The Unknown
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The Unknown: Ray, Southport
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Close to the one of the oldest hotels in Southport big mass of black suited men were gathering. They were chatting and hugging each other. The event was really noticeable - surrounding people were watching it. It was Royal Black Institution festive gathering and in the crowd I met Ray. Ray is the member of this religious organization, besides, he is the one of the elder members and was feeling embarrassed by one of his guilty pleasures, though cigar was still smoldering in his mouth.
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The Unknown: Todd, Rochester
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"You need to see the Cathedral here. It's Marvellous!" avid church goes Mr Todd mentioned to me in the start of our conversation. He just came back from it for a stroll in the boulevard. And that's how it is every Sunday. Mr Todd is 79 years now and big part of his life he was living in Rochester, the city that he truly loves . Though all his life was spent all around the globe. He lived in Japan, parts of Scandinavia, Africa and as he remembers dozens of other destinations. He was an army man, so that lifestyle was part of his duty. "Besides I was born in Egypt" Mr Todd added "How's that for adventure?" he said to me while shaking hands and saying good bye.
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The Unknown: Robin, Rochester
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"I wonder if the council who employs me still does know what my duties are or what I do whole day?" Robin was sharing his thoughts on a job that he is doing for far more than he remembers. "What I do is I am walking around in the city and let people know the news and what and where happens. To keep it simple, I am a walking newspaper" Robin added and carried on telling me about his interesting job. Mr Robin is already 77 years old and he is the city crier of Rochester. City criers in history were the "newspapers" of the city for the people that couldn't afford or literally couldn't read the newspapers. And before that when the newspapers didn't exist at all they were the only place to find out things. They knew the news and the most important things about the city. "I bet I could tell a lot of interesting stories. I have seen and know a lot about our city and I honestly like what I do because I can spend all the day talking with the gentleman like you. It ain't bad. Right?" asked me Mr Robin and left me to help another couple to find the castle of Rochester.
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The Unknown: Minachen, London
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"I came to the United Kingdom from Berlin back in 1937 and believe me, it was a question of life and death. I came here with my family when I was just 4 years old." answered Minachen when I met him and asked about his history of coming to this country. Minachen is 79 years now but he's active as ever. I met him in Speakers' Corner talking with every interesting person or old friends of his. He constantly smiled to the people around and shake their hands time to time following with interesting stories while resting himself on his cane. When I saw Minachen big hat of his came to my attention so while I photographed I asked him about it and he gladly answered. "We use hats and caps from our respect to god. We believe that covering your head is a way to show respect to the Lord and to please him that way".
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The Unknown: Mohammed, London
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I met Mr Mohammed while I was walking around Hyde Park. It was still an early sunny morning and he was listening to some preachers that day and looked very interested. And why he shouldn't be knowing his story? Mr Mohammed is almost 80 years old, though he is a very sad man. Just few years ago he couldn't stay in his country any more and asked for political asylum in United Kingdom. Mr Mohammed came here from Iran because he wasn't happy about the political system there any more. His voice could not have been heard in his home country and he has a lot of questions to ask. Though he feels very safe and happy here. Well, as happy as he could feel without his home, family, friends and country. And sadly without any reversal.
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The Unknown: Levi, London
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"Every one of them here has a message to give" Levi tried to explain the purpose of the Hyde Park Speakers Corner. "Though you need to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove not to offend someone else. Sadly it happens so often" he added. Levi is a 93 year old gentleman but he still spreads his message about salvation and new Christening. He first came to United Kingdom from his native Jamaica in 1948 after the Second World War when he was 29 years old. Though he lived his long life in different destinations. Another part of his life is spent in United States. Even though he is an old man already he still longs Jamaica very much. That's where his most beautiful days as a young man passed by and that's where he started his own family.
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The Unknown: Herbert A Silcock, London
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I was walking around the Silcocks Funland in Southport when I saw this elder man. He was chatting with workers getting the fair ready for the day. But when he saw me he just smiled and jumped in front of me for a chat. After the half hour talk about politics, government, people and culture I had to ask that mans name but he just pointed to a sign on the building wall and added "My first name is Herbert by the way.". Mr Herbert A Silcock is now 85 years old and he's a happy man. He's proud because Herbert is the successor of the Silcocks family that created this fair 150 years ago. At first in the middle of XIX the traveling fair was created by his grandfather, then his father and uncles were developing the business and made it known all over the North of England and further. Mr Silcock told me a lot about the german cars, Vienna concert halls, his love for the J.S.Strauss, his trips in Europe and the good people he met and I just listened like reading an encyclopaedia. After I took his portrait we carried on chatting but after checking his clock he understood that he's already late. He took my hand, shook it, thanked for a nice talk and in the end added "Tadas, remember, it's always nice to meet nice people. It is one of the most precious things in your life.".
