What arises when you are put into an expanse of strangers - meeting for the first time. Will it be awkward? Will it be effortless? Will you unearth each others' secrets? For this photographic series, photographer Shaira Luna gathers four young boys together to see what will uncover. Acclimatised to first encounters, fresh faces and unfamiliar affairs, growing up is full of strange engagements like these - be it summer camp or progressing through school. Imagine these four strangers over a small wooden table in a cafe in Sydney, and what might develop between a stash of pancakes and fruit smoothies. How will the social map unfold for this young cluster?
Eyes observe across the room. Emerson, the shy one, his movements reserved and calculated - almost looking the part of a distinguished gentleman from another era. Angus, the athlete, balancing up the perfect concoction amid serious and harmonious. Evan, the dreamer, with that bad-boy look and eyes that hold such a smoulder - always aware of the lens disclosing on him. He speaks about his new alliance: "Me and Juay really hit it off, he immediately felt like a little brother to me". Juay, youngest of them, the tireless young spirit. Constantly moving, invariably talking, energy melts off him. Each boy settling into the afternoon, and trying to figure out what makes them the same or different to each other.
The playful amusement and sincere connections make for an enchanting story of four youths. We've all been around this table. Will friendships form? Will you be sitting on a parkbench, talking about the days adventures at 4am soon? Or will this meeting just for this daylight?
Words by Maria Memet.