Homeless Documentary Project: Eyes that seem looking at a world only them would seem to figure out. (2011)
To successfully carry out my London Homeless Project I had first to identify where I could find the homeless that I need to cover. The first thing I made was to ride on the upper decks of buses so that I would take notes of the places where homeless individuals might be found. Then after having in this way compiled a map of the locations where homeless peoples could be found, I started visiting these places and approaching some of those homeless that would seem more likely to cooperate with me. The places were homeless peoples could to be found, were homeless shelters or near churches offering some assistance to them, as well as tube and railway stations. Choosing whom to approach was very important, as the appearances and attitudes of some of these people clearly indicate their hostility and even some risks of acts of physical violence. Therefore, I had in this regard to avail myself of all my public relation and persuasion capabilities to succeed in getting these homeless peoples to agree to be photographed as they were, and tell me their particular stories. However, not always my initial judgements would prove to be sound, as some of those I thought, judging from their apparent good naturalness, were likely to be cooperative, became hostile and unhelpful when I approached them to kindly be photographed. There I realized that the best way to get their trust and cooperation was to engage in casual friendly conversation with them, showing them that they were in my eyes dignified people worthy of respect as human beings going through some difficult times. I found out that only after managing to establish some sort of amicable relationship, any request for agreeing to be photographed should be tactfully made. However, there are some exception to this general norm, as some of the homeless peoples, can, as soon as they realize that you might be interested in their pictures, tell you to shoot, as if such photography would make them feel very important. In general, I could confirm here that, in average, I might have succeeded in getting the cooperation of almost 50% of those approached. However, sometimes, there were some cases of hostile reception, and potential verbal or even physical abuses, which made necessary for me to leave the scene immediately. I must emphasize here that, since not all the homeless I met were so because of the economic crisis, I had to disregard those homeless people that I met whose homelessness were not causally related to the economic crisis.
With regard to the equipments I have used for this photographic project, I may mention here that I have used a medium format camera, a digital as well as a 35mm camera. For the lighting I used a flash.
Here are some of the images of homeless peoples made so by the economic crisis that I have captured with one of the above-mentioned three camera types. Meeting and photographing these homeless people made me sympathetic and very troubled, especially when I see their eyes that seem looking at a world only them would seem to figure out.