I haven’t updated this introduction since January 2014. Since then, Project W has been focused on Street Photography, largely inspired by my participation in Eric Kim’s street photography workshop in June 2013.

I had hoped to get to another workshop in 2014 and 2015; didn’t happen. There were many professional and personal demands on my time during those years and my photography focus took a back seat.

Work has continued on the $2 Portraits project, although not at the pace I would like. Not for lack of subjects, unfortunately, rather for lack of focus.

No commitments for 2016. Street photography will continue to be my genre of choice. I’ll try to carry my camera more often, although I’ve seen some amazing photography done with smartphone cameras, so that shouldn’t be an excuse.

And getting ProjectW photos from 2012 - 2015 in book form is still on the agenda.

Thanks for staying with me during the ups and downs of this photographic journey. As always, comments, critiques and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Jeff

Monday, May 15, 2017

With Purpose

With Purpose
Adams Street
Chicago, IL

Taken 5/15/17

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Robert (and Jeff)

Robert (and Jeff)
I’ve seen Robert regularly over the last 6 years.  I try to stop and chat, sometimes buy him breakfast and always drop a dollar or two into his cup whenever I can.  Here’s a guy who lives day to day, hoping to make enough to cover his shelter and food.  And when he has a good day, he’ll sometimes forego the morning or afternoon street session.

This past year I learned that Robert has two kids living in Kentucky who he hadn’t seen in awhile.  Around the holidays he was trying to collect enough for  a round trip bus ticket.  Along with others, I helped him out and he was able to spend Christmas with his kids.  I’m looking forward to hearing more about the backstory; perhaps when I next take him to breakfast.

As often happens, when leaving my office today, I saw him in his usual spot.  Our conversation went something like this:

“So Robert, do you know what day occurred a couple of weeks ago?”  He looked at me in puzzlement, “No, what was it?”  I replied, “It’s our anniversary - 6 years ago we met in this very spot and I first took your picture.”   “Well then, let’s take another picture!”  And so we did.  Since I had a train to catch, we didn’t have a lot of time to talk.  As I dropped some bills into his cup, we agreed that on Monday morning we’ll have breakfast to start the week.  “And bring me a copy of that picture, will ya?  Thank you and G-d bless.”

I never really know if and/or when I’ll see him again.  Maybe Monday, maybe not.  What started out as photographing a perfect stranger for the $2 Portrait project has turned into a 6 year “relationship” that rarely involves a camera.

Taken 4/13/17

Monday, March 13, 2017

My Personal Hell

My Personal Hell
College of the Desert Swap Meet
Palm Desert, CA

Taken 3/12/17

Sunday, March 5, 2017

What a Combo!!!

What a Combo!!!
Oakland, CA

Taken 3/3/17

Sunday, February 19, 2017

7.5 Decades Young

7.5 Decades
Celebration for a great friend.
Cancun, MX

Taken 1/24/17

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fish Food

Fish Food
Cancun, Mexico

People actually paid for this.  Gross.

Taken 1/29/17

Monday, January 23, 2017

Never Gets Old

Never Gets Old
Harry's Prime Steakhouse
Cancun, Mexico

Taken 1/23/17

Monday, January 16, 2017

Expecting a Downpour

Expecting a Downpour
After all, it is the rainy season...
San Francisco, CA

From the archives - taken 1/5/16

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Millbrae SFO

Millbrae SFO
On the BART
San Francisco, CA

From the archives - taken 1/26/16

Monday, January 9, 2017

Evening Rush

Evening Rush
Along the Chicago River.
Chicago, IL

Taken 1/9/17

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Tradition is Broken...

The Tradition is Broken...
...this year.  Instead of spending our traditional New Year's Eve with friends, we decided to travel to Indianapolis to be with our kids and grandpups.  Looks like someone was happy about that.

Taken 12/31/16

Friday, December 23, 2016

Condom Shack

Condom Shack
From the archives -
Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Taken 6/16/13

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tarmac

Tarmac
O'Hare Airport
Chicago, IL

Taken 12/16/16

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Engrossed - Plate X

Engrossed - Plate X
San Francisco, CA

Taken 12/2/16

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Arturo

Arturo
Holding a little dog in his lap, he was sitting on the corner across from Union Square, with a sign seeking money to buy food for his dog and himself.  He had heard of $2 Portraits when I inquired and agreed to participate.

Arturo was a very friendly guy.  At 53 years old, he’s been in San Francisco for 10 years.  Originally from Mexico, he still has a lot of family there.  I didn’t catch where in Mexico he’s from but he did say it was in a Mexican state south of Arizona.  He has family in Phoenix and in Florida, but no family in San Francisco.  We joked a little bit about his ability to travel back and forth once “the wall” is built and he said it won’t be a problem.