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The Unknown: James, London
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“"Wie gets? Wie heist du?" shouted James from afar while I was taking his portrait in car boot sales. "You look a bit german. Aren't you? Where are you from then? Are you not a policeman? If yes I am done" he kept on joking and trying to impress lady standing next to him. James is 82 years old and he's now free as a bird. Though he wasn't hoping to live this long. Just a year ago he was in hospital. Doctors were almost loosing him because of the flu or some sort of infection. In these days James likes to be active and healthy. He's early bird - came to car boot sale at 6 in the morning. When I was leaving he started talking to a bunch of kids telling what happens with all that feed that was carried away by the tractor behind his stand. "Children need to know where they get that milk from. They think shops produce it like a lemonade!" he shouted and waved me going away.
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The Unknown: John, London
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“I hate going to the dentists. I need to visit one today and it’s going to be a nightmare!” said John when I met him waiting for a friend in a bus station. He is accompanying him on the visit to check his teeth. John is 85 years old and all his life he lives in London. He wished he went to the WWII but was too young, so he helped the forces by fixing the electrical equipment. After the war was finished he carried on with this profession and made the living until the pension. “I bought my first and only camera for 4£ and at the start I enjoyed it very much” he remembered, though he didn’t pick up on this. He was more interested in the construction of the cameras so the photographing wasn’t as important. ” I love black and white” he added “There’s something very artistic about it!”.
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The Unknown: Ali, London
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Ali was standing next to a traffic light and waiting to cross a street when I saw him and instantly wanted to do his portrait so I crossed a street to his side and started to talk to him. "Oh, I was already old when I came here from Iran and I am even older now." said Ali and told me he lived in this city for already 20 years. "There was no choice for me so I had to abandon my country and to travel over to this country." "But if you're excuse me and if you're done with my portrait I really need to leave because I am meeting someone just across the road." Ali added. He thanked for my attention and carefully crossed the street.
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The Unknown: Jonas, Vilnius
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I met Jonas while I was heading down the old street in Vilnius. Jonas was talking to his friend while they were packing their paintings and drawings to the trunk of the car. "You really want a portrait of me? Where's that going to be! I am Jonas Kozicius and I have written the music to a lot of the Lithuanian Soviet movies. Just check the internet!" Jonas was telling about himself with a huge smile on his face. Jonas is a famous man in Pilies street. He sells his drawings of cats and he gets all the attention by his flamboyance. "Should I stand here or here? Should I wave my hands like that? Do you think it will be a good photo?" he was asking at his every turn and I just enjoyed process. Biggest luck Jonas and keep it the old same way!
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The Unknown: Maxi, London
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"Our island is so small but every time something happens Singapore is on the spot!" Maxi started to praise the place where he is from. "Can you believe, they are driving these formulas in the night in Singapore. It's really exciting." "Though it's too warm to live there. Have you seen temperatures in our country. I can't stand it." he added while smoking his cigarette. Maxi is 75 years old now and he came to United Kingdom 45 years ago when he was pretty young. " It was hard back in the days for me so I had to leave. I always missed my mothers food. I was a young bachelor alone in United Kingdom." Though at the moment he longs Singapore he's very happy in London. He's free spirit and the weather is much nicer for him here too.
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The Unknown: Dr Raman, London
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"Would you visit me? I rent my apartment, you can rent it if you're a student." Dr Raman consistently insisted me to give him a visit. Though it wasn't easy to understand his talking anymore and I was struggling to keep the conversation together. Dr Raman is 90 years old and is very weak. Sickness took his walking abilities and now he's starting to struggle with his talk. Though he was a doctor of Science once which makes him very proud today. He became a doctor in 1951 when he proved his thesis. Though he is from Sri Lanka he spends his summers here. Sri Lanka for his is a winter resort now for Christmas and New Year. He owns a house there, though in London he bought an apartment. "Hotel is too expensive for me to stay here for a half year!" Dr Raman tried to explain his choices.
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The Unknown: Samuel, London
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"When I came to United Kingdom it was 1945. I and another 600 kids came here in a truck all the way from Poland." Samuel started a story of his life while I was taking his portrait in the train station while we waited for a train. Samuel is 84 years old now but when he came here he was 16 years old and he didn’t know any words in English. He came here from Poland in the end of Word War II. Though Samuel wasn’t just sad for himself. He started to work in the theatre helping the staff though his biggest dream was to be a painter so he started to study it. As the money was tight it wasn’t easy for him so he became picture restorer. Last time Samuel went to Warsaw back in 1975 but what he saw was not the same place anymore. "Even the street names are not the same" he adds "It's not the city I remembered anymore".
