Nikon images

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #35

We moved back to Kissimmee last September after spending nearly 10 years in Salt Lake City. Driving out of our new Kissimmee neighborhood one day, I noticed an individual standing in his front yard. Although I only saw the back of his head, there was a twinge of recognition. I started paying attention as I would pass that house on my trips in and out of the neighborhood, in hopes of seeing him again and getting a look at his face. I saw him a couple more times, but in neither instance did I see his face. Still, I had  a growing sense of certainty that the man I was catching glimpses of had been a favorite coworker during the many years I spent working for Disney in Information Technology. I hadn’t seen nor heard from Tom since I left Disney 15 years ago.

Then finally, as I was heading out one afternoon to work on this project, I got a clear look at him. Pulling the car over to the curb, I got out and called his name. There was a brief look of puzzlement upon his face as he looked at me. That expression turned to disbelief as he spoke, turning my name into a question. It was a fun and somewhat comical reunion; one in which it never occurred to me to grab my camera from the car.

Recently, as I was returning from a downtown photo shoot, I again found Tom in his front yard. This time, he was hard at work on a house painting project I would never want any part of. Thinking it would be merciful to get him away from his miserable chore, I pulled the car over to the curb once again. I didn’t get out this time. Instead, I called him over to the car, raised my D800 and shot him.

“Tom”, Nikon D800, ISO 1250, f/16 at 1/320 sec., 85 mm

Wow. Tom’s the 35th “face” in the on-going Faces of Kissimmee series! Over the time I’ve been dedicating my blog posts to this project, I’ve shot a lot of other photos – some of which I’d like to start sharing. I typically capture 2 or 3 of these street portraits per outing, because there are many days I don’t get the opportunity to go downtown to take photographs. Thus, I’ve been thinking to intersperse the Faces of Kissimmee posts with some other photographs just to break things up a bit and return to more regularly-spaced posting intervals. So, if you are really enjoying following this series as much as I’m enjoying doing it, don’t fret. I’m not abandoning the series; if it were a doughnut, I’d just be adding sprinkles. And you can always filter and view all images in the series using the “Faces of Kissimmee” tag.

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #34

Clarita is a nail technician who has worked for many years out of the space she occupies downtown at 205 Broadway, in the back of Butterfly Impressions Gifts. You may recall that Terry, the owner of that gift shop, was the subject of Faces of Kissimmee, #31.  When I approached Clarita asking to take her photo, she was in the midst of massaging a woman’s feet – part of a pedicure in progress. I was a bit tickled when she asked what I wanted her to do for the photo, but only because she was already doing it.

I learned Clarita has done my mother’s manicures for over 10 years and has built a loyal following of customers. I liked that she was so comfortable in front of the camera; so easily able to forget I was there and go about her work.

Thanks for the photo, Clarita.

 

“Clarita” [Click on image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 2500, f/4.0 at 1/200 sec., 85 mm

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #30

I recently discovered that my favorite place to have breakfast is Mrs. Mac’s Restaurant, located at 215 Broadway Avenue, in the heart of downtown Kissimmee. In business since 1945, it’s a very popular and dependable destination for a simple, home-cooked meal. It’s perhaps not the place you want to go if you’re concerned about calories and cholesterol, as these are standard components of the Southern-style menu. I’ve typically come here for lunch with my parents: an earlier post made note of the amazing homemade pies offered here (see Faces of Kissimmee, #7 if you missed my accolades for the oh-so-delicious lemon meringue).

Joyce is the owner of this family business and she rules the kitchen. One often sees her standing in the window that separates the kitchen from the diners, putting up food orders and ringing the bell to alert the ever-pleasant servers to come-and-get-it. Sometimes she’s there just surveying the goings-on and ensuring things are to her liking. Mrs. Mac’s is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM. Their Facebook page notes they are “…closed Saturday and Sunday so we may spend time with our families.”

Warned by staff that I’d never get a photo of Joyce by asking for one, I was instead reminded that “forgiveness is often easier to obtain than permission.” I sure hope she likes the photo; I’d hate to lose my access to those awesome pies.

“Joyce” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 800, f/2.8 at 1/45 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #29

I had been hoping to run into Charlie again for a few weeks now: I had a print of his portrait from “Faces of Kissimmee, #2” to give him that I had been carrying around in my backpack. When I saw him sitting and chatting with another man, I thought it might be a chance to capture a new street portrait, too.

