So tonight I was exhausted and grumpy and exhausted coming home from my 6-9:45 p.m. class and I hadn't been home in 14 hours for the third day in a row and did I mention I was exhausted and grumpy?
As we crossed the river toward my apartment, I caught a glimpse of myself in the subway window. And I decided I'd shoot the picture, post it here, and be all "I'M EXHAUSTED AND GRUMPY BUT LOOK PRETTY LIGHTS!" and call it a day. So here's what I shot:
See me? I'm the one hiding behind my camera.
Then, just as I'm putting my camera away, this guy comes up to me. "Are you a photographer?" he asked. After I picked myself up off the subway floor after ROFLMAOing, I told him no. Definitely not. But:
"Want the best picture you'll ever make?" he asked.
"Uhhh..." I said.
"No really — want the best picture ever?"
(In my head: this is so sketch-balls WHAT is he talking about?!)
"Here. Take your camera back out."
I feel awful for saying this, but I was half-afraid he was going to steal my camera. But that's kind of ridiculous, because we were IN the moving subway car, and where would he run with it? So I took it back out.
Then he takes his big metal briefcase and wheels it over to a man sitting across from me. The poor man was just trying to read his book, and looked quite startled to see a metal briefcase appear next to him.
"Don't move!" the guy exclaimed. "Keep reading!" Then to me, "Go ahead! Shoot the picture!"
I gaped at him, but then decided to just take a damn picture, thankyouverymuch. So I did. And got this:
(I'm twitching, posting this picture online. Ignore the overexposure and too-slow shutter speed!) ANYWAY. I took the picture and looked back up at the guy.
"Isn't that HILARIOUS?" the guy asked.
"Look! Look at the sticker on the briefcase! This man is just sitting here reading a book, and it looks like the briefcase is HIS, and look at the sticker!"
So I squinted and looked at the bumper sticker. In case you can't read it in my blurry picture, it says: "People say I have a bad attitude. I say F*** 'EM!"
I look back at the guy, and he is just so delighted by the whole thing. Like, legitimately delighted that he's created this shot for me. So of course I thank him.
One of the other passengers on the train asks what's in the metal briefcase. And the guy smiles and says, "Barber tools. I'm a barber." And he pulls up the sleeves of his sweatshirt to reveal scissor tattoos on both of his wrists. And then a CLICK, a lightbulb turns on in my brain.
"You're a barber?" I ask.
(Inside my head: SCORE.)
See, I have this assignment due where I have to shoot "a day in the life of...[INSERT NAME OF PERSON WE DON'T KNOW]." And I swear I've called at least 30 people/places trying to find someone cool to shadow, but no luck. But this! This guy may be a bit crazy, but good gravy I at least want to photograph his tattoos!
So we both get off the subway and I pull him aside and explain my assignment. And I basically invite myself to his barbershop on Saturday at 7 a.m. to shoot him throughout the day. And he says, "I'd be honored, baby!" and hands me his card and introduces himself to me as Wynter.
So this Saturday I'm going to photograph a barber named Wynter who I only met because he wanted to help me make the best picture ever on a subway train on a Wednesday night.
God, I love this city.