Hillhurst/ West Hillhurst Portrait Project

Hillhurst/ West Hillhurst Portrait Project

I must say, this is embarrassingly late. As a final project for a portrait class we were given an assignment to cover one community in Calgary and to make a portrait of a stranger every week for nine weeks to show what that community is like and the kind of people who work and live in the area. I was drawn the communities of Hillhurst and West Hillhurst which worked perfectly for me as they run just south of SAIT so it was an easy commute and I also knew the area fairly well and had a sense the people there would be very easy to photograph. I ran into troubles on week one. After knocking on over 30 doors among a two day, eight hour time frame I was discouraged and exasperated looking to take anyones picture. I walked into a kitschy furniture store and basically begged the sales lady to let me take her picture and fortunately for me she said yes. It was a challenging assignment but also one of my favourites. I have no problem talking to strangers and even asking to take their photograph, but getting turned down again and again by strangers in their homes (yes I understand why, I seemed like a stalker and to some extents I was) really wore on me and I took it way too personally so by the end I stuck with taking pictures of different businesses and recreational areas in the community to outline the diversity in that aspect.

Nine weeks later I am left with a collection of images and stories from unknown neighbours who make the community what it is.

I used my Canon 7-D camera with a 16-35mm lens along with a Canon 430 ex flash and umbrella for every picture.

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