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January 5, 2010 / Steve

Day 5 – Homeless

When I took this picture today, I was so caught up in the process of capturing the image, that I totally disregarded this man’s situation. Photographically speaking, I’m proud of it because it tells a story by showing the poignant contrast between this homeless man and the vacationing beachgoers in the background. I love capturing moments in time that are either thought provoking or hard to recreate. However…

As I did my post-processing on this photo, the reality of his situation really started to sink in, and I began to feel really sad about it. What’s his story – is he a veteran? Did he lose his home in the drop in the economy? Where’s his family? I should’ve at least introduced myself and said hello after the photo. I wouldn’t feel this way about taking a picture of someone who wasn’t homeless, but I feel like I took advantage of his misfortune and gave nothing in return; no money, no hello or thank you, nothing.

As a result, I don’t think I’ll ever take another picture of a homeless person without at least talking to them; finding out a little bit about them and giving them a little something in exchange for their photo.

It wasn’t my goal to be so morose today, but this is real. I can take beautiful beach pictures anytime.

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9 Comments

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  1. Dave / Jan 5 2010 9:34 PM

    phenomenal capture and the story is even better. I think we’re going to learn a lot in this.

  2. wendy / Jan 6 2010 9:31 AM

    I’m not good with words but, you my friend are amazing. I’m looking forward to walking with you in 2010. I think you have a very special gift.

  3. Niki / Jan 6 2010 2:46 PM

    This is an amazing picture. Like you said, it’s real. I love it. Maybe you’ll see him again to talk to him

  4. Victor / Jan 7 2010 11:54 AM

    Great photo. I cant stop thinking about this shot. You have a heart of gold my friend and knowing you Im sure you will be back to this beach soon.

  5. Lori / Jan 8 2010 9:16 PM

    wow. incredible shot, and incredible thought provoking matter… i’m sure this project will lead you to depths within yourself and introspection that you never expected at all! i’m sure it’s going to be a huge challenge, but what great rewards!!!
    ps i echo victor’s comments about the heart of gold :0) love ya!

  6. Steve / Jan 8 2010 10:26 PM

    Love the comments everybody! I didn’t know what to expect on this one since it turned out so differently from when I took the picture. Your comments are so encouraging. I will thoroughly enjoy trying to produce great imagery while at the same time trying to put some meaning to it. It’s a tough challenge, and so rewarding.

    Then, at other times I might just take a picture of a glass of water… 😀

  7. Nancy / Jan 9 2010 3:38 AM

    this image is incredibly powerful. i recently had a conversation with my friend about volunteering at a shelter, but we haven’t looked into it yet. i will be taking care of that today. you see how powerful it is? i’m sure you would make his day if you sat down and talked with him for a while. maybe you’ll see him again. you’re right, making photographic images that touch the soul is an incredible challenge, but you accomplished that here.

  8. Natalie / Jan 28 2010 10:00 AM

    What caught me was his frailty when I saw this photo. Then after reading your snippet about it, I went back and saw more. You’re doing such a great job with this project. Wish I had some talent like this.

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  1. Day 17 – Arboretum « Steve's 365 Project

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