Photographer Aaron Draper is using his photography skills to bring awareness about homelessness by providing us gorgeous images of our human society's proverbial underbelly. By taking time to apply his artistic eye to the invisible, he's forcing the average person to stop and think about their respective roles in our world. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Check out this behind-the-scenes video and a few shots of Draper's fine work.
The project began with Draper's own curiosity with being homeless. In the video he conveys that as a child in a low-income family, he often wondered about homelessness. Years later, he's now a professor of photography at California State University and decided it was time to use his skills to bring awareness.
“I also always felt that photographers have a duty to use their art to change policy, to change people's ideas, and to make people feel and think differently,” Draper said. But to him, it's about capturing part of their essence, their struggle, their life. “I see a people that are resourceful, and that have found a way to live in the world where nobody else would want to live, and in a way nobody else would want to live... The homeless walk around with the lines on their faces of everything they've ever done.“
Draper, of course, pays them for their time. But in addition to that he also tries to get a copy of their image back to them. For many more photos and more information, please do check out Aaron Draper's website dedicated to the project.
All images used with permission.