With the click of the shutter, Brent Wilson, 21, of Millville snaps the 30th portrait for his “Humans of Millville” Facebook page.
“Give me a quote,” he urges his subject, Glen Hill, 54.
“I uh, I like hunting. I’ve killed 5 raccoons today,” stammers Hill, crushing his frayed John Deere trucker hat in his hands.
“Perfect,” interrupts Wilson, proceeding to hastily scrawl the quote in his yellow Hilroy Notebook.
Wilson decided to create a Facebook page for Millville, a New Brunswick village with a population of 307, when he saw that Fredericton, a nearby town, had a similar page with about 10,000 “likes”.
“I have 10 likes already and the page has only been up for a week and a half. I guess the problem is that in less than a year everyone will have their photo up if I keep posting every day. Some people can go up twice though,” said Wilson, his eyes darting around, frantically searching for a new subject.
Wilson said the key to telling a story in a single portrait is to get the subject to look off into the distance and smile sadly. He also increases the clarity setting in Photoshop to make it look more “real and gritty.”
“Add a vignette. Always add a vignette. It just makes you look more pro,” explains Wilson to an 8-year-old onlooker, referring to the technique of darkening the corners of an image.
Sandy Pond, the 45-year-old mayor of Millville, said he is proud of Wilson’s “entrepreneurial spirit” and encourages such creativity with the other 58 youth in the village.
“I’m trying to convince Brent to take more photos in front of our world’s largest maple leaf sculpture; this could be really good for tourism,” said Pond.
However, not all residents are convinced that this is a good idea.
“I don’t want naked photos of me going on Google,” said Irma Buchanon, a retiree who refused to divulge her age.
“He has no right making money off me,” added Buchanon, sitting in a motorized grocery cart.
For now, Wilson is happy to bask in his fame and glory.
“Cindy McInley asked me to go sit and look at the [maple leaf] statue with her, and she would’ve never even looked at me before,” said Wilson, proudly thumping his chest with his fist before biking to his parents’ house to process his latest batch of artistic expression.