Around this time last year, I took a class on documentary and urban landscape photography and my self-chosen project took me waaaaay out of my comfort zone. (Fun fact: I’m a bit of a Nervous Nelly when it comes to talking to strangers! Now, you might say, “um, HELLO… that’s actually part of photographing PEOPLE… ” and I would reply, “you’re so right!” Hence, forcing myself into awkward and strange situations in the hopes that I won’t be so awkward and… strange. The quest for self-improvement is a never ending journey for this girl, folks!)
Anyway, I’d like to say that eventually I got over the fear of walking up to complete strangers and asking to photograph their hands but… I didn’t. It was terrifying, but thankfully most people responded kindly and encouragingly to my very strange request. And, it turns out, I LOVED working on this project! I wish I’d recorded all the conversations I had with people about their hands and they work that they do. But we’ll have to let the photographs do all the talking.
(To view the project as laid out in book form, please click here: Handcrafted Community)
The hands in these photographs tell the story of a community with deep roots and a desire for growth, sharing neighborhood proximity in Stoney Creek, Ontario. Some of these establishments have been here for several generations, and some are brave new ventures open just a few months. From church to sports bar, barber to pet groomer, museum to garage, regardless of vocation or venue, these hands are doing so much more than providing services to the general public and earning a living; they are crafting a community– one pour, fold, or twist of the wrist at a time. The work they do is creative, skilled, and surprisingly fast! These hands demonstrate the courage, passion, and hard work of people who are contributing to the health of their community. Welcome to King Street, Stoney Creek, where conversation, color, and life are thriving!
Many thanks to the fine folks of King Street, Stoney Creek:
Susan, Kate, and Porscha (Battlefield House Museum)
Sarah & Kallie (Stoney Creek Recreation Centre)
Dianne, Kathy, & Lori (Flowers By Dianne)
Sylvia & the WRCS Group’s Harold, Bob, Mel, Don, Dino, & Jim (Cheyne Presbyterian Church)
Patricia (Canada Post – Queenston Stationery)
Courtney (Purrfect Paws Grooming)
Chelsea (The Attic Pizza Parlour & Sports Bar)
Joe (Joe’s Barber Shop)
Bob (McDougall’s Garage)
Arekel & Demirci (Stoney Creek Tailors)
Ana (Salon Vive)
Sarah (Parkermann’s Fine Tea Co.)
Angela (Yellow Iris)
Kerry & Linda (Kerry’s Party for Less)
Joanne (The Picture Palace)
Amelia (Brittania Cleaners)
This project – and this community – would literally be nothing without you and your beautiful, hardworking hands!