How Portrait Photography is Helping the Homeless

When you have a marketable skill that’s in high demand, spending a couple of hours doing your job for those who need it is sometimes more valuable than donating money to the same worthy cause. A couple of months ago a video made the rounds on the Internet showing a professional barber spending some of his afternoons grooming people who are homeless. Along these lines comes the following video from photographer Aaron Draper:

What Draper does might not seem like much at a first glance, but it’s actually one of the most touching pieces of photojournalism that I’ve seen.

portrait lighting setup

Draper at work

By taking time to have a genuine interest in these people’s lives, he leaves a mark and significantly contributes to their happiness.

homeless photography aaron draper

Portraits of people who are homeless, used to raise awareness of their situation.

Every one of the people included in Draper’s projects has been paid to take part, and afterwards he returns to check back on them and gifts them their own professional portraits.

greyhound station portrait
hitchhiker portrait
backlit portrait

What’s most touching to me is that these people aren’t professional models, yet you can see their entire lives through their eyes in that one captured moment. This is sincerity in its purest form.

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