Reality Bites

These next set of images I created recently for a brief from uni. We were given the title Reality Bites to respond to. As I've become more and more aware that I want to document people's lives through my photography I decided to take this direction with this project.
If you live in the countryside they say you don't go one day with out seeing a cow. If you live in London its pretty much the same story but with the homeless. They constantly ask us for change and one by one we turn them down because we think in our heads we know the money isn't going to go on food. Not all beggars and the homeless are these scrounging drug induced people some people make them out to be. There are some people out on the streets who literally did not have a choice. There's no way we can ever really tell this but I basically wanted to show, in small bites the reality of some of these beggars we walk past day in day out. My main source of research was Jim Goldberg who I just can't get enough of at the moment.

I ventured out mainly around East and central London, walking up to beggars, sitting down next to them and trying just to talk to them about the reason they were homeless, what their doing about it and how their dealing with it. I asked if I could take a portrait after talking to them and if they could write a small message on a piece of paper that would be displayed under their photo. I did this basically to give them more control over the message of the photograph, so it made it more of a reality. I shot them all in RAW and with the Canon 400D's basic pop up flash. Obviously I know that flash sucks and I avoid using it all the time, but I didn't want to glamorize the subjects at all with a massive fixed flash. Plus they get a bit edgy if they think your from a paper. So yeah, here's my final four from the series.

This is a Scottish guy called Mark, he was by far the friendliest I spoke too. I think I was talking to him for about 25 minutes. I can't work out what he meant on the last line, I think maybe his life is at night time.

Battersea took this guys dog off him, he has to pay quite a bit of money to get him back.

"Only when freedom is truly outlawed will the outlaws be truly free!"

This guy was convince that I was from a paper, I had to speak to him for a while to earn some trust, and show him my student card.

"Wife split up after 18 years, she still has the kids. You don't know what you've got till its gone."

Trevor was definitely the most shocking story I heard. For reasons he wouldn't tell me his wife kicked him out, he's been on the streets for 2 years while his wife and kids are still in what was once called his home.