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The Unknown: Frederick, London
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"You have a piece of good old England here!" shouted Frederick from other side of the lens while I was photographing him. "But be in hurry, I wouldn't like to miss my 206 bus!". Frederick is old English gentleman over 80 years old who was waiting for a bus when I saw him. When I asked him for a portrait he was so interested in my Mamiyaflex C2 camera, that we spent most of the time talking about it and almost missing his bus while taking a portrait. "Has it belonged to your father or grandfather?" Frederic asked and he couldn't believe it was bought just a year ago and was back from good old 1959 and still in perfect shape. "I believe it was always owned by the gentle pair of hands" added Frederick and got into the bus to carry on on his trip "I hope you will cherish it as well".
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The Unknown: Dennis, Watford
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I met Mr Dennis when he was waiting for a train in overground station. He was coming back from visiting his friend who once had a stroke and now doesn't move too much. "Can you believe it took 11 years just to get his speaking back?" Mr Dennis asked me rhetorically. Mr Dennis Scott is 81 years old and he's pensioner already for a long time so now he spends his time as he wishes. Though before that he was a busy man. During World War 2 he was in firing squadron, though "Not in the sky" as he added later. He still was a young man at that moment. After the war Mr Dennis worked in General Motors factory and after this he moved to be a security man in Tate Modern. "I was very happy to work there" Dennis said "I am a big fan of arts so it was wonderful to be surrounded by art everyday". After I made his portrait we took the same train and chatted a bit more. As I had to jump out in the next stop I wished him happy journey and went away..
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The Unknown: Eric, Southport
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"I am in a great hurry but why not! Let's do that." said Mr Eric when I asked him for a portrait on the rainy early morning in Southport city. He took out some tobacco and stuffed his pipe while his small doggie was shaking standing next to him. Then he lighted his pipe and took a dog on his hands to pose for me. "We look nice together? right?" he asked me. Mr Eric is an avid pipe smoker and a big dog lover. Of course everyone can see he's a great fan of a pink colour which he tries to keep everywhere. His pipe is fancy as well. The end of it is made from amber and he wears the wide smile every day. I done his portrait and thanked him. He gave me another wide smile and ran away along the alley of shops.
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The Unknown: Kazimieras, Lithuania
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I was on my way in train from Vilnius to Kaunas city when I met Kazimieras. He was going to his garden house in Abromiskes back from the city. Kazimieras is 83 years old but he's alone already. His wife died not so long ago after 50 years and 3 months of marriage and he really misses her in his life. Though his life was full. First he went to the army where he spent 7 years as a soviet signaller. Then he moved back and became the head of factory workshop where he spent all his life until he became pensioner and moved to the garden house on the bank of Neris River. Kazimieras had a lot of hobbies. At first he got Fed camera and photographed a lot. He had a special passion for negative enlargements. It was magic to him. Then he stopped doing this and became avid hunter and fisherman and done this for 50 years. He would carry on but the health is not the same as it was.I thanked him for a portrait and he got out in the next stop. There was a friend of his waiting in the train station to pick him up. We waved goodbye for each other and I carried on travelling.
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The Unknown: Juozas, Lithuania
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“I am not old, I am just 90 years old.” said Juozas when I met him in Pilies street in Vilnius. “I am all alone at home and still need to take care of my 12 ares of my land and the garden”. I met Juozas when he was selling his wooden spoons and pallets. He told me that he does it out of the trees that he has in his garden. “At first I had 30 trees but now just 12 left. I use it to do my carvings, but look at the beautiful things I have done.” Juozas finished his engineering studies in 1951 and then worked in the foreign soviet destinations for a long time. He was the supervisor in big developments in Samara. Though he remembers these days with a smile on his face. That day I passed Juozas couple of times afterwards. Even in the late afternoon he was still sitting and selling his handcrafts. “I sold ten of them already!” he shouted from afar. I thanked him once again and waved goodbye.
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The Unknown: John Brown, London
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This man was sitting in one of the high streets not too far from my work. The day was sunny and in it's best spirits but he was sitting sad and alone next to his rollator. I came up to him and kindly asked if he is ok to be photographed. He just sadly nodded his head and agreed in his almost impossible to hear voice. After a shot I asked him how he was today but he answered that it's not the best day neither for talking, neither for walking. Nothing works well for him today. So he's not really bothered to do anything now. All I got from his was his name and his name is John Brown. I hope tomorrow comes in better spirits Mr. Brown.
