"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Wednesday, August 19, 2015



I've known Richard for a couple years now. He's seems much older this summer, suffering from a bad hip among other physical ailments.

Richard lives on the street with his dog. He gets around in a wheelchair now, and often I see his dog pulling him down the sidewalk. Richard hangs out in my neighborhood. Some mornings I practically stumble over him on my way to the gym.

I made this portrait in the park next door to my building. Jamison Square has a really cool fountain that attracts families, especially on hot summer afternoons. Kids squeal with delight as the water fills the basin, then recedes. Yesterday I found Richard sprawled on the grassy area in front of the fountain. His dog was lying next to him, the wheelchair at their feet. Kids dodged them as they scampered to and from the flowing water. Parents set up their blankets so they wouldn't get too close. Richard smelled like beer. And his dog wan't tied up. And there was leftover food and trash all around him. He was passed out for awhile, oblivious to the delightful sounds offered up by kids enjoying one of the last lingering days of summer. When he woke up, he climbed into his chair and sat for this picture.

The homeless and the families of Portland coexist at this park, just as they do at most of the other urban outdoor spaces. I don't think the families do it very happily, but they do it just the same.

When we parted, I told him I hope he gets the hip replacement he needs. Richard told me he hopes I find what I'm looking for.

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