The Prince and the Pauper: Homeless People As They Have Dreamed to Be
Photographer from Bucharest. Studied photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Published his works in Forbes, LensCulture, Lenscratch, Rangefinder, DIY Photography, Elle Decor, Bored Panda, PetaPixel and many other outlets. Winner of international photography contests Photography Awards, Prix de la Photographie Paris, MIFA Awards, Longford Art Photography.
— I lived in San Francisco and here the population of homeless people is overwhelming. My idea was initially different but evolved into this one. It came from the way people are shown in magazines and on TV: you see them and instantly believe they are successful. This was the purpose of this project, to show these homeless people in a different way, to question the truth of an image.
Firstly, I found some people through a homeless friend. In this way they were trusting me more. After speaking with them about their dreams I had to find costumes so usually I was meeting them after a week with everything ready. Sometimes we had to go to find the people in the park because they didn’t show up. After a while, to show the diversity of people, I went to the periphery of San Francisco and I installed my studio on the street, in construction sites, garages and so on. It wasn’t that hard to convince them, maybe because of my funny accent.
I believe I’m friends with some of the people from the project. I often speak with Mike and Alan. Mike found a place to work and a place to stay. For the younger people it is easier to reintegrate, especially if they don’t have any addictions.
I felt bad I couldn’t help more than I did. I found places for them to sleep, if I met them on street I would give them food, I payed them for the project. I raised some money with an exhibition and I donated it to a San Francisco organization that helps homeless people. But when it comes to alcohol addictions, medical problems that come from the way they lived, I didn’t know what to do. I myself didn’t have any medical insurance. Everything is very expensive.
It might change the way the homeless people are seen. Maybe the person who sees the project will go on the street and will help somebody.