street portraits

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #24

Tito was tending to the landscaping at what I will forever think of as “the old First Federal Savings & Loan building”, downtown. This structure will always make me recall the 1960’s and occasional trips here on Saturday afternoons. For my father, these trips meant tending to some undone VP job task. For my siblings and me, they meant an opportunity to raid the sourball candy jar, the Charles’ Chips cans, and the complimentary Nehi orange soda available from the employee lounge. If we behaved – or successfully pretended to, we would sometimes be permitted to play on one of the IBM Selectric typewriters that adorned the desk of every secretary, nka “administrative assistant”. Its interchangeable fonts and ball heads used to fascinate me: just how did it know precisely how far it had to turn to strike the correct letter against the page? But I digress…

It was about 9:30 AM. Tito was amongst some shrubbery, swiftly removing any weeds or debris from around them. I liked his hat; I can’t wear hats, as it is my opinion that I pretty much look rediculous in them. I asked for permission to take his photo. Without saying a word in response, Tito stood up straight and gave me a broad smile. I took the shot.

“Tito” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/2.4 at 1/2000 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, #22

Friends have asked me how I go about approaching perfect strangers on the street and asking to take their photograph. It’s really pretty simple, once you learn to be truly observant.

I first spotted Lori with her City of Kissimmee crew members. They were standing together on the street corner in front of 3 Sisters Speakeasy, talking. As I walked up the opposite side of the street, I looked on as Lori demonstrated a personality that appeared outgoing and enthusiastic; included a good sense of humor; seemed easily approachable. Eureka! That usually works. As if on cue, she left the rest of the crew and began to cross the street toward me. I quickly calculated that our distance and speed would cause our paths to intersect.

“Good morning.”
“Hi. How are you today?”
“That all depends on how you answer a question…”

As you can see, Lori’s answer was, “Yes.”

“Lori” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/3.3 at 1/2000 sec., 85 mm

By the way, Lori works with Paul, who was featured in Faces of Kissimmee, #13.

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #21

16 East Dakin Avenue in downtown Kissimmee is an address you should make note of. There, you will find Savion’s Place, and you don’t want to miss this restaurant. The intimate surroundings and top-notch service create the perfect setting for the fresh and delicious food you will experience here, prepared by Chef Pouchon Savion.

Prior to opening Savion’s place in September of 2012, Chef Pouchon was Executive Chef at The Cheesecake Factory, Brio Tuscan Grille, and Seasons 52. Their website says Chef Pouchon was born in Haiti and raised in South Florida by a single mother. She instilled and nurtured his love for cooking, and we are fortunate here in Kissimmee to be beneficiaries of his experience and education.

Savion’s Place was the site of our Mother’s Day lunch last Sunday afternoon, and we were all delighted with the experience. At my own risk, I share with you that when it comes to restaurants, my mother is opinionated and difficult to please. I grew anxious when she told our server she had a message for the chef. Anxiety became elation when that message was, “…best I’ve ever had!” My nephew, Jared, devoured the lobster mac ‘n cheese; my sister inhaled the jambalaya; and four of us were extremely pleased with our choice of the grilled salmon – I got mine blackened. The sweet potato mash is over-the-top delicious, and by no means should you skip dessert.

As we finished our incredible meal and readied to leave the restaurant, I had the opportunity to approach Chef Pouchon and ask about taking a photo for my Faces of Kissimmee project. He graciously agreed.

"Chef Pouchon Savion" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/125 sec., 85 mm

“Chef Pouchon Savion” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/125 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, #17

At 319 Broadway in downtown Kissimmee, Florida, is Sittin Pretty Professional Dog Grooming. They have been at this location for 13 years. Brenda and Bradley were each busy grooming dogs when I walked in the door and introduced myself. I went into my now-routine spiel about the “Faces of Kissimmee” project and my hope to capture a photo. Or two.

The morning had gotten off to a slow start, so I was quite pleased when they both agreed to be photographed. Some days, I find the hard part of this project is often getting the first photo. Once the first shot is on the card, though, subsequent opportunities seem to fall into place much more naturally.

Being an animal lover, I was impressed that the dogs Brenda and Bradley were grooming seemed quite content with the treatment they were getting. I wondered how the calm atmosphere of the place might be altered if I brought in my long-hair princess of a cat, Layla, for a grooming session and some bows. Yeah, I was kidding myself; Layla would never let that happen.

"Brenda" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

“Brenda” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

"Bradley" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/250 sec., 85 mm

“Bradley” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 1250, f/1.8 at 1/250 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #16

I watched Paul for about 5 minutes before I caught up with him and asked if I could take a photo. Employed by the City of Kissimmee, he was making his way down the center median on Broadway, gathering the trash others had carelessly left behind. I knew Bette Sprinkle would have been pleased by his efforts.

I approached him and quickly introduced myself and my project. He gave me permission to take his photo, so I hurried to meter the shot and release the shutter. In those few seconds, I captured what is one of my favorite photos in this series so far. 

"Paul" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

“Paul” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #15

Until her death from a stroke in 2004 at the age of 83, Kissimmee and Osceola County had a first lady. Her name was Bette Sprinkle, and she had a special kind of love for downtown Kissimmee.

Bette was often seen watering the plants on Main Street with buckets of water from her station wagon. She and her daughter owned a downtown design business, and Bette considered Main Street her front yard. She wanted it to be beautiful and took pride in helping to care for it. A tireless community activist, Bette organized the downtown farmers market and served as president of the Downtown Business Association for 25 years. Toho Square – a downtown park – has been dedicated to her memory. There is a full-size statue of her likeness seated on one of the park benches there.

I am told that Bette’s husband, Boyd, often described her as “one in a million”. I think it fitting that Bette be uniquely represented among the “faces of Kissimmee”.

"Bette Sprinkle" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/2.8 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

“Bette Sprinkle” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 250, f/2.8 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #14

Walking south on Main Street the other morning, I spotted Katharyne sitting on a bench enjoying music through her earbuds. She had her eyes sort of half-closed. Not wanting to interrupt her reverie, I walked on past her although I didn’t really want to. About 25 yards on, I turned and glanced back at her again, and saw that her eyes were open. I seized the moment. Quickly retracing my steps, I approached her, introducing both myself and my objective to capture her photo. She graciously agreed.

When she told me her name, I wanted to be sure I used the correct spelling variation. After she told me how she did it, I remarked that it was an unusual spelling. Katharyne told me proudly that it was Italian.

Grazie, Katharyne. Ecco la vostra foto.

"Katharyne" [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

“Katharyne” [Click image to enlarge or reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/500 sec., 85 mm

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