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The Unknown: Font, London
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I saw this man waiting for a bus in a stop. He was smiling all the time like it was the only expression he knew. When I asked him for a portrait, he quickly looked at a bus schedule then his clock and nodded his head. His name Font and that’s a true Spanish name. Font came from Barcelona in 1960 and it’s already been 50 years he lives in this city. “You know I have children and grandchildren and I still like to live here. I am happy!” he said and his bus appeared in the end of the street. I thanked him and he jumped into the bus waving me goodbye and went towards the city centre.
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The Unknown: William, Dublin
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"Watch I don't break your camera!" said William preparing to pose for me. That's not the first time I heard this phrase. It must be some sort of superstition, I believe. "Have you managed to get to the Royal Wedding celebration? You live in that city." he added and said that he was not particularly interested in this event so he wasn't even bothering to follow it on TV. His name is William and he lived in Dublin all his life. He loves his city very much though he loves to travel. Just a moment ago he came back from visiting his sister that lives out of the city. As soon as I finished photographing him slight rain started to come down and was getting heavier and heavier so we both waved goodbye and hurried through the rainy Dublin streets to find a shelter.
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The Unknown: Bob, London
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Please meet Bob whom I met in the flower market that day in the sunny spring afternoon. He was walking around and touching every flower he saw. Bob is 88 years old and that day he was feeling wonderful because previous couple of days went hard on him. He has Diabetes. When Bob wants to relax he always goes to flower market. That is because all his life Bob was a gardener and is still crazy about the colours and odors he feels there. And of course he has his most beloved flower. It's red Ranunculus.
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The Unknown: James, Southport
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I was passing by the street in Southport on that windy spring day when I saw a man sitting of the bench and trying to light his cigarette. I am sure he done it for more than couple of minutes so I suggested to help him. Didn't seem he will succeed. "Thanks but I will do that myself. Do you want a cigarette?" he asked me and added "Are you from Germany or Normandy?". I told him about my origins and I said that I am more interested in doing his portrait, so he calmly posed for me while smoking. His name is James and he's the member of Royal British Legion and second world war veteran. He's not so busy these days so he really enjoys his afternoons here just sitting like that and watching people around.
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The Unknown: Reginald, London
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When I met Reginald from West India he was sitting on the bench and was looking at the passers by. He had sad face and when I came and introduced myself he said he was a bit under the weather and that's not the best day for him. He told me that the place where he is from is not so cold. You do not need jackets there. It is so hot that people don't like clothes at all and when police doesn't see they jump in the water naked. "Now that's a life, right?" he asked me in sad voice and added "96 by Fahrenheit, that's the temperature I feel comfortable with. Under that I am cold". Good luck Reginald and I hope this summer will be good for you.
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The Unknown: Stanley, London
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“Do I look good?” he asked me while posing to my camera “I look like that every day. It’s not just for this celebration”. Stanley was very excited about the Royal wedding. I met him in the crowds of people at the moment when they all were starting to leave after the balcony wave of young Royal couple. “I most definitely saw this” he added with a clear American accent. Stanley came here to see this grand event. Originally he’s from the west, but couple of generations back he had descendants in Great Britain so he still feels really close to this and he was really glad and proud to be here today. I done his portrait and thanked Stanley for his story. After I left I still saw him walking there in his best spirits and watching people celebrating.Thank you Stanley.
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The Unknown: Kenneth, Southport
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“If you watch Coronation street you might have seen me in the crowds” Kenneth started a story about himself when we met in one of the streets of Southport while he was drinking his afternoon tea. “Long time ago I was in the screen as well – I was reading news and worked for Rupert Murdoch himself” he told me this with grace. His name is Kenneth and long time ago he was was working as a news representative for news international but now he’s happily retired and is trying to keep himself busy all the time by acting in daytime dramas. His smile never leaves his face because he’s happy and all his family is around him all the time. After I made his portrait he thanked me for doing this and shake my hand. He said he was very proud to be noticed.
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The Unknown: Leo, London
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“Can I carry on reading a newspaper while you photograph me?” asked Leo when I asked him to do his portrait. “Should I look at the camera?” Leo is the star of Fitzrovia. Every restaurant cafe and I believe every person around knows him because he’s a professional men suit tailor and he done it for the last 50 years. He has his own tailoring place and still works there every day. Though he’s very sad now, people don’t appreciate personal tailoring anymore. As for himself no one ever seen Leo without his suit on. There is no occasion too small to wear it besides He’s the best advertisement for himself. Well, now I know where to go when I will need something very personal. Thank you Leo.
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The Unknown: Richard, London
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“You just missed one of the best student demonstrations. Why you were not there? Are you not a student?” That’s how Richard started our conversation when I asked him for a portrait just couple of blocks from my work. He was in really great hurry but he stopped for a minute to pose. Richard is a doctor of Philosophy and he’s very active in supporting student rights for cheaper education. When I was doing his portrait couple of his friends passed. He just apologised for keeping them wait for him and added “It happens all the time guys, I will be with you soon”. Good luck and have an easy battle Richard.
