap it up. I don't know if Ambi has internet access to see this photo, so I plan to print out a 4x6 and carry it with me next time I go to market, in hopes of seeing him again.
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