Sunday, February 28, 2010

All in 1 min and 1/2...almost

I am a really shy person, I rarely go out of my way to talk to strangers. I decided this project was the perfect opportunity to put myself in a situation I wouldn't normally be in. My plan was to talk to complete strangers, get to know them, and then take a picture of them in a way I felt portrayed their personality as I perceived it after talking to them. There were a couple complete fails, some people were not friendly at all, others I could have talked to all night! The plan was talk to them for 1 minute and a half and see how much I could get from them, but I found myself too interested to stop them. The best part was, on Sunday I attended two of my friends' missionary homecomings, and at both places I found myself talking to complete strangers without a problem.


Steve: 26 year old, male Caucasian from Orem, UT. Steve is a Senior at UVU majoring in biology, he is a pre-dental student. He will be applying to dental schools in about 4-5 months. Dental school is what he has been working towards for the past 3 1/2 years and what he will be working towards for the next five years. He would like to go to dental school in Texas; but UNLV is a good option, his family wants him to go since he can stay closer to home. Steve has a sleeping disorder of sorts that helps him get a 4.0 almost every semester, since he can study instead of sleep. Ruled out dental schools in East and West coast because he does not like big cities, and he’s “got guns and can’t take what [he’s] got with him…it so happens that some of the guns [he] owns are not legal in certain states.”

He maintains that he is not obsessed with guns, he just enjoys shooting things, “it’s just a hobby, it’s just a hobby,” almost reassuring himself. Interestingly enough he sees guns as a social duty, guns have been allowed at UVU for six years now and nothing bad has ever happened. He stated, “The more decent people who are willing to carry guns around, the safer things are.” All non-decent people will do something stupid, get themselves killed and will be removed from the gene pool, from the perspective of a biology major…

Steve wants to be a dentist because he enjoys the perspective from biology, he finds anatomy and physiology interesting but being a doctor is too stressful. Dentist are half doctors half craftsmen. We then discussed his mission to Georgia, and he explained to me what armadillo’s armor is made of fused hair, which is perfect for storing bacteria. And they also have a special bone that helps them dig.

Steve was tough at first, I thought it would be hard to get things out of him, but as we talked, or rather as I let him talk he just loosened up, and he was a really nice guy who is just too lazy to shave.


Brad: 24 male, website programmer. He was nervous about the tape recorder. He tried explaining “Lost,” it didn’t work. He wasn’t even sure what season he was on. The company he works for has made websites for Donny Osmond, Pepsi, “Puff Daddy” as Bradley called him, the website is, fyi. His job description is “making the website work.” Brad served his mission in the South which included: Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, he was there during Hurricane Katrina. His favorite part of his mission was the food. “The South is just rough; I mean it’s just racist, it’s hot, it’s sometimes really, really hot, but the food! Man!” He gained almost 30 pounds on his mission all from fried food. Surprisingly, he never had alligator. He ate rabbit and fried okra, a little prickly plant, and vegetables boiled in bacon…

His parents pressure into getting married, his dad wants to see grandkids before he dies, Brad pointed out he could have kids without getting married; his dad hasn’t brought marriage up since.

There is only one way to describe Bradley: Hilarious.


Lucy: Works for the state prison in Draper, does scrapbooking to unwind. She could not have her picture taken, she works with the sex offenders at the prison and as a protection she cannot have her picture on the blog, especially because, as she said multiple time during our conversation, “I got grandkids.”

She started at the state hospital in forensics and got bored and transferred to the prison 4 years ago. She picked her current job because of public safety and because she hopes she can make some sort of a difference. She has no specific training or schooling in her field she just “got into it.” she actually has bachelors in business. I asked if she ever got scared at her job, she said, “No, nope. I just have faith in God. I’m there for a reason. I’m not sure what it is.”

I did not want to include everything she told me about her job, just to be safe. She was one of the nicest people I have ever met, and so relaxed despite her job. It was an interesting contrast: a scarapbooking store, Michael Bubble in the background, and talk of sex offenders and government budget cuts.


Kelsey: Junior at BYU studying elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood education. Kelsey works at Pebbles in My Pocket, a scrapbooking store in Orem. At first she couldn’t talk because her boss had just gotten there. I said it was ok and thanked her for her willingness to help me. Then I started asking her questions casually, it was a good way to get the conversation going. She is grew up in St. George and she used to work at the Pebbles store down there. Her boyfriend’s mom was a manager there and when she came to BYU she just transferred stores. Kelsey enjoys scrapbooking, she does not do it so much during the school year since she is busy with work and school. Her secret to scarpbooking: “I make a huge mess in living room, put on a movie and just sit there and do it.” We both agreed that THE life is staying home, raising kids, and scarpbooking.

She giggled when I asked about her boyfriend. It’s a long distant relationship.

Kelsey was really nice and friendly, she was a bit shy though, I decided the best way to portray her and for her to be comfortable was to take a picture of her back.


Penny: Owner of Planted Earth Antique and Flower Shop. Her first words to me: “You can’t take pictures of anything in the store.” She has been in the business in 1971; she started with a plant store. She taught herself everything she knows about plants, she would just go to the library and read books on plants. She had a few greenhouses that she later sold. She did not liked that I asked if collecting antiques was just a hobby, she corrected me by explaining that it started that way but she has built it into a business. Then she mentioned she didn’t have a lot of time so I should hurry, and then she told me that everything at her house was an antique, she loves antiques so she made it her job. I only spoke with Penny for a couple of minutes, but I got the feeling that she is very strong willed. She was the first person I approached and I have to admit I walked away somewhat discouraged.


  1. I like this concept a lot, and it was pretty gutsy to go talk to strangers like that. Some of the pictures aren't that interesting to me, but I do really like the last one.

  2. Also, I forgot to add that I think the text really adds to the pictures. It makes them much more interesting.

  3. Cool concept... I was getting into it and wanted more when I came to the end. Would be a great to continue or expand.

  4. People really can be interesting. Too bad about that "long distant" relationship though, that doesn't sound healthy. I admit that I was pulled in to getting to know the people you talked to, but I would have liked to have learned more about you.