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In late November, I spotted a young woman on a crowded RER train with a bouquet of flowers. While her surroundings were all monotonous and unextraordinary, her flowers stood out vividly. From several rows of seats away, body language and universal facial expressions were used to communicate that I wanted to take a photo. A note was then passed through the crowd with her email.

This body of work follows the events that grew from a random coincidence of being in the same public space together. Through this small gesture of giving a note with an email, this coincidence became a moment of serendipity. The photos presented studies the evolving relationship between initial strangers.

Following this chance meeting on the metro, portraits were made of Nora each time we met in person. This can be attributed to the nature of our relationship as model and photographer, cemented even within our first interaction when taking her photo is what initially bonded us. The portraits of Nora are all taken with the intent of capturing her personhood, and to represent her identity using imagery. One of the ways in which the evolution of the relationship is depicted is through the variety of mediums used, technically and as an art direction. Initially, a medium format film camera was used, requiring careful attention to each shot and its composition when taking the photograph. Within this set of photographs, each one was meant to be impactful and includes interesting backgrounds, and careful framing. Later on, the same camera was used, but was meant to capture the casual nature of our relationship, and less emphasis was placed on the physical appearance, but more on my relationship to Nora. Body language such as gaze, and gestures such as being on the phone differ from the previous work as I am more confident in directing Nora, and similarly, she no longer feels obliged to pose in each shot. Finally, using a digital camera that was able to take multiple photos without restriction, this medium allowed for a collaborative photoshoot, where we took turns to direct and be creative, obscuring the roles we have as photographer and model.

This entire body of work originates from the impulse to engage with a stranger on a metro at rush hour, and a few initial photographs in a fleeting moment. Through text and image as a form of tangible documentation, this work shows the outcome and evolution from this small moment that was made significant.