Portrait Opposite the Newark Gateway

Mulberry Street, Newark, New Jersey
Mulberry Street, Newark, New Jersey

He called me over to take his picture but was surprised when I agreed to. We shook hands and introduced ourselves (but he asked me not to use his real name) and he told me he was homeless. I snapped off a few quick shots and he seemed to be pleased with them but told me he had no access to the internet to see them.

Last Rite

110th St and Broadway, New York
110th St and Broadway, New York

Ordinarily I don’t take shots of destitute people in the street unless I have engaged with them in some way as the images look cheaply exploitative to me. But in this case I thought the intensity of the conversation between the young woman and the man deserved documenting.

Police Frame-up

108th St and Amsterdam Avenue, New York
108th St and Amsterdam Avenue, New York

See previous post. After initially being reluctant to be photographed, he decided after seeing his companions’ picture that he would like to be photographed but with the word “police” figuring prominently. They asked me if it would be Black & White and I said since I liked the way the cool blue of the barricade and the graffiti contrasted with the warm color of his skin and the wall behind him I’d probably keep it in color. He laughed and said he guessed that was my way of calling him handsome and I agreed. We shook hands again and they wished me happy holidays and I was on my way.

Passing the Time

108th St and Amsterdam Avenue, New York
108th St and Amsterdam Avenue, New York

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I noticed what looked like a newborn, improbably sticking up out of a shopping cart by an apparently homeless couple. I came over and said hi and expressed satisfaction that it wasn’t really a live baby and took a picture of it. By then a friend (see next post) had come over and joined them. We shook hands and he asked my name which I told him, but they never reciprocated with theirs. It was suggested that my fine picture of the doll would sell – I interrupted to laugh at that notion – and then that a contribution to the homeless would be appreciated. I offered a few dollars and asked to take their portrait, to which the 2 shown here agreed. The woman said she’d seen me around the neighborhood shooting and that she lived in the homeless shelter up the block. After seeing the picture, their companion decided he’d like his taken after all. See my next post, later today.