Ask me why I started this Beggars Street Photos Project…. there is no easy answer to this question.
All I know is that these people fascinate me. The sheer humility that they must go through to ask strangers for money puzzles me; the reason why they have come to the place where they have to beg to survive is intriguing to the point where I have to know WHY?; Furthermore, I am curious to why some of them have a “content look” on their faces and others project absolute sadness.
I’ve travelled the world on photography jobs – Every city I have visited, from Europe, the America’s to the East, all of them have their beggars. No matter if it is First World or Third World – beggars there will be!
Street Photos in Israel
This is a world so far apart from our cozy way of living, yet all of us pass by a beggar on a daily basis. We choose to ignore, walk by or in some instances appease our conscience by dropping a coin in a hat. Few of us ever stop to speak or chat with these very interesting people – Face it – they are different to us and besides just not caring we also fear speaking to them – most of the time because we think that we have nothing in common to them or because we generalise and pigeon-hole them to be hobos, tramps and good-for-nothing people.
The reality is that no-one is born to be a beggar and certainly no-one aspires to be a beggar. Most beggars had real lives before stooping down to sit on a cold concrete floor with a bottle of beer in the one hand and an upside down dirty hat with a few coins in it on the other side. Somewhere along the line most had unfortunate turns of events, throwing them so far off course that they cannot find a way of getting back to a more normal way of living.
I guess it is this, the events or actions that caused their downward spiral, THE REASON WHY, that intrigues me the most. How did they get to this point? Though my photos I want to tell stories… The Stories that will help us “normal” people understand why and how these people have come to this live on the street and beg to survive. Hopefully, these street photos will draw some attention and we will get some do-ers and charities on board that can help and assist beggars to get back on their feet and make their lives count again in society.
Natelee quietly started her own little charity project by feeding the Durbanville vagrants and rough sleepers once a week. Easy? No! But there is the reward of a warm heart and a sense of contributing to the community that comes with every cup of soup dished out. For now, she needs more blankets and warm clothes for this project if you want to help – Just email us and we will reply with an address where you can drop the stuff off.
Part 1 in my Beggars Photo Project features beggars in Israel. On a recent trip to the “Holy Land” we walked the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and came across these poor souls.
It is my aim to raise awareness of these souls through the photos that I have taken of beggars around the world. To tell their stories and answer the questions us “normal” people have about them. Read Part 1 again to catch my drift.
In June I spent a few days in London and a week in Barcelona. Between shooting weddings and corporate events, I found a bit of time to work on my beggar photos project. Bottom line is that even in these first world countries, you also find beggars – It is a worldwide problem!
Here’s a bit of interesting info I bet a lot of you did not know of. In the UK you can get a free allowance from the state to care for your pet! For this reason a lot of beggars and vagrants keep dogs as their income get supplemented by the pet benefit then! Whether they use it to care for the dogs probably varies from person to person.
Here in South Africa, Natelee feeds the homeless in Durbanville once a week. Apart from food these guys need warm clothes and blankets during winter. If you feel like helping out, please get in contact and drop these items at our office in Stellenberg.
Street Photos in London & Barcelona