I could never imagine doing what I tried to do for profit or to simply display the lives of people in need, which is probably the much of the thought behind the type of criticism or questioning that comes from photographing homeless people.
I think homeless people are undeniably a part of the neighborhood we live in and I felt like I wanted to capture that somehow, but I wasn’t sure in how to approach it other than to think about Thomas Hawk’s $2 Portrait project. For any destitute person that approaches him asking for money, he more that willingly gives them $2 as long as they agree to pose for a portrait.
I had gotten this far with a homeless guy who I’ve seen standing in the same corner under all type of weather with a dog by his side asking for money. Rather than $2, I had given him $5 and he more than willingly agreed to have a portrait taken but the intersection he’s on was too crowded, the dog kept barking at me and the sun was shinning behind him which rendered a dark silhouette from where I was standing, so while it seemed like the odds where against me for capturing a decent shot of this person, the ones I took of his dog leering at me became a small reminder that I tried.
What’s interesting about this photograph which David Cole pointed out is that the more you stare at it, the more it seems like the dog has human eyes. Using the 85mm, I was still able to capture an intimate shot of him while remaining somewhat distant.