This was the first week I really stepped out of my comfort zone with the portrait assignment. The theme was a Portrait | Environmental, meaning a portrait showing someone in their environment and not just focusing on the face. So on a whim, I built up some courage and made a phone call to a small convenience store I have been going to since I was a little kid. It’s a very old style store, lots of stuff all over the walls, dimly lit, warped wooden floors, the whole nine yards. I don’t know the owners, heck I don’t even know any of the workers there, but have always loved the interior of that store.
So after a brief phone call, I was given the ok to come and take a few portraits and here are my favorites. I was, admittedly, very very nervous as even though I’ve taken a lot of portraits over the years, I have never photographed someone in these circumstances where it was literally a cold call on a stranger for a purely personal project. The nervousness and overwhelming desire to not be a pain in the butt since they were so kind to let me come take a few pictures caused me to get home and look at these photos after the fact and feel like I know I could have done so much better, but it was a big confidence boost to learn that it’s ok to ask a stranger to take their picture.
Meet Jeff, the owner of the Side Lake Store in Side Lake, MN.