The Story of a Homeless, Working Fashion Model and Photographer

The Story of a Homeless, Working Fashion Model and Photographer

Jane Ridely of the New York Post revealed a compelling story of New Yorker Mark Reay, who for years has worked as a High-Fashion Model while living homeless. The rooftop dweller breaks the stereotype of the dirty, lazy, drunk that we tag along side our homeless community. Reay's roles and his look as that of the sophisticated and affluent. On set and walking through the streets of New York, you wouldn't guess that the well-dressed and well-groomed model may just be headed to sneak off to his rooftop sleeping quarters.

The story not only questions social norms and perceptions but also tells an intriguing story of a successful Fashion Photographer and Model. Mark Reay spent 6 years of his life homeless and successfully kept his secret to all of his colleagues and almost all of his friends.

To some degree, Reay's career and life choices are glamorous. Forgoing comforts and financial guarantees to chase and live the life of travel that he desired. But, on the other side it also reveals the reality of the Fashion Industry. The industry as a whole is perceived as glamorous, the nature of the product is in fact itself glamor and fantasy so it appropriately so.

The story and the personal journey of Reay are intriguing, but I also think his life choices and ability to get buy with so little, comments largely on our culture. The things we see and necessity and the structure that is built around us, creates a false demand for certain "essentials". Mark Reay, does in a way debunk our social structure. I highly encourage you all to read his story and gleam what you may from his experiences.

You can read the full article by Jane Ridley Here.

Lance Nicoll's picture

owner of Lance Nicoll Wedding Photography - Fine Art Wedding Photography Studio

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It's amazing that he's been able to survive on the subsistence income that he earns. But he's managed to survive with the meager income paying for his gym membership, locker rental, cellphone, health insurance and food. Health insurance ain't cheap! He's doing a lot better than other homeless people on the street. He found a way to be presentable to clients.

I wish him success.

It's only a surprise if you already judge a book by its cover on a regular basis. I know a few homeless people, as well as "toothless biker" types. Until you get to know them, you'll be mistaken about them.

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By reading this article, I gained a lot of confidence to pursue my career in fashion photography. It was an eye-opener.
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