Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30th Photo Shooting

First couple of the day! They remain nameless at the moment because I didn't ask them


After some positive encouragements from friends about the blog, I decided to go out again today. This time I went back to the area between Dunhua Nan road (section 1) and Zhongxiao East Road. The weather was great today, blue skies and a big hot sun.

Smily Vicky and her mysterious friend.

The sun brought out a lot of couples, smiles and good moods, so it was fairly easy to persuade people to have their photos taken today.

I meet a sweet couple first but as I was too keen to get started I didn't get around to asking their names. It would be great if you can tell me.

Hip couple, Sky and Lin

After that, I met Vicky and the girl with no name. They were meeting their boyfriends (I guess they're your boyfriends, yeah?), who were waiting for them on scooters.

I ran into Sky and Lin, then Ken, but didn't have chance to find out much about them.

Then I met a worker from Vicious Circle but he didn't want his photo taken as he was working, which I thought was very un-punk of him. Still, he had time to tell me that something was happening tonight at Vicious Circle and there'll be plenty of people to take photos of. It kicks off at 8 ish, if anyone is interested.

John's personality certainly matched today's weather, sunny and lively. He's from Hong Kong but is often in Taipei buying computer components.

John is over from Hong Kong on business. He was with his girlfriend but she didn't want to be photographed. He said that he's often in Taipei buying computer parts. He seemed in his element today with the good weather.

This is Ken. He likes music, what type I don't as my Chinese wasn't good enough to find out.

This is Ju. He owns Classic, a designer clothes shop. He also designs clothes. I think he also DJs

Ju is the owner of Classic, a designer clothes shop on Dunhua Nan Road, section 1, 187 alley, no 63. He also designs clothes and I think he DJs, I'm not sure because we were talking in Chinese. Next month, there'll be a party at Huashan were he will be DJing. When I took his photo, he seemed a little nervous but he's actually very different when you talk with him. He's much more out going and chatty.

Playful Shu Hwa and Ken Tzu (sounds like Gen). Shu Hwa has the best type of camera - a Canon

Shuhwa and Kentzu (Gencu - Pinyin?) were shopping. Shuhwa was a natural in front of the camera and played around alot. They complimented my Chinese, which was very kind of them.

Thanks everyone for your time today. It was a great day for meeting strangers. Take care and perhaps we'll meet again sometime in the future



Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29th Second Photo Session

Hucker is great, he understands my Chinese. He's also an electrical technician at Eslite

Good Evening Taipei!!!

Welcome to the second day of photos for 100 Strangers. Today, I met 11 well dressed new 'strangers' around Taipei City Hall and 101 areas. I learned a bit more about Taiwanese culture as well as sharing some cool moments together.

The wonderfully named 'Weekend'. He's a air con engineer at Eslite

I met Hucker, Weekend and Chang first. They were burning golden money for Digong, the land God. He owns the land that Eslite is built on and they burn money for him twice a month.

I asked Chang "If you don't burn money will Digong get angry"
Chang said "No, the gods are nice. I burn money because it makes my heart feel good."

The handsome Mr Chang, who works as an electrical technician at Eslite.

Chang and Weekend also explained to me about silver money. I thought this was only for the family but they said that burning silver money is not only for the family but for all ghosts (people who have died and are buried, I think).

My girlfriend used to get angry with me because whenever I saw people at temples burning money, I said that they were burning ghost money but she would always correct me and say that it's for the gods. So thanks to Chang, Weekend and Hucker, I now know a little more about burning money.

Business woman, near 101. We only spoke in Chinese, so it was a bit confusing

After that, I wandered up to Taipei 101. I briefly met a business woman, I took her photo but I didn't get her name. Then I met Vivian and Janin, who are from Hong Kong. They were loaded down with shopping bags, yet they were both in high spirits. When they said they weren't from here, I expected them to say they were from America because of their Engish.

Janin and Vivian are from Hong Kong. Today they shopped and they looked very happy for that. They both speak excellent English

Wayne and his 'gift' from me. Wayne is a student fashion designer and likes to design clothes for men. He's also has excellent English and is very chatty

After, I went back to Eslite and met Wayne, River and Odin. Wayne did most of the talking. He's a fashion designer and is a lucky boy as he's going to Milan this summer for a whole month.

This is 'Odin', looking very handsome and strong. He's a business student and works in Eslite too

Wayne, it'll be great if you could add a link to your fashion work. He showed me his ideas book, which had some very well sketched models wearing glamorous clothes. He told me that most of his designs are for men.

This is River (great name!!), looking cute. She is a business student and she works on B1 floor at Eslite

Finally, I met Nicola. This time I had to use my Chinese, which was good enough for Nicola to understand. She then took me to the shop she works for and introduced me to her friend/colleague.

Smiling Nicola, outside Eslite, she works at a jewellery store on the ground floor of Eslite

Nicola and friend (name?) working at a shop in Eslite

So that was the second day and I've now meet 19 new people all together. I found it easier to meet groups of twos and threes this time.

It was really good, once I've got my guts together and went up to people. My Chinese is still not good enough to find out much about people and I'd like to work on that.

Time to go. Perhaps, we'll meet again. Actually, the people working at Eslite, it's more than probable as I go there quite often.

Thanks again everyone!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21st First Day of Photos

100 Strangers to Friends has finally started and a huge thanks to the eight charming 'strangers' who let me take their photos today.

Mandy's Number One - the first ever 'stranger' in this project

I went down to the area by Zhongxiao Dong Road and Dunhua Road. The people here were certainly well dressed and trendy. I love this area as the shops remind me of London.

Richie and Friend - originally Richie didn't feel ready for the camera but he was much better dressed then me.

Thanks to those who put up with my Chinese and thanks to those who realise their English is much better than my Chinese. I had fun and I hope you enjoyed the moment too.

I was nervous and a bit shy but I should've known better. Taiwanese are almost always very helpful and open.

Erin and Kai managed to identify that I'm from the UK. I thought I'd lost my British accent. Kai, do you play guitar in a band?

Strangely enough, I talked most to someone I didn't take a photo of, though he took a photo of me. This guy works for Channel 95 (channel V) and was co-ordinating an on location shoot. It seemed a lot to organise and I wasn't sure what they were shooting, though they had lots of models with them. This guy loved languages, he already knowns English, Japanese and now he's learning Korean.

This is a model for channel 95 (or channel V)

Girl who was waiting for her friend

This was the first day and I know I could've done things better. Like, I don't know the names of everyone I met today. I'll do better next time.

Friend of the girl above

I hope you enjoyed the gifts. I hope in the future that as the project develops, the gifts will get bigger. I also want to add an event, so that I'll be able to give people a printout of their picture. I thinking about how to do this at the moment. Any suggestions are welcome.


Saturday, April 10, 2010


A Stranger that made me think - You is he? How does he live his live? Are we different?

This is a new blog to go hand in hand with a new project in my photography.
The aims are lofty, as with any good project, and the project is intended to break new grounds for me.


To use photography as a tool to meet new people and find out a bit about their lives. Initially, it will be about meeting people but ultimately I want it to be a tool to generate shared experiences with random people that I meet. It could be parties, free gifts, generating songs, promoting things and special events. For the people involved, me, supporters and ‘strangers’, I wanted it to be a thoroughly enjoyable and unique experience.

They are lofty aims indeed. I won’t go into detail about how and what the project is at the moment. I think it’s best to get started and go from there. At first, it’ll be small things like meeting people, taking their picture and learning a little about them. In the near future, I will organize some events that aim to change strangers to friends.