Last year when the 30 Strangers project was announced, we had far more requests to participate than we had spaces. Emails came, mostly from Utah, but from other places as well. One email was from Texas. The email said she wanted to be a part of the project. But in the end, it didn’t work out. That’s the first part of the story, but not the end.
Last week, I was on a panel at the Alt Design Summit. Let me just stop the story right here and tell you that the conference was so great. It was for folks that blog for a living, and it was specifically geared towards those that blog about design, but it was attended by all kinds of bloggers. For me, the best part was meeting the folks that write the blogs I love. I knew Kathryn Storke would be there from Snippet and Ink, because she was listed as one of the speakers. But I didn’t know Jen Campbell from Green Wedding Shoes would be there, so that was a great surprise. You can view the complete speaker list here, and as you can see, this was a real rockstar group of speakers. Heather Armstrong from Dooce, Stephanie Brubaker from Stephmodo, Sarah Wright from Sarah Jane Studios, Grace Bonney from Design Sponge and the list goes on.
So back to the story. I was speaking on a panel at the Alt Design Summit and the other person on the panel with me was Karen Walrond, a beautiful women, talented writer and photographer. And, as it turns out, she is the one that emailed me from Texas that wanted to be part of the 30 Strangers project last year. How about that! We had a great time getting to know each other the night before our panel. The next day, we photographed each other. Then we gave great advice to some people on the topic: Photography on the web. Thanks to the Alt folks for inviting me, and a huge thanks to Amber Roussel for moderating the panel and coming up with such astute questions. Amber, I wish I would have been able to photograph you, too. Next time, huh?
And now, I give you the effervescent and magnetic Karen Walrond:
Karen is sweet, sweet. When the panel discussion first began, when she was introducing herself, she said to everyone there, “…You know, I’ve been around celebrities and I never get nervous or anything, but when I found out I was going to be on the panel with Justin, I thought, Oh my God, JUSTIN HACKWORTH.” Ah, Karen. You are great. You know how to make a guy feel good about himself. At that moment, I was ten feet tall.
And here are some pictures she took of me and Amy.
I love those pictures. I’m uncomfortable getting my picture taken. Karen set me at ease, then knocked it out of the park.
One last picture from the Alt Design Summit. Here’s Grace Bonney in the lobby of the Grand America hotel just as I was leaving. I wanted to say hi, but she’s a busy girl and I didn’t get a chance.
Justin Hackworth photographs photographers from Texas, bloggers from New York, and he wants to photograph you.