52-Weeks Of My Life

Photos by Jacqueline Fay


Week 4 – #8. Broken

I had been walking around Ybor City and decided to get off the main street and do some exploring on a side street. As I walked along, I saw a young man sitting alone on a bench reading a book in his lap. From time to time, he would glance up. When he did so, I tried as I always do with people, to assess his mood. In his case, I couldn’t figure out if he looked sad, angry or a combination of the two. Later, when I studied this photo and others I had taken of him, it struck me that his spirit seemed “broken”. And if this was the case, how did this happen? Had he been physically and/or mentally abused? Some other kind of mistreatment? Possibly a series of failed relationships? He seemed so alone and isolated, and yet at the same time unapproachable.

I don’t normally do my photography at mid-day, so the harsh and contrasty light I viewed initially as a negative. Later, however, when I uploaded this image I thought that the dramatic lighting heightened the mood of the photo.

Ybor stranger on a bench red tint 2


Week 4 – #2. A Stranger

While in Ybor City doing some Street Photography, a man across the street called out to me. He had spotted me snapping away and wanted to know what I was doing, so I happily crossed the street and said “hello” and told him. Then I asked if I might take his photo, explaining that he had a wonderful face and I would love to have that opportunity if he felt comfortable with it. Luckily for me, he was willing, and we spent a few minutes chatting before I took a few photos. He had a lovely, sunny disposition and taking his photo was a pleasure. However, I did not have my favorite macro lens for Street Portraiture on my camera and was concerned about how the photo would turn out using my 35mm prime.  Taking this photo made me feel a bit like a naughty school kid since on this photography outing my assignment was to do Street Photography rather than the Street Portraiture which comes to me more naturally.

Ybor stranger


Week 2 – #33. Part of a Face/Head

While in Ybor City recently, I spotted this brightly colored storefront and thought I would wait for someone interesting to pass by so that I could photograph them in front of it. After a few minutes, a young woman walked by and spent what felt like an especially long time leaning into the window and conversing with someone within. Judging from her body language, I developed the distinct impression that she must have some warm feelings, possibly even romantic ones, for whomever was behind the glass but too much in the shadows for me to see. I waited until the man leaned forward just enough for me to snap a few photos and capture both his and her expression.

Even though I was only able to visualize a part of the man’s face/head, I felt that I was able to confirm my original suspicion:  that there were indeed some warm feelings between these two people. It also struck me that the colorful storefront matched their happy moment in one another’s company.

Buying a drink


Week 1 – #43. Starts With “O”

I recently had the pleasure of spending a few hours in Ybor City with some photo friends for the purpose of doing some street photography. I had previously only ever done street portraiture, so this was very foreign to me and required a dramatic change in approach to using my camera on the street.

The main street was very scenic and interesting and I was so caught up in the play of shadows in the contrasty light of mid-day, that I did not even notice the young woman ambling along the street. It was not until I brought the image into Lightroom and opened up the shadows that I was able to see her clearly. What struck me immediately was the relaxed and carefree look on her face, and how oblivious she seemed to everyone around her. Having been trained in portraiture to make sure that my model’s eyes stayed open for the shot, I was at first put off by the fact that her eyes are closed. After a bit, however, her beatific expression began to grow on me and I was no longer bothered by this small detail.

Woman on Ybor Street_