My first "significant" image and one of the purest experiences I've ever had as a "ghost".
Over a period of about a month on my daily route to work, I saw this body near the exit of La Brea off the 10 West.
Most always an agitated form, I usually left space between myself and the car in front of me to avoid getting caught in the middle of his storms without an escape. I wasn't the only one. I'd regularly find him yelling and spitting and jumping between cars. Needless to say, he was unpredictable.
On this day, coming off the exit, I noticed him laying peacefully on top of his cart. A form which up to that day I'd never considered possible, I made the immediate decision that I had to capture him.
Without boring you with every detail, this off ramp poured out into an area one would have little business walking towards once spat off onto La Brea South.... but I'd decided. It was happening.
The nearest opportunity to park was about a block and a half away - so I did, grabbed my camera and began walking back towards the fwy not knowing how long he'd hold that position, if he'd even still been laying there at all.
Here's where I feel it’s important to state that I'm not a sniper. I shoot with a single fixed lens. I have to get close. And, outside of it being an important part of my conviction as a Docu Street Stalker, I only had the width of the sidewalk against an aggressively flowing street.
As I approached him, a calmness came over me I can't really explain. He was awake and gently banging on the fence. It felt as time slowed - no sound of passing cars, no wildly tortured soul, or fear - whatever ether had bestowed him peace had steadied my hand and washed away any notion that this stillness could be broken without notice. As strange as it sounds, I don't remember looking through the camera or that I even held one in my hands. This shot is almost as a memory transferred directly from a dream. I only saw him as the Pieta held by some invisible grace.
He never felt me. I was never there.
I’m a Street Photographer from DTLA who believes that capturing truth requires the absence of me.
I’ve slept, worked, and lived in the streets of DTLA all my life.
Most recently, I lived in the center of the city, at 7th and Spring, and shot every single day for 8 years.
I shoot with at 23mm fixed lens, so I have to get close to my subjects. I’m not a sniper. I believe that if I can’t get close enough to catch the shot, I don’t deserve it.
My work is candid. My shots are unposed. My goal is to simply be present and distinctly attentive to the moments swirling around me with the single intention to capture any of an unfathomable amount of impossible alignments that go unseen every day.
To pull from my Genesis: We are stars. Expelled & dying flashes of light. Some named, held in awe. Some ignored, most unseen. An eternal cycle of peerless moments; the ephemeral beauty of simply being, burning, and dying before each other’s eyes.
Many of us go through life questioning our value. I hope that my work captures the fact that you are immense, powerful, and perfect every moment you are alive.
Thank you for being here.
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