As virtual reality becomes more available and widespread, there are more interesting applications of this technology. Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at Stanford has created a VR experience that lets you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. In their project, they use VR to show you what it’s like to be homeless.
Sometimes, photography is powerful enough to change your life. This is what happened to both photojournalist Ted Jackson and a homeless man he photographed in 1990. This photo created a strong bond between the photographer and his subject – who turned out to be a former football quarterback, Jackie Wallace.
Ted Jackson tells his story about the image and the man in the photo, whose life has been anything but kind to him. It’s a story about friendship and devotion, about life’s unpredictable paths and it’s bright and dark moments. It’s a wonderful story, but very sad at the same time.
In June 2015, Brazilian photographer Pedro Oliveira started a new personal project called Careful: Soul Inside. It’s a look into the lives of homeless people throughout the world using portraits. He engages with them, listens to their stories and shares their pictures. His goal is to bring awareness to the fine line that separates them from the rest of society and to make people see that they’re also people, too.
Photographer Horia Manolache had a goal when he started his latest project “The Prince and the Pauper“. He wanted to show homeless people in a new way to help make their stories heard. Inspired by Mark Twain’s novel, Horia’s series shows homeless people as they are and as they’d once dreamed to become. It’s quite a stark contrast.
Shot in a mobile studio, the preparations for each subject lasted between one and three weeks depending on how quickly he could find subjects. Horia’s wife assisted him on the shoots, helping with haircuts and make up while he found the costumes.
Photographer Aaron Draper describes his Underexposed project as a means by which to “enable people to gain a more humane view of the homeless.” However, some others have described it as predatory and exploitative, sharply criticizing Draper for choosing to focus his camera on less fortunate members of society.
In a written response to the critics, Aaron challenges their assertions and shares what his vision is for the future of the project.
As photographer Aaron Draper believes, photography of homeless individuals is quickly become a cliché. “Far too often, photographers who are searching for urban wildlife stalk the homeless. Unfortunately, this does nothing to increase our understanding of their lives or situations; it just shows how we are elevated and photographing them from a place of privilege.”
His artistic response was to photograph the homeless with the same attention and dignity that he would any traditional client, trading in the typical black-and-white for color, and bringing a mobile lighting setup with him. His goal isn’t to share an image that makes us feel bad for a moment and whisper a half-hearted prayer before going on with our privileged lives. His goal is to share lives.
Vogue magazine’s editor at large, Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis, caused a stir after she posted the photo to her Instagram account, captioned “Paris is full of surprises….and @voguemagazine readers even in unexpected corners!”
The fact that she is an actual princess and belongs to one of the wealthiest families in Germany provoked even more criticism.
Should rich people avoid photographing the poor?