Joshua was seated such that deep shadows were behind him, while the morning sunlight was striking his face. It was the perfect setup, and one I thought would allow me to really capture him in an accurate and telling way. Joshua granted my request to take his photo, so I quickly dropped to one knee and took the shot. I love it when things just naturally and effortlessly work out. I also realized that all three photos captured that day were of men whose names began with the letter “J”; an interesting coincidence.

“Joshua” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/3.3 at 1/8000 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #28

Getting Joseph’s street portrait took a bit of a different course than the others in this series, so far: Joseph stopped me rather than the other way around. He wanted to compliment me on my standard footwear: well-worn Converse All Star “Chuck Taylors”. My shoe-of-choice since the late 1970’s, there are currently six pairs in my closet, ranging from black to camouflage; hi-tops and lo-tops. I immediately noticed he had a kind face and a wonderful, natural sparkle in his eyes. Instantaneously, it became my goal to capture it to share with others.

Though he told me he didn’t have a computer and would probably never see my blog, Joseph was happy to let me take the photograph.

“Joseph” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/6.7 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #23

If I’m being completely honest, I must admit there was a bit of stalking involved in getting Rick’s picture. You see, I approached just as he was getting off his UPS truck with an armload of packages. I thought it doubtful he would pause long enough for a photo, unless he was empty-handed. So, I decided to just stand where I was and observe, looking for other possible opportunities to grab a shot until he returned to his truck. I didn’t have to wait but a minute or two.

True to UPS protocol, Rick was in a hurry, and told me so. But, he cooly took a 10-second pause in the shadows of his truck, allowing me to capture this photo. Thanks, Rick!

“Rick” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/2.0 at 1/2000 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #20

I was heading back to the car to go home when I spotted Mark sitting outside Quokka Coffee on Broadway. To be fair, it was Mark’s glasses that I noticed first; I thought the frames were really nice. I commented as I walked past him, “Cool glasses.” He replied with a big, bright smile. I got two steps further when an alarm went off in my head: “HEY! YOU MISSED A PHOTO OP! YOU MISSED A PHOTO OP! STOP!”

Heeding that alarm, I turned back and introduced myself and my “Faces of Kissimmee” project. Mark didn’t hesitate to grant me permission to take his photo. Cool glasses and a great smile, right?

"Mark B" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/3.3 at 1/4000 sec., 85 mm

“Mark B” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/3.3 at 1/4000 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #19

Charles and Samantha were sitting at an outdoor table at Joanie’s Diner. Samantha was in Charles’ lap, and they were sharing what appeared to be a glass of iced tea. Samantha occasionally lapped her portion from the bottom of a small take-out container that served as a bowl. It was obvious these two loved each other very much, and seeing them interact put a smile on my face. I couldn’t help myself; I had to interrupt them and ask for a photo. I was quite happy when they both agreed.

"Charles and Samantha" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/250 sec., 85 mm

“Charles and Samantha” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/250 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #9

Upon meeting Patrick at his Kissimmee Valley Farmers Market booth, I instantly admired him. Patrick is the mind, hands and heart behind “PJ’s Bracelets & Key Chains”. He donates the money he raises, selling bracelets and key chains he fashions by hand from colored cord and aluminum soda can tabs, for cancer research. He buys the soda can tabs by the pound from Ronald McDonald House – and pays double what they ask.

Patrick is no stranger to cancer; it has touched and continues to touch his family. Because we share that experience, I applaud the fact that Patrick has determined to do something to help others. It was clear from speaking with him that his creations are a labor of love and of healing. While his donations help fund research to heal others, I know his work is helping to heal him, too. If you’re in downtown Kissimmee on a Tuesday evening, be sure to stop by his booth at the Farmers Market and support what he’s doing.

God bless you, Patrick. It was an honor to meet you.

"Patrick" [Click image to view larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

“Patrick” [Click image to view larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #8

On Tuesday evenings from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, the Kissimmee Valley Farmers Market takes place downtown in front of the Civic Center. In addition to fresh grown and handmade goods, one can also get fresh information on other happenings in the area.

Kayla is a purveyor of local information. She is just the kind of person you want to encounter if you’re an out-of-towner looking for things to do that are more real and less derived than the area theme parks. She listened with interest as I explained my “Faces of Kissimmee” project. To my excitement, she said she’d seen some of the photos from the series I’ve already posted. And she liked them, too! I knew then she couldn’t say “no”, so I popped the question and clicked the shutter.

"Kayla" [Click image to enlarge/shrink size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f.1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

“Kayla” [Click image to enlarge/shrink size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f.1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

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