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The Unknown: Cliff, London
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During Royal Wedding day I met this man much further than all the crowd next to the Buckingham palace or Westminster Abbey. He was working as any other day and waiting for the clients. He stood in front or shoe repair shop and was smoking a cigarette.His name is Cliff and he's a shoe repairman. He works because he has to cover his friend went to see the event. As he said he doesn't really care about the wedding and someone still needs to mend the shoes.Have a good day Cliff.
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The Unknown: Joseph, London
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When I met Joseph he was sitting in a bus stop. He had a flat cap on his head and was constantly looking around. I asked him for a portrait and if he's ok to talk for a minute or two. He quietly nodded his head and just mumbled "yes, but make it quick". I asked him if he was waiting for a bus but he was just resting his legs there before meeting with his friends just around the corner or as he said "I need to do some business around". Eventhough he wasn't a big talker I was glad to meet this guy. His honest smile made my day brighter. Thanks Joseph.
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The Unknown: John, London
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I saw this man in his shiny suit and black briefcase crossing the street. He was in his best spirits and as I came to front him and asked for a portrait, he was more than happy to participate. His name is John and he’s a pensioner now. Years ago he was a successful businessman and he longs those days, but now he keeps himself busy as he does the counseling here and there. “What’s nicer and more honorable than to help people around” says John. And that’s not the only thing why he’s so happy today. He’s on his way for an afternoon pint with his friends at his local pub. So many faces to see, so many things to talk about. After the photoshoot we thanked each other, I added extra thank you for the good spirits he gave me. Thank you John.
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The Unknown: Amid, London
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Dozens of times I was passing the Queens Park laundrette just around the corner from my work and every time I passed it I saw an elder man sitting there next to the sewing machine and enjoying the sun that was shinning through huge front showcases. This mans name is Amid and he's the long running owner of this place. He has everything here. He can wash, dry-clean and even fix your clothes if it has any problems. "You don't need to worry about anything, just bring it to us" Amid added. It is a family business and it's very important to him so he feels here like in his home and he's happy because he saved a little peace of history here.
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The Unknown: Paul, London
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Paul and his dog Louie were leaving the post office and heading towards home as I saw them and couldn't keep out of this wonderful composition. I had to frame it. While I was talking to Paul he was gently stroking the dog but dog still looked scared and not cozy in his shoulder bag. As he told Louie mostly walks on himself but today Paul was in a hurry so he put it in a bag to save time on walking. Louie legs aren't long enough to keep up with the master. After the portrait session I told Paul about the series he is going to be in and he was overexcited to see it exposed somewhere. I will gladly show it to everyone, Paul.
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The Unknown: John, London
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I met Mr John in the deli close to my work. He was sitting, drinking tea, having cigarette and waiting for his sandwich. As soon as I saw this huge black cross on his neck, I was tempted to make his portrait so I ran across the street and asked him for it. I asked him if he is a priest but he answered that he is new-born Christian and that's why he has this cross. He told me that in his home he has a long black suit to wear on special occasions but right now he at least has to wear this cross. When I asked him about how he feels this hot sunny day he just slowly answered that he has ups and downs today so I thanked for the portrait and the story and walked away. Thank you John.
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The Unknown: Omar, London
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I saw this man walking down a street and as soon as I saw his glasses and coat I couldn't stop and ask him for a portrait. His name is Omar and as he says, he's from one of the hottest places in earth at the moment - he is from Libya. While photographing he was telling me how sad he is about the situation there but he hopes things becomes calmer soon and he will be much happier and calmer. Omar lives in both countries. He travels very often because of his business. Most of the time he's here in London and remaining time he spends in Libya. Sadly at the moment he doesn't feel safe there anymore. I hope things will be better soon Omar.
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The Unknown: Hassan, London
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I was passing Marble Arch going to Speakers’ Corner when I heard festival sounds. People were singing and shouting. Almost all of them were in black clothes and so I easily saw Hassan in the crowd. Hassan was walking around talking to his relatives. He sat down on the bench close to it and I came to him to ask what’s that festival about. He just pulled his shoulders and gave me a leaflet to read that he had in his hands and carried on drinking his tea and talking in language I don’t understand. It was one of the Islam community festivals that they celebrate. Straight away I thought why not to do portrait of his so I started to show him the camera and asking him to pose. He was quite proud older gentleman and agreed straight away. His relative quickly stood up to let him pose alone. After doing a portrait I thanked him and after thanking me back he asked to share the photo and quickly wrote his address because he’s just visitor here and he’s originally from Dubai. I will surely send a copy for you, Hassan.
