Under the beauty lights

While I understand that a lot of people don’t get excited to see these kinds of photos, lately I’ve felt compelled to shoot homeless people. In the past this would not have been the case, but when you’re shooting more and more of the city around you it changes your perspective for both the better and the worse – or at least for the worse off. They are part of the surroundings, and when you’re doing everything in your power to capture beautiful things, well, you tend to feel like you’d be remiss not to document the trouble as well.

You worry, because you think people could be offended. It’s not just that you consider the subject’s privacy or personal space – you also are leery of those walking by. You feel kind of protective of the situation if you really care about what you’re doing. I’m discrete, and I don’t show faces unless they know I’m shooting them. I’ve decided anyone who lets me take their photo with alacrity, I’ll give them a bit of money. I’ve never understood people that don’t give a beggar some change. I really don’t get it.

As for this photo, I’ve seen that blanket before, and it’s always over his face. Something about the make-up mirror beauty lights overhead caught my attention here, not just the liquidation sign. I left it wide and low to keep the attention on the street. This is his dwelling. The ground floor of a 30-story building is not a very comfortable place to sleep.
Under the beauty lights


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