Photographer takes 400+ pictures for “Faces of Frederick” project


FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) – A Gaithersburg man walked through downtown Frederick this weekend to add to his collection of faces.

Downtown Frederick has served as the perfect sea of faces for local photographer Mark Johnson who has made it a hobby over the past four years to ask random strangers a simple question: “Can I take a picture of you?”

“Once you get over the fear of the rejection – if they’re going to say ‘no’ or ‘Get away from me,’ it doesn’t bother me anymore,” Johnson said. “But today, a lot of people have been really friendly about it.”

Johnson’s project started gathering attention on social media when he posted his photos on local Facebook groups. He was recognized throughout the day as he added dozens of smiles to his collection.

“The people that are down here are outgoing and, I mean, I’ve only seen a few people say no to him,” Scott Little said, who works downtown. “A lot of people are all for it, so I think it’s a great thing. Bring a little smile back to Maryland, Frederick.”

Johnson has collected a total of over 400 faces now and says he has no intention of finishing this project any time soon.

“I mean, there’s always new faces out here, and the ones I’ve already gotten, maybe they look different the next time I see them,” he said. “I enjoy doing it, so why would I stop? I’ll go to 1,000.”

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