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The Unknown: Domenico, Italy
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I met this elder man in Como, Italy. He was selling flowers in local market and as soon as I saw him sitting between the stands with flower and flower seeds I instantly wanted to do a portrait. This time all conversation was based on smiles. He was smiling all the time to every question of mine followed by loads of hand signals. I was trying to ask him what was his name, how is he, is he enjoying this sunny afternoon but in the end of this "conversation" there was not much to say, though I am very happy - I got his name! Quite good for non Italian speaking person like me. Finally I just have to say that his name is Domenico, he sells flowers and he's the owner of one of the widest smile I have ever seen. Thank you Domenico.
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The Unknown: Sylvester, Southport
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I met Sylvester week before Christmas in over snowed Southport walking in a mall. I was really tempted to do his portrait so I asked him. He instantly agreed but asked me to be very quick. He said he's busy and he needs to do some things. When I asked him if he likes the unusual amounts of snow this season he replied that he haven't seen Christmas so white for about 50 years. It's not usual for him at all. Sylvester is proud of his name. It's Welsh. Moreover this name was given for him after a person who saved his fathers life in the first World War. Now that's something to be proud of. Isn't it? After photographing Sylvester he asked me to show the picture and was really mixed up when I said it was film and I couldn't do that. Though in the end he was really happy to have this short conversation. Thank you Sylvester.
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The Unknown: Benne, Italy
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I met this man last Saturday while visiting Italy. In the small town named Como he was sitting on the bench reading some documents. With all my courage I approached him and started my Italian talk in signs. It wasn’t easy to convince him to do his portrait. He was sure I was asking him to do mine, but in the end he smiled through the corner of his hat and gladly posed. Later I thought I should get him to say his name but messed up my words and asked him “come stai?” instead of asking “qual è il tuo nome?” and got his short answer “Benne”. Just after couple of minutes walking away from him I understood that I asked him how he was instead of his name and got his short answer “Good” so his name is not Benni as I thought. Finally I don’t know his name but I am sure I got his wide Italian smile and loads of good emotions.
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The Unknown: Momodou, London
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I met Momodou Ceesay next to the train station. He had the biggest smile on the street so it was hard to miss him. Momodou is 65 years old and he's acknowledged artist. He does paintings. Originally he is from Gambia, but whole his life he spent in different parts of the world. He studied in United States, then moved to France to get another degree there. He really enjoyed being photographed and desperately waited to get the actual picture. He asked me to do it in my best skills and not to worry about the time. "We are artists. And to do something good we all need time so don't hurry, take your time.", he said. He was very nice and in his best spirits, so it was very nice experience to meet this man. Best luck, Momodou.
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The Unknown: John, London
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"Are you a true Christian Ted?" was a first question Mr John asked me when I approached him with suggestion to do his portrait. While I was photographing him, there were loads of other questions. When you became Christian? What type of Christian are you? Which Churches are you visiting? But even asking all those not day to day questions he was shining with positivity and warmth. That's why he chose to advertise Christianity in Speakers' Corner. He suggested to become real, and strong Christian. To open your heart for it. I done his portrait and wished him good luck on his believing and the ways to express it. He needs it, because people are so doubtful today.
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The Unknown: Bee Harlow, London
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I met mister Bee Harlow while walking on the street. He was rushing somewhere, though no ideas where. When I stopped him and asked for portrait he was quite happy to be photographed. Straight away he asked me why I do this and after my short answer, that I do this as a personal project, he announced that he's happy and proud, because he's very well established person - Councilor (not quite sure about this). That's what he does at the moment. "I have all the time in the world so don't rush", he said. In the end we thanked each other and we said good bye. He was quite a character.
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The Unknown: John, London
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I met John while I was walking around the Hyde Park. He was standing in Hyde Park corner (where everyone has a right to speak) listening to local orators when he saw my Bronica camera on my shoulder. He approached me and we started conversation about his collection of cameras. He’s the proud owner of the considerable collection of them and he’s a pianist too. He has a grand piano at his home. John enjoys spending his Sundays listening to the orators and sometimes during the summer, he sits next to the Serpentine and drinks tea with Sheiks. “It’s the most interesting place!” he said. I agree with him. I had a nice Sunday there as well. Thank you John.
