I met him conversing across front porches. He is part of a contracting crew performing a renovation on my neighbor’s home here in the east end of Toronto. He smiled and asked me how I was doing and soon we were chatting from porch to porch about the progress of the renovation he’s involved in. He saw me fiddling with my bicycle and talk turned to the bicycling club my wife and I are involved in. Eventually, we introduced ourselves. Meet Keegan.
Keegan is the kind of fellow you can’t help but like right from the get-go with is friendly smile and easy-going manner. I found out he has been working with the contractor for a few months and it has been working out well for him and they are pleased with his work. He likes the fact that no one is looking over his shoulder all the time and all he has to do is do his tasks well and in a timely manner. His work ranges from general cleanup to more interesting tasks such as drywall and other jobs which require more skill.
His father is a full-service contractor so you might say that working on houses is in his blood. I asked about his name and he said it’s Irish and that his mother is Irish. His father is from Barbados. It’s an interesting mix. He was born in London Ontario and spent several years in Hamilton before coming to Toronto 5 years ago. “So, you’re working your way east” I said. He laughed and said "It seems that way."
As we talked I discovered that home renovation is not what Keegan is all about. He’s a 25 year old graduate of a college film program and aspires to making his own films and eventually becoming a director. He’s currently just paying the bills (student debt, no doubt) but has bought a good movie camera and is starting to do some film projects on his own. His other interest in his spare time is snowboarding which he has done in Alberta (“Fantastic!”) and in the hillier areas north of Toronto.
Keegan was a natural to invite into my 100 Strangers project, given his friendliness and his interest in film. He didn’t know a lot about Flickr but was eager to learn more and was immediately interested in participating in my project. He assured me that taking a few minutes off the job wouldn’t pose a problem. I went inside to grab my camera and posed him between the two houses where there was favorable, gentle light. I think the photo above gives an accurate sense of Keegan’s easy-going, friendly manner.
In reflecting on life, Keegan said “Happiness should come before success as a goal.” He also told me his philosophy is to always strive to improve and that achievement frequently involves some sacrifices. Clearly, a thoughtful young man.
Thank you Keegan for participating in 100 Strangers. You are Stranger #597 in Round 6 of my project. I hope you stick with your plan for getting into the film business. I think your positive personality will be a great asset no matter what career path you follow.
Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by the other photographers in our group at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page.
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