A-L-I-C-E in my W-O-N-D-E-R-Land

Two strangers shaking hands

O.C. and Alice

Jo Ann Tomaselli ~ Fine Art Photography

I believe I live in W-O-N-D-E-R-Land!

For where else but Wonderland could I introduce 2 strangers to each other, get them to hold hands, take a photograph and win an award for the image?

On October 11th I participated in the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk in Wilmington, NC. It’s an annual event where on the same day in over 1,000 cities world-wide, 20,000+ photographers take to the streets with their cameras to win some really cool prizes.

Hence, while on my walk seeking the prize winning subject, I happened upon young Alice who was sitting with her mother at a quaint sidewalk cafe table @ 9 Bakery & Lounge . The city of Wilmington may be familiar to you because this year USA TODAY readers voted it the #1 Best American Riverfront 2014 and FORBES magazine rated Wilmington 5th in its America’s Smartest Cities survey.

Impressive accolades for my hometown, to be sure, but that’s apart from my story.

To continue: I’d had a nice chat with fair Alice about how stunning her aqua-green handbag looked against her hot-pink T-shirt and as I turned to leave, up walked a radiant stranger – 6+ feet tall with a hat full of hair, shining eyes & enticing smile and he asked “What are you taking pictures of? I see so many people walking around town with cameras this morning!” I explained about the photo-walk and he was rightfully impressed.

It was then I remembered the additional challenge our photo-walk leader Rich Haas had given us prior to the start of the event. Inspired by photographer Richard Renaldi photo-essay ‘Touching Strangers’ we were to ask 2 strangers to sit together for a portrait & touch in some way.

If asked nicely, it’s amazing how generous people are of themselves!

After introducing myself to O.C and introducing O.C. to Alice, I asked if they’d sit together, hold hands and give me a smile. I clicked the shutter twice, thanked them and as I walked away I heard O.C. saying to Alice & her mom: “Coffee & donuts are on me this morning”.

I’m not a portrait photographer and have no desire to become one but I do love taking environmental portraits and, to my great surprise & delight, I won this local competition!

What was the prize? An extra large bag of Lindt truffels ~ tasty treats for sure!

However the real prize was the joy I experienced instigating a connection between 2 strangers and witnessing their initial shyness and subsequent mirth at the leading roles they had landed in this crazy little out-of-the-ordinary conspiracy of wonder.

Welcome to my Wonderland!

P.S.  Anyone knowing how to get in touch with O.C.or Alice, please have them contact me Here so I can gift them a copy of their image.

Additional environmental portraits Here


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