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The Unknown: Larry, London
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"What do you drink to keep yourself warm in Lithuania?" was one of the questions that Larry, the mathematician, asked me when I met him in the cozy restaurant while he was having his lunch and a book. He was very chatty and the light was pretty amazing, so I insisted to do his portrait. When Larry asked me what camera I use and when I mentioned that it was a film one he became even more interested. He asked if I still can get films for that and added "Don't get along with everyone else, enjoy the naturalism of photography." After our short chat he said to me one of the nicest things I have ever heard from the people of my project. He said "I am glad that you are not professional working photographer, you still have love for it." It was nice to meet you Larry.
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The Unknown: John, Southport
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John was passing through the vintage shopping arcade in Southport when I met him. His looks and location made you feel like you're in 1920 era, just the people around pushed you back to the 21 century. He was in a hurry and when I jumped in front of him he was not convinced about the portrait but then he smiled with his corner of the lips, stopped and started to pose with his glamorous outfit. All the time spent with me he was quiet, but very proud of his looks and I felt that he was really enjoying it. He was asking how should he stand and what to do, but in the end he was just standing calmly and looking through the edge of his hat. That was real him.
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The Unknown: Nick, Middlesex
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When I met Nick in the train home he couldn't believe that i was asking for his portrait. He looked embarrassed and all people around gave both of us weird looks. In these days people don't think they can be interesting for someone elses eyes anymore. Especially when it is for photographers own personal work. Today everything you do needs a reason and explanation. Nick was calm and quiet and certainly not very chatty person but in the end he felt better and I got couple of his portraits, thanked and waited for my train stop to get out. Coincidentally he stood up when I got up and get out of the train with me. Step by step he took the same turns as me and In the end i found out that he's my neighbor. You never know whom you will photograph. It might be your neighbor, future teacher, employer or a friend. World is small.
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The Unknown: Coleen, Southport
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When I saw Coleen leaving the hotel in the end of the main street in Southport I was astonished how sharp he looked that day besides he must be more than 2 meters in height. You couldn't miss that man in the street because he was higher by all head above everyone else. Of course I asked him for a portrait and he happily accepted and started to analyze what camera I use (it was Mamiyaflex TLR camera). "You don't see many of these in the streets in these days, though, I had Rolleiflex, but just for snapshots" he said. When I asked him if he has the special event today to look so stylish he said that that's the way how he looks every day and that he visits that hotel for over couple decades already, because it has the best tea in the street.
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The Unknown: Graham Marten, Southport
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I met Mr Graham Marten in the Southport city. Day before remembrance day he was selling poppy flowers in one of the main city street. When we started to talk I found out that this man was Southport Royal British Legion captain and former Chairman of Southport branch and during WWII served in Germany. We spent quite long time just talking. He gave me a short story on the history of both World Wars and of course Remembrance day on itself. When I finished with the portraits I thanked him and in return he asked me to come to the Remembrance day, which I done with huge pleasure. We met there as well. But this time he was in the first lines of the veterans with his uniform and badges. It was a huge pleasure to meet you Mr Graham Marten.
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The Unknown: Vernon, London
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I met Vernon while walking this weekend around Hampstead Heath. As soon as I came to him and asked to do his portrait he asked me is the camera I use is a decent one. I explained it's film one and then he started to list all the film brands he knew and got easily excited about technology in photography. We had a quite nice chat about the photography and he was more than happy to be photographed in his local area. No questions, everyone would be proud of living in Hampstead Heath.
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The Unknown: John, London
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I met John next to the fish and chips shop. He was waiting there to get his all times favorite traditional lunch - a portion of fish and chips. He was happy to pose for a portrait but he was as well interested if i will do a good portrait of his, because as he said he is not very used to be photographed in the street by someone that he doesn't know. When he went to the diner table to get his lunch he started to chat with a girl working there and asked if he can bring his own wine and sip it while he's eating in that diner. He got the positive answer and was more that happy and said he will come back here more often. Bon Appétit John.
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The Unknown: John, London
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I met John as soon as I went out of the train station, he was wandering around and looking through the shop windows. When I approached him and asked for a portrait he just asked me why I do this and agreed. While I was taking his portrait I asked him how is he today and does he enjoy this refreshing morning. He asked me if I really want to know and when I said yes he told me that he is on the way to the small town next to London to visit his sons grave. I need to admit his confession shocked me and I still wonder if he was just very honest with me or he was more angry that i interrupted his thoughts. Biggest luck John and thank you.
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The Unknown: Stranger, Bangor
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This old man is working at Bangor, the small city in North Wales as a ticket conductor in a Pier. Long time ago he was living in London and wasn't happy enough. Sadly in the end he left it but he found happiness at North Wales. Where the hills are high and the time passes not so quick. Sadly I don't know his name but it was a pleasure to meet him. Thank you, stranger.