Being on the street is not a full time vocation for Arturo.  He said that construction is what he’s done for many years and always has 2 or 3 customers he’s doing small jobs for…tile, carpentry, etc.  When I asked why he’s on the street, he said it supplements his income and he gets the opportunity to meet some interesting people!  Arturo chuckled when he described being able to pick out people from Spanish-speaking countries and just start a conversation in Spanish.

As we shook hands farewell, I wished Arturo “Feliz Navidad” and gave him $2.

Taken 12/2/16

Saturday, November 19, 2016

On Tap

Now That's Harsh...
Palm Springs, CA

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Adoptable

Adoptable
"Florence" was a rescue hanging out at the Westin Mission Hills Resort until adopted.  So darn cute...we almost pulled the trigger.

Taken 11/2/16

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Look Alikes - Plate IX

Look Alikes - Plate IX
Off The Grid - Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA

Taken 9/2/16

Friday, September 30, 2016

Contemplation

Contemplation
South San Francisco, CA

Taken 9/29/16

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Good Advice

Good Advice
Aspen Art Museum
Aspen, CO

Taken 9/21/16

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clothesline

Clothesline
As viewed from the 350 Post construction site.
San Francisco, CA

Taken 9/13/16

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Shuck Me

Shuck Me
Jack's Oyster Bar & Fish House
Jack London Square
Oakland, CA

Taken 9/3/16

Friday, September 2, 2016

Black Elvis

Black Elvis
Off The Grid - Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA

Referring to the sandwich, not the guy.

You have not lived until you've tried the Black Elvis from the Grilled PB&J Guy.  Consists of peanut butter, nutella, banana & bacon on grilled bread.  Decadent for sure!

Taken 9/2/16

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ron

Ron
He was sitting against the light post as I walked up Mason, sign in hand.  I asked him if he wanted to participate in $2 portraits and he said “why not?”

Originally going by the name of “Shameless”, he told me his real name was Ron after I told him about a lead character in the TV show bearing his name.  Ron is a native New Yorker but has been in San Francisco since before the BART tunnel under the Bay.  He said he is older than 50 pointing to his gray beard, “Can’tcha tell?”, but couldn’t seem to remember his precise age.  In his working days, Ron “did everything” which included construction and cooking.  Said he opened the Sizzler’s on 11th Street back in the day.

It was tough having a conversation with Ron as he could barely keep his eyes open.  I gave him $2 and wished him luck.

Taken 8/18/16

Friday, August 19, 2016

Jammin'

Jammin'
Market Street
San Francisco, CA

Taken 8/18/16

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rainbow

Rainbow
"Love the hair.  Is it okay if I make a photo?"
"Sure."
Snap.  "Awesome, thank you."
"You're welcome."

And that's how it went.

Market Street
San Francisco, CA

Taken 8/18/16

Friday, August 5, 2016

Clean Energy

Clean Energy
Michigan City, Indiana

Taken 8/5/16

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gobbledegook

Gobbledegook
Downtown
Los Angeles, CA

Taken 7/14/16

Friday, July 15, 2016

Far From Home

Far From Home
NYPD cruiser seen on Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Filming an episode of "How To Get Away With Murder"

Taken 7/14/16

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Spanky

Spanky
I was walking down the street in a hot area of Indianapolis.   He had a sign that said "Army Vet" and was asking for 37 cents.  I said to my son, "I should do a $2 Portrait" and he responded by saying he'd love to watch me do one.  So I approached the guy and asked if he had heard of $2 Portraits.  He had not and after I explained it, he readily agreed to participate.  He told me he originally wanted 37 cents so he could get a beer, but $2 would set him up good.

Spanky is 55 years old and was born and raised in Indianapolis.  He has no family other than the guys he knows from the streets, one of whom was keeping him company this evening.  He told me his friend can come the the shelter for 3 nights at a time but then has to leave, but after a couple of nights he can come back for another 3.  Spanky used to be an electrician but isn’t working now.  He served in the Army at several bases in the US and was also in Iran (maybe Iraq?) for a short period of time.

All the while I’m talking to Spanky, my son was looking on taking it all in.  I thanked Spanky for his service and gave him $2.  An hour later we saw him again and he and his friend thanked me for the beers; even asking me if I wanted a swig.  After having dinner nearby and returning to the car, my son offered Spanky our leftovers.  He accepted but also asked for 37 cents…

Taken 6/18/16