Portrait day #50 in Portland!

Another favorite part of my stewie life?  Flying for free.  Or, more aptly put, the freedom to roam on a whim.  

My photographer obsession of the moment is a guy named Phil Chester.  I found him because someone posted a blog of his that caught my eye, and I spent the next five hours combing through every photo he's ever taken.  To my delight, I noticed that he was based in Portland, a Virgin city, so I took the chance and wrote him a personal email asking if he'd like to meet for coffee on my next layover.  Turns out, we arranged something much better.  I treated him to a flight to New York, and he treated me to a one-on-one mentoring day with him in Portland.  I got to soak up his wisdom and talent, and find inspiration in someone who is making his passions into reality.  I remember sitting there with him and thinking to myself, "I can't believe I made this happen!"  Last month, this person was an enigma, and right now, we are sharing conversation like old friends.  The saying crossed my mind about 'life begins at the end of your comfort zone'. I could have just admired him from afar, but I held my breath and stepped across my comfort line, and, wow! That was fantastic!  

The photo below is not, as you may expect, of Phil Chester.  This is Flannegan.  He was mattress-surfing at the same place where I was couch-surfing for the night.  $10, and I had the key to a stark little apartment on the edge of a great neighborhood to lie my head for the night.  Funny, from the minute I walked in to the time I left, Flannegan never left his bed.   I just saw this head sticking out of the blanket, a hello and a brief, friendly chat for a few moments before I walked down the street for dinner.  In the morning, he was still tucked in like a cocoon, but he peeped out a 'goodbye and safe travels' to me as I departed, and I smiled as I opened the door to a frosty cold morning outside.   

 

Flannigan. 

Flannigan.