For some time now, I’ve been wanting to embark on a personal project. I didn’t know that I was to start this evening.
As you know I do a lot of #streetphotography and #documentary #photography – my interest is not in the aesthetic side of the new style of street photography but the capturing of humanity. In the new age of social media where starlets and nobodies can have gazillions of followers, the people who appear in my #photos are stars in that space for a day. They may be everyday folk, or those who are on the fringes of society.
I decided some weeks ago, it being winter, that if I saw someone in need, I would devote $20 to whatever they needed most urgently: be it food, clothing, a pair of shoes … No money, no smokes, no alcohol. But most of all, to accord them respect and dignity – for they are humans as well. Their circumstance is not normally of their own choice. It is not for me to judge them as bludgers or addicts. Often times, there is an underlying issue that has led them to this point.
I grappled with the ethics of being able to take their photo. But in the end, my mission is to highlight humanity. Not draw attention to myself. My hope is that with each person I help, I tell their story as well. My request is that when you see these images on #Instagram or on here, that you will share the post to your feeds for one purpose: to inspire. Inspire someone, anyone, to action, in their own way, no matter how big or small.
Again, I repeat: I do not wish to draw attention to myself except to set an example that being compassionate and showing respect and according dignity to those in need, without judgement, is important, especially now in a fast-paced world full of conflict and superficiality.
I am aware that there are many of us who help donate to charities etc. But in reality, we do that to be one step away from the sad reality. It makes a difference when you actually reach out personally to these people. For one moment, you see belief and hope in their eyes. You see that they are grateful for the respect and dignity. Not pity.
What we see every single day on social media or the news is not reality. Reality is when you come face-to-face with the people on your streets who are largely ignored and it’s like they don’t exist. They didn’t ask to be born in that circumstance. Once upon a time, they were all babies and children as well.
Thank you for your time.