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Sylvia | by jeffcbowen
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I saw her leaning against the polished granite wall on Yonge Street and was struck by her carefully put-together look which seemed an excellent match with the stone wall. I stopped to introduce myself and explain my Human Family photography project. She liked the sample photos on my contact card and said “Ok.” Meet Sylvia.


Sylvia, although agreeable, was rather shy and I, in turn, became a bit awkward in my effort to engage her. (Sometimes nervousness can be contagious.) We both soldiered on, however, and I tried a couple of poses with Sylvia as we stood on the sidewalk and pedestrians strolled by behind me. I think Sylvia felt uncomfortable being the center of attention on Yonge Street like that but she did a nice job of following my request as to where to stand and to look into the lens of my camera.


I found out that Sylvia is 20 and was born and raised right here in Toronto. When I expressed concern that I might have been delaying her day she said she had a couple of minutes. She was stopping at her favorite bubble tea emporium to get a tea on her way to work but the owner of the shop was late in opening. I asked what kind of work she is doing and she said “I’m a server in a restaurant.” “What do you like best about being a server?” I asked. She smiled and said “The paycheck.” When I asked her about her future goals she said “I’m pretty young. I’m still figuring that stuff out.” She is interested in makeup art and from the photo you can see she has a definite talent for it. I told her she is the second makeup artist I have met in the last two days. When I inquired about her interests she said she likes to spend time with her dog. She’s an animal person.


At this point it was clear that the bubble tea shop was not going to open in time for her to get her morning treat and I had the feeling my efforts to draw her out a bit were beginning to feel too probing so I thanked her for her time and we exchanged contact information. I had wanted to take a full length photo to show her multicolored hair and matching hair, jacket, shoes, and bag but our encounter came to an end before I managed it. As an afterthought, I did manage a quick "grab shot" as she headed down Yonge Street to work.


Thank you Sylvia for taking a few minutes to meet and for participating in The Human Family project.


This is my 469th submission to The Human Family Group on Flickr.


You can view more street portraits and stories by visiting The Human Family.


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Taken on April 28, 2017