100 Strangers : Round 3 : No. 219 : Matt by phil_howcroft

100 Strangers : Round 3 : No. 219 : Matt

As part of my walk with Ruby, I took in the skate park at Arnot Hill Park. It’s a bit hit and miss if you walk to the skate board area, sometimes it’s empty other times there may be a lone person, today it was really busy.

As we walked by the group at the park one of the BMX bikers approached Ruby and started stroking her. That was a perfect introduction to start some dialogue.

Meet Matt, who at 31 years old is an experienced biker. He was recovering from a wrist he broke in May and had took the cast off today, so he could do some stunts, but it hadn’t been a success. His mate Will, showed me a photo on his phone of Matt’s fall when he broke his wrist.

Matt told me he had been all over the world with his bike and had rode in New York. I asked him if he was famous. He said he liked to think he was, but in reality no he wasn’t. He was sponsored by his bike manufacturer (Polar) to ride the bike and he said he “tagged onto tours” to take part in promotional videos.

When I asked Matt to be part of my project he agreed straight away. I suggested Matt stood in the shade of the trees rather than by the concrete bowl of the skate park that was in bright harsh sunlight . “Is it a wide angle lens” quipped Will, who was joking about Matt’s size and stature ! “Actually it is” I said.

I shot a few photos in the shade and then asked Will if I could photograph him riding in the skate park. Will had a young looking face, so I asked if he was over 18, Will told me he was 20 ! He’d been drinking beer and sharing a cigarette with Matt, so that put him over 18 !

I asked Will where would he be riding out of the bowl, as it was using a manual focus lens and would need to pre focus it on his exit point to guarantee a sharp in focus shot. I will share some of the shot of Will later !

As I was photographing Will, I was also holding Ruby’s lead, so Matt said he would hold Ruby while I photographed Will.

After I’d photographed Will, I thanked Will and Matt for the shoot, Will gave Ruby back to me and offered his hand to “shake hands”. “We cannot do that” I said, so we bumped elbows instead

Thanks for being stranger number 219 Matt.

Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page


My own strangers can be seen here:


Great capture and story! I think you have got to be a most sociable fellow, Phil! Of course, Ruby has to be the best tool you could have besides your camera. =) I'm a bit too reserved to do what you do.
June 17th, 2020  
Great story as Maggie said ! I love seeing tatoos on people... it’s like cartoons ! But I’ll never do that !
June 18th, 2020  
Great shot. I love the blue tires.
June 18th, 2020  
I think some people are more likely to say yes to a stranger taking a photo. He looks very friendly.
June 18th, 2020  
Showing off his tatoo,s
June 18th, 2020  
Love his turquoise wheels !
June 18th, 2020  
Love the beard plait! Oh what an interesting chat & info about Matt. Fancy taking off the cast so you could do stunts...beggars belief, would have thought better with the cast on! They are obviously obsessed with their passion! Metalwork in his nose & looks like mouth too. Very interesting guy!
June 18th, 2020  
Great shot
June 18th, 2020  
Great narrative, love the shot.
June 20th, 2020  
This fella looks very confident with himself. Good capture.
June 26th, 2020  
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