100 Strangers : No. 26 : Lena by phil_howcroft

100 Strangers : No. 26 : Lena

We were in Nottingham this morning as we were going out to lunch at our favourite French Restaurant.

I had a little walk around Hockley and the Lace Market, while my wife went off to do a bit of shopping.

I like Hockley as it is fairly quite and you can approach a stranger easier than in the big shopping streets of the city centre.

I was a little disappointed as I walked around as it was really quite and there were no possible strangers. I ventured towards the Lace Market and then I saw Lena with her striking hair and top hat. I knew she would make a good stranger. I walked ahead of her and then crossed the road and approached her .

"Hi, can I ask you for a favour?"


"I am an amateur photographer and I am doing a project on street photography. Do you mind if I take your photo?"

"Yes that's OK"

"Would you mind standing in front of this door". I point to a big grey door.

I take a few shots of Lena and show her the shots on the back of the camera.

"Do you mind if I post the picture online? Flickr . It is for a 100 strangers project "

"Yes that is OK"

"If you want to get some more people to photograph there is Film and Television conference at the Arena. That is where I am going, there will be quite a few people in costumes milling around outside and they will all be willing to have a photo took"

"Oh I wondered why I saw a person dressed as a rabbit walking down the street earlier !!! That sounds good. Do you mind If I walk with you there?"

"Yes that's OK"

"So what are you doing there?"

Lena hands me a business card from her top hat.

"I have a stall there. I am a magician and entertainer. I can also read Tarot cards"

"That sounds good. My Grandma said she could read Tarot cards, but I never asked her to do mine"

"It is quite easy to do the cards. I am also training to be a medium"



"The 100 strangers sounds really interesting I bet you meet some good people"

"It is, it is part of a big flickr group worldwide. As far as I know I am only one of two people doing it from Nottingham"

If you want some strangers for the future, the Pagan Pride march is the first weekend in August. We march through the city to the Arboretum Park and then have stalls and music"

"Ahh that sounds really good. I saw some pictures on flickr of the event. I will try and get to it"

"Your outfit looks a little bit like steampunk"

"Yes it does, I have some goggles but I didn't wear them today"

"I got a steampunk as one of my first strangers . They had a picnic at Bestwood Park in September. It might be worth you looking out for it"

By this time we have reached the Nottingham Arena and I notice several Daleks coming towards me :) "

"Thanks again for the photo Lena"

"It was nice meeting you" says Lena

"And you Lena"

We shake hands and I make a beeline towards the Daleks

Strangers 27, 28 and 29 are going to be interesting

Lena has a shop with her Grandma in the Nottingham Victoria Centre Market.

Her website can be found in the link below


Face Book : Magic and Mayhem
Twitter and Instagram magic2mayhem

Edited in Rawtherapee and GIMP and I had to clone out a door lock that was peeking out behind Lena's hat

This picture is number 26 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page
100 Strangers Flickr Group page

My own strangers can be seen here:

knew Lena was one one of your strangers the minute I saw her :)
May 1st, 2016  
@annied thanks annie, maybe my 'stranger style' is similar throughout my project. I might have to direct them a bit more :)
May 1st, 2016  
First of all I loved the colours when I saw this portrait. And what an interesting chat with Lena. Great marriage of image and words. Your project is developing its own momentum it seems, Phil!
May 2nd, 2016  
Your narratives are like reading a good book, Phil. It would be fun watching you search and going over to your prey like a wolf in a sheep's skin, being very nice to them and convincing them with your smile and conversation to pose for you. Another wonderful portrait capture. I don't believe in palm or tarot card readings but they seem to be fun for many.
May 2nd, 2016  
You meet the most interesting people Phil! Nice portrait. Await the others with interest.
May 2nd, 2016  
looks like an interseing person, great choice for your project!
May 2nd, 2016  
@quietpurplehaze thanks Haze, I am getting a backlog of strangers and a backlog of images to post too.

@sangwann thanks dione for your kind words on my stranger series and your continued support

@ivan thanks ivan, glad your are enjoying my strangers series

@nicoleterheide thank you very much nicole :)
May 2nd, 2016  
I really enjoy the reconstruction of your conversation. It definitely helps me get to know your subject. Keep up the good work!
May 3rd, 2016  
That's a very nice technique (and photo), Phil. All of a sudden one photo op turns into many and you learn stuff along the way!
May 3rd, 2016  
What a great shot...lucky you!! Great model and awesome story.
May 4th, 2016  
@allie912 thanks allison . I have a few more from the weekend

@eyesmile thanks gena . I am pleased you like this shot

@sketch2 yes it was a good meeting dave
May 4th, 2016  
You are doing well with your strangers group, love this one. It's finding the interesting looking ones. You have inspired me to me braver and have actually asked people for a photo.
May 16th, 2016  
@jennywren well done Jen, i look forward to seeing some of your stranger pics on 365 in the near future :)
May 16th, 2016  
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