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The Unknown: Stranger, Llandudno
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We met this man doing 100 walks around the Marine Drive, long and winding road along the side of the peninsula in the North Wales city called Llandudno. He was doing this walk for a charity named Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity www.gosh.org to raise some money. He told me that's not the last thing he will do. After some time he will do a great walk to the London and believe me it's not that close (224 miles). But he smiled along the way and was more than happy to do that. Thank you for teaching us to welcome in Mandarin and biggest luck in your road.
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The Unknown: Mr. K. Pridham, London
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Meet Mr. Pridham and for the name I just have a letter K. I met him in a dinner in Chelsea while he was having his morning breakfast and a newspaper. I was really scared to ask him for a photo, but after another 15 minutes waiting I was scared that he will leave so politely asked him for a portrait. He was more than happy to pose and I done couple of shots with him smiling and calm, talking and being quiet. In the end I asked him if he would like to get photo after developing films and he said no. Well I thought, at least I will have it. After 5 minutes he was leaving the place. He came to me and gave me a piece of newspaper with his address for post. I felt really happy that in the end he felt tempted to see it.
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The Unknown: Tommy, Clovelly
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His name is Tommy and he's not a fisherman, as he said. Though I met him in historical fishermen village named Clovelly. As history knows this village was being reached just by boats, so it doesn't have any roads. People used sleights to take the stuff around because Pavements are from stones and they're quite slippery. Tommy ended up here around 20 years ago and he just loves his place. When I met him he was enjoying his pipe while sitting in the front yard of his house very proudly.
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The Unknown: Tom, London
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His name is Tom and he was wandering around in Kilburn looking for a house that his children were living in. I helped him so he was kind and posed for me for a moment:) Long time ago he was living in London but when still he was young he moved to barn and left children to live in this "busy place". As it was very sunny he said a good phrase. UK and good weather doesn't combine together so we need to appreciate all the sunny days here.
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The Unknown: Bruno, London
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I was passing Queens park quite often in last year and I was always passing this old man sitting next to the entering to park. Every time it was so tempting to ask if I cant take his portrait, but, finally yesterday I asked him. He was more than happy to pose and was smiling all the time. His name is Bruno. He came from Parma in Italy but I have no idea why he changed his place. I absolutely love Italy and I believe it's some sort of heaven on earth. When I will meet him next time I will let you know why he is here.
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The Unknown: Gordon and Cassie, Bath
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Sometimes you meet some people in the most unbelievable places like a car park in city named Bath. They both were waiting for his wife to come back with a parking ticket so I was very tempted to talk with him and take his portrait. His name is Gordon and his friends name is Cassie. They all three were going through Bath and were really enjoying their trip. Traveling is their passion and when he asked me where I am from he was quite excited because he was visiting Lithuania just two years ago. He even remembered couple of cities there. Gordon wasn't spending there loads of time because it was big Baltic trip but he was very excited how green it was. Then his wife came back and he was acting very proud in front of her. He said "Look darling, this young gentleman is taking a portrait of me with Cassie".
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The Unknown: Edward Morris, London
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I met this man walking around in Kilburn when he was putting his mail into the mailbox. His name is Edward Morris and he lives in London from 1960's. When he came here he ended up in company BIC and (what a coincidence) he worked there as a graphic designer (as me). Of course in these days there was no term as graphic designer so he introduced himself as commercial artist and draftsman in that company. He was one of the most enthusiastic people to be photographed and in the end he said "I am very glad to help you with your series. If I can do something that will help you on your series - I am very glad about it".
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The Unknown: Ron, Oxford
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His name is Ron and he happened to be the most silent person that would agree for a portrait of him. The only phrase I heard from him after I asked him for his portrait was “If you wish”. He said that quietly but very sure. There was no smiles or laugh here, but he was calm and just sitting until I got couple of shots of him. I met him next to Holywell Music Room what happens to be the oldest, purpose built music room in Europe. I am sure he was waiting for someone, maybe his granddaughter playing inside, but I was not courageous enough to disturb his time longer. Thank you Ron.
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The Unknown: Bronislavas, London
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I met this man amongst the crowd of people that gathered next to the London Tower to meet Millennium Odyssey yacht. He was standing there surrounded by nationally dressed Lithuanian women and was firmly keeping our national flag. When I took a picture of this man I was so happy that I just left the place without even asking that mans name or where is he from and what he does here in UK. Eventhough I had no ideas how to find him I contacted Lithuanian student association and asked about him. Funny enough in a couple of hours they sent me a telephone of his daughter and his name. In the end we met and had a nice talk and I gave him his portrait as a present. He was very happy about it. Besides, his name is Bronislavas and he’s quite a traveler. Just in another two days he was already planning to go to Chicago to visit some of his other relatives. Thank you Bronislavas and have a nice trip.