100 Strangers Project - 39/100 / by Michael Pung

So while I was on the photowalk back in Hackney Wick I noticed that there was a photographer taking photos with a twin reflex camera. She was exploring the area just like I was in the group and decided to approach her. Little did I know, she was also in the group too! (We had a big group and I hadn't met everyone yet at this point) 

Natalie was quite happy to have her photograph taken and I asked her about her camera. This was the first time that I've been shown how to use a camera like the one she had. The viewfinder was big and bright though the view is flipped the other way around so composing shots can be challenging...

We then got talking about Humans of New York and I told her about how Brandon Stanton delves deeply into conversations with his subjects. So I asked: What was the saddest moment of your life?

"Probably when my grandmother passed away. She was someone who I spent a lot of my childhood with and was quite intrinsic in my growing up. She developed Parkinson's and dementia so it was a long and slow decline and the thing that was so hard about that was to see how my mum reacted to that. To see how her mother declined and how she remained strong for us and to not seem that anything would bother her. While still internalising her own sadness."

She spoke about how her mother was doing the best she could to help her grandmother out even though the situation wasn't great.

"It brought us closer together as a family because you recognise that something's there and something's affecting someone and then you try to support each other more substantially because of that."

I also discovered that she hasn't seen her mother for a long time and that she actually comes from Perth, Australia on her final two months of her working holiday visa.

Thank you for taking part in the project Natalie!