Tuesday 2015.04.21 | @mikefshaw
Mike Shaw is a based (another Brit!) photogrpaher who specializes in snapping impromptu portraits of people on the street. Also animals! Rawr!
IN all seriousness, Mike is a photographer with a social consciousness. Here are some examples:
More Scars Than Skin
I heard this within the lyrics of a song as I tried to sleep last night, the first thing that came to mind was Jake. I recall the damage on his face and body from sleeping rough for 24 years.
Lumps, bruises and no teeth left, I wonder when the last time was he had the luxury of a simple wash, a bed and a warm meal, things we take for granted.
Maybe the simple act of listening to a song as I tried to sleep is the push I needed, maybe this is what I need to show.
Something I get asked a lot, why do I photograph the street people?
Because someone has to show the rest of the world they are there, they are as human as you or me. Does it affect me? Yes, each meeting, each story I hear cuts deep and leaves a scar.
I don't sit back and shoot with a long lens, I sit with them and we speak, its the only way I really know how to connect and sometimes that few minutes of my time is enough to make them feel human again.
We don't ignore street people, we see them but they scare us, they themselves do not create the fear but the situation they are in. The though of suddenly losing all our home comforts terrifies us so we try and avoid looking at what could be but in doing so we avoid them.
I am asked what I do for these people, I hope I give them a voice, a place to be seen instead of being ignored. What I do on an individual basis is between me and them, these images and posts have never been about me.
At the end of the day I'm just a bloke with a camera but I want to use that camera for something more than pretty pictures.
This is Darell from the previous image, 29, not long out of prison (six weeks) but wishes he was back, at least he was warm and could eat.
Try Something With Me?
Relax and close your eyes, put your hand on your chest over your heart. Breathe deeply and feel the rise and fall of your chest, feel the beat of your heart within you and soon you will hear the rush of blood as it passes through your veins. Each breath you take allows your heart to beat further and in doing so is keeping you alive.
Now stop breathing, tell your mind you no longer wish to breath and you want your heart to stop. You cannot, once your body feels it is under threat it goes into self survival mode and forces you to breathe once more.
Its not unique to you, at present 7.5 billion people have this self survival mode hard wired in from birth. we have so much in common with our fellow human beings, at the end of the day we are all the same species, we are all part of the human race.
For some reason though as a species we classify everything, ourselves more than anything else. Sex, colour of skin, beliefs, wealth, celebrity, homeless, the list is endless. because we do though we decide to go to war over those differences rather than celebrate them.
A leopard does not discriminate against another leopard because the pattern of his skin is different, it simply sees another leopard.
Try holding your breath and tell your heart to stop, you are no different to another human being.
Here's that Rawr! I promised.
Old Man Of The Pride
His name is Kenya and he is a very old man now, he still leads his pride but everyday life can be a struggle for him. Rather than him have to fight for his place the park maintains the order so he can outlive the rest of his days as the head.
I like to think he has many years still in him, he has so much experience he still needs to pass down.
And here's some silly.
Sometimes you get to meet the strangest of people!
Very nice work from that man! =D