June 11, 2010

Filmmaker | Musician

Canon EOS 7D | Canon 35mm f/1.4L | Available Light
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So, The People of Detroit has been been getting a bit of attention lately. Noted hip-hop journalist Dream Hampton Tweeted about the project. A friend also told me he saw a link to the project on Talib Kweli's Twitter feed. This, of course, has led to an inflated sense of my own celebrity.

I went looking for someone to photograph on my lunch hour. I saw a group of four artistic looking young people and figured they'd make great additions to the project (so much so that the next three photos will be culled from that encounter).

So, I started to follow them until I got close enough to ask to be excused for my intrusion.

The young woman pictured above noticed me first. When she turned. Her face came alive with a certain look of recognition/excitement.

When I saw the expression on her face, I thought she must have heard of this mysterious man with a camera stalking the streets of Detroit. She must have looked him up on Facebook because he, of course, is far too modest to post a picture of himself on the actually blog. That would just draw attention away from The People of Detroit and he is a selfless, humble servant of the people.

A camera-toting Jesus, if you will.

And now, here he was. Primed to humbly ask to forever immortalize her among The People of Detroit.

Then, to my astonishment, she called out my name...

"Aaron McGruder?"

Whomp whomp whoooommmmp...

I explained that I'd been thought akin to a lot of people - a shorter, poorer Vin Diesel, the guy from Kris Kross (Kris, hopefully. Who wants to be Kross?), an economy class Chico Debarge - but I had never heard I resembled the luminary creator of The Boondocks.

Then again, it takes a certain kind of person to even know what Aaron McGruder looks like. My kinda people.

Once I vanquished my delusions of grandeur, I was able to learn more about Erica. She is a musician and a filmmaker and that box in her hand tells me she is also a sweets connoisseur. It's from a really great local bake shop called Astoria.

I'm happy to say that after all was said and done, Erica was completely open to participate in the project...

...despite my not being Aaron McGruder.

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