Today we had Ben Lewis and Arthur Marquez as guest speakers in our class. It was very interesting learning about their job and experiences. Arthur is an underwater photographer and goes around the world documenting the jobs the navy does underwater. Ben is an aerial photographer so he gets to shoot from above. When they were showing their work I was amazed by the photographs and the feelings they get to capture. I think their work is great, and they sure look like they love what they do.
I decided to go up to coco’s neighborhood to take some panoramas for this assignment. I almost got the cops called on me because apparently, I was “trespassing” but I told the lady I was a student and she was a bit more calm. Overall, it was a cool assignment, I had fun doing it.
This project was very challenging for me. I’m not the kind of person to interact with strangers voluntarily. This project forced me to get out of my comfort zone and interact with my community and people around me. At the beginning I got a lot of rejections and some people were intimidating and rude but I got passed it and I got to meet some amazing people. The turnout was great, I was expecting to be there for about three hours but it took much less. People were very supporting of the student project which made it easier. I enjoyed the project and I enjoy meeting new people.
PS: huge THANK YOU! to everyone who agreed to get their picture taken 🙂
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” -Ansel Adams
When I think about photography I think about inspiration, memories and places. It’s a different approach than how other people see it, but it works for me. The quote above describes the relationship between photography and Ansel Adams free expression, he implies that when words are unclear photographs will do the talking. When I first began to think about my photo book project I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted this book to be powerful and have the photographs speak to other people. I think something that grabbed my attention was the increased of homeless people in San Diego. This spring break I started to notice how streets that used to be empty now are occupied by the homeless community which is why I decided to focus my project on this social issue.
The increasingly number of homeless people who occupy the streets of San Diego has become a growing social issue. The homeless population in San Diego is now the fourth largest in the country and it continues to increase, “San Diego’s homeless population rose to 8,742 this year from 8,506 in 2014, a 2.8% increase that bumped it into the top four for the first time behind the metropolitan areas of Seattle, Los Angeles and New York City” (Schroeder, 2015). It saddens to pass by and see so many people without homes which is why I decided to focus my photobook on the homeless life. I want to know people stories. Why is it that they live the way they do? Who were they before they lived in the streets? What were their dreams? I believe these people have so much to tell the world and they just need an opportunity to do so. They don’t have to speak, just a photograph can capture their emotions in their facial expressions. I think that homeless people are treated as invincible and I seek to make the invincible visible in my book.
The way I want to approach this project is by not only photographing the homeless but also trying to help with what I can. First, I’m planning on mapping the places I will be visiting beforehand and secondly, pre-visit the site where I plan to photograph to become familiar with it. Oceanside, and downtown San Diego are the two main areas I will be photographing at. I plan to photograph at least 10 different people and collect as much detail as I can from them such as what is was like before they were homeless and touch a little on the fallen dreams and the past only if they are willing to cooperate. I will be writing a list of questions to ask each of my subjects, they will have the option to write them down or verbally answering or to opt out completely.
I will also be donating socks and proving free food to my volunteers. I hope that with this I can help them help me and we both can benefit from this project. I’m also planning on taking a couple of friends with me to help me with technical things such as diffusers and lighting. I understand this could potentially be an unsafe project but I will take the required measures to make this work accordingly. I believe I’m prepared to work with homeless people since I’ve volunteered at homeless shelters before and I have a broad understanding of what it means to live this type of life. I am very excited to see what stories I’m going to hear and what kinds of people I’m going to meet. I’m ready to get out of my comfort zone.
In conclusion, for my photobook project I will be photographing homeless people and learning about their past life. With this project, I seek to make the invincible visible and give those who don’t have a voice an opportunity to be heard. I will be mostly photographing in down town San Diego and Oceanside. I think this project is an opportunity to involve with my community and meet people who I never thought I would meet.