For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been working on a photography project documenting the simple (yet complex) images of people’s faces in downtown Portland.
It sort of started out as a way to raise awareness for homelessness, but it quickly morphed into something bigger.
See, the more pictures I took the more I realized that I’d be cutting the project’s impact short if it only featured folks living on the streets. So I began focusing more on interesting people in general.
To anyone familiar with downtown Portland, you know that it wasn’t hard for me to find unique images. As a matter of fact, the most difficult part was choosing which pics to include and which ones to leave out.
One of the things I love about photography is that it’s different from writing- with writing I’m supposed to kind of nudge the reader in a certain direction, to give an opinion based on facts and sentiments.
With photography I get to simply put the images out there for people to interpret on their own. It forces the viewer to confront a level of honesty within themselves that they might be subconsciously fighting with had the idea been presented to them in persuasive writing rather than matter-of-fact imagery.
I titled some of the photos below with the emotion that they invoke within me, and others I just attached a short caption to in an attempt to provide a bit of context.
Every one of the people featured gave me their permission to take their picture- some happily obliged, some were hesitant until I mentioned that it was for the BDN, some asked for a dollar in exchange, and some just wanted to pet my dog (he’s a great ice breaker).
Here they are, I hope you like them folks: