Thursday, November 6, 2008

High Fashion and the Homeless - Heartside

On Wednesday I shot a fashion show at Rockwell & Republic; an uber hot restaurant/bar in the Heartside neighborhood of Grand Rapids. Heartside has seen tremendous revitalization over the last 3 years or so...and it's long been the base for many of the city's homeless shelters and food kitchens.

The obvious social contrasts of an event like this are interesting...and in between shooting models on the sidewalk in expensive clothing I chatted with the guy above...not really because I wanted to...but because he kept asking me for money.

I nearly always refuse panhandlers based on one simple principle; creativity. Their plea is typically based on needing a dollar (or two) to purchase a sandwich...and 9 times out of 10 we are both standing within a block of a food kitchen giving out 3 full squares a day. So I assume they aren't exactly being forthright with their request.

This guy asked me to take his picture several times...and each of his invitations stated that it was an opportunity to photograph "the real mother f-ing deal."

Hard to pass up...


katie said...

great caption info... i totally remember feeling like this whenever i'd photograph ANYTHING near division and... fulton was it?

Brian Kelly said...

this place is on division about 2 blocks south of fulton...the panhandling is a bit out of control in Heartside.

Steven Scherbinski said...

I remember reading that a photographer carries around some small bills and model releases. When he gets hit up for cash, he basically turns it into a transaction, the get a couple bucks, and he gets a photo with a release.

I believe he stated he probably wouldn't use them, but you never knew.