Homeless – An Art Project in Black and White

May 20, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

Recently I was invited to be a part of a challenging photographic project.  Challenging from a few different areas.  First, the objective was to photograph some of our neighbors here in Nashville.  The one major difference is that these people are homeless and live on the streets.  The day was fairly cold, a high of about the low 50′s with some gusty winds that just didn’t let up for most of the day.  I was cold so I went to my car and added a hoodie, not a big deal at all really.  Unless you stop to think about the fact that these folks didn’t have that option.  Some of them had everything they owned strapped to their back like my new friend Will and his dog.

If you can’t read the milk jug it says, “Dog Food Fund God Bless.”

We had lots of great volunteers working with us on this day!  Alvin Peerman and his beautiful family were there.  Love their little son, what a trooper he was even in the cold.  I wish I could remember everyone’s name, but I just can’t do it.  They did anything and everything that needed done with a great attitude and servant’s heart.

Tanzye and Kristin ham it up for the camera

I kept my equipment to a minimum and shot tethered into Lightroom for a super efficient work flow.

The premise of the project was this: homeless people may not have EVER had a professional portrait.  They don’t have any visible image of their self to identify with.  What do they look like?  How do others see them?  Does anybody really care?  We wanted to let them know that they are real people that make a difference.  We allowed them to choose which portrait they wanted and the caption that meant the most to them.  So they did the editing and they selected the title, keep that in mind as you look at the images. 

These are some of the best images I’ve shot so far this year.  Personally, it was very satisfying to do these for people that may have never had a portrait done.  Giving away something that we may take for granted is a really great idea.  If you are a photographer, I challenge you to try and find a way to do a similar project.  I think you will look at what you do in a whole different light.  Thanks for looking.

 

 


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