The Backstory #1: Bad meal = Great Photo

Kiki

In December 2012 I started a photography project called "100 Strangers." I'll go into more detail in a later post about this project, which has been fascinating. This image of Kiki is a part of that project. I was flying back to Dallas from Winnipeg, CA and I had a 2.5 hour layover in Minneapolis-St Paul. It was lunch time so I decided to get something to eat when I saw this bar and grill restaurant and decided to give it a try. When I got ready to order, I looked up and Kiki was my waitress. Immediately, her hair style caught my attention. After eating, I asked her if I could take her portrait and she said yes. I wanted to feature her hair in the photo, so I didn't want anything distracting in the background. Close to the table I was sitting at was a white column, so I asked her to stand in front of it. Behind us was a 20' or higher window which gave some great soft light.  Kiki was very comfortable in front of the camera. She would changed poses and expressions between shots. This made me wonder if she's a model. I asked her that question and she said yes. In fact, she had a photo shoot the next day. That explains everything. Kiki was still working, so I didn't want to take up to much of her time, I did ask where she was from, she said Ethiopia. 

I've posted another image from this shoot on my Google+ and Flickr sites. I've received several comments that this looked like a shot taken inside a studio. I did very little editing on this photo. I did have to fix one thing in Photoshop. The column she was standing in front of, was just barely wider than her shoulders. So in Photoshop I extended the sides of the column so that it appeared more like a wall and I made the back ground pure white. This gave the effect of a white background. This is probably the best photography I've taken on this project. 

The meal I ordered at this restaurant was terrible, never has a bad meal been so worth it.