Capturing Humanity: Photographing Homelessness in L.A.

Singer and photographer Guy Sebastian has spent a good chunk of his career working with many charities. His own charity, The Sebastian Foundation strives to recognize all people as equals and create a lasting change in the lives of the less fortunate. For this Canon Shine feature, Sebastian uses photography to capture the humanity behind homelessness:

Sebastian truly believes that photography can bring understanding and change our perceptions of people. He tries to capture humanity by photographing powerful images that reflect stories in people’s faces. Here, we ride with Sebastian as he spends a day on Sunset Boulevard, where he meets and photographs three people on the streets of Los Angeles.

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Sebastian’s first portrait of the day.

“The toughest thing about these portraits is that I don’t want to necessarily just spell out doom and gloom, or someone who’s down and out. I want people to look at these faces and wonder; not judge but wonder. I think it’s important. I think imagery can really bring understanding, and that’s what I’m trying to achieve.”

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“I look at this woman’s face and a shot like that can tell you so much without even having to ask.”

“People like that make my day. Just meeting different people and engaging them and talking to them, even just hearing about their stories.”

For his last shot of the day, Sebastian finds the one picture he’s been searching for, the one picture that gets him excited. He meets Gregory, and with the help of a few friends, stages a photograph that really captures the inequality and indifference found in the world today.

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Sebastian staged this photo to demonstrate the inequality seen in cities.

“This is what matters to me.”

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