We’ve probably all read those brazen comments on pretty much every photo forum out there – ‘I don’t take pictures of the homeless’…what they MEAN to say is ‘I’m not brave enough to take images of people on the fringes of society, so I pretend they’re not there…’
I am not, for one second, telling people to start snapping away at any unfortunate citizen lying in the street – no. Ask permission if you like, and walk away if you’re sworn at (you will be). Delete it if requested, be respectful. And be careful – the drugs are much meaner than they were in McCullin’s street days…
But don’t feel bad about capturing the image (by all means, feel bad about your subject..). As McCullin himself said ‘am I supposed to ignore it like it isn’t there?’ No of course not. Take your shot, show your shot, and make people aware of how bloody fortunate they are and that Cameron’s Britain gives less of a shit about those on the fringes as each day passes.
I’ve been closer to being homeless than most. I thank God for good friends, and a kind sister. I’m doing OK now, but I dont mind admitting to being scared at one point. These people are living it, and it must be painful – so take your image. And don’t be shy about who knows about it.
This is Lucy and Chris. I used to see them at Hyde Park Corner Tube. They haven’t been there in a while, so I’m hoping things got better for them….