WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR? {Personal Photography Project} Meet Jenna

As of 23 September 2009, the Earth's population is estimated by the United States Census Bureau to be 6.786 billion. -Wikipedia

 San Luis Obispo, photographs of Jenna Coburn taken by Cameron Ingalls People are funny creatures.

Contradictorily independent and dependent.

We nest together in cities of hundreds, thousands, or millions. We are surrounded by people most everywhere we go. However, we have the tendency to at times exist around others in complete isolation.

One of the greatest human desires is to be known. Everyday is filled with countless opportunities to meet and befriend our fellow person, yet the people that occupy the space next to us on the bus or in line at Starbucks, we ignore.

I often find myself going through my daily activity wondering about the person neighboring me. Who is this person? What do they do? What makes them tick? Why are they here?!

If I could only sit down with this stranger for a 5 minute conversation would we find that we had much in common? Or even better, much in contrast? Would we become fast friends? Would I learn something I never knew about the world around me? At least maybe we could exchange names and say, ‘hello’ if we ever happen to occupy the same space again.

But often times I find myself afraid. Afraid to speak up. Afraid to approach an unknown creature. What if I’m rejected? What if they suspect my motives are disreputable? These desires and fears wrestle for control most days.

I’m going to do something about it.

I’m going to challenge myself to put myself on the line. I will risk rejection because, what do I have to loose?! I will approach the occasional stranger. Someone who I find myself wondering about. I will introduce myself as a photographer and explain that I’m doing a photo project. I will ask them if I can take their picture; capture their essence.

I will ask the question, who is my neighbor? And I will allow my camera to be a part of telling the story. I will even learn a few things about them and the world as it exists around me.

Meet Jenna; my first subject! She works a couple stores next to my office and I’ve often passed her standing outside of the jewelry shop handing out coupons. I’m not sure if I’ve ever said ‘hello’ before today. She was excited to have her picture taken because her dream is to be a model. “Sky is the limit,” she says! She just moved to San Luis Obispo from L.A. to go to Cuesta College to work in broadcasting or become a T.V. show host.

Her eyes are what caught my attention; piercing, colorful, like a stained glass window full of dreams and stories yet to unfold.

Thanks Jenna for sharing who you are with me. Thanks for being my neighbor!

 San Luis Obispo, photographs of Jenna Coburn taken by Cameron Ingalls
 San Luis Obispo, photographs of Jenna Coburn taken by Cameron Ingalls