Story behind the Homeless Guy Photo

dehk © 2011 – Do not reproduce.

The Story

Walking around downtown Grand Rapids, there were two guys sitting on the bench. They saw us walking by so one came up to me, and said a bunch of stuff with words that I would not understand at all, is sounded something like “Do you have some oui”.  Finally I asked him

Me: “what do you want?”

Him: “What do I want? FOOD man”.

Me: “I can’t help you there but how bout a smoke?”

Him: “oh great let me take a couple hit (as i was smoking one)”

Me: “No man I’m gonna give you a new one its all yours”

Him: “I appreciate that, and then more words that I do not understand, Something like “when I say this, you say oui”.

Him: “is that a camera?”

Me: “Yes”

Him: “What you taking pictures of?”

Me: “Whatever I want on the street, the street scene the people, anything interesting”

Him: “Why?”

Me: “Cause that what I like to do, as a matter of fact, if you don’t mind, I’d like to take a photo of you”

Him: “What for? Why? Where will you put it on?”

Me: “For myself, not gonna be on a magazine or some shit”

Him (with doubt in his eyes) “Alright man lets go over there, and you gonna stand right there”

As he was standing maybe 10 15 ft from me, I started to walk closer, he said “No, you’re gonna stay right there and not come any closer”

Me: “Alright man alright”

Him “So what do you want me to do?”

Me: “I don’t know, smile maybe?!”

Him “SHIT MAN, I ain’t smiled since i was this tall next walking down the street with my dad when I was 5”

Me “I don’t know man, I just want you to be yourself, do whatever you want”

Him ” Hey get back don’t come any closer, you gonna do this or its gonna take all day”

Me “Alright man alright here we go”

At the very same moment that I pressed the shutter, he smiled for me for about half a second.

Him: “You already gave me a cigarette so You don’t need to pay me any money”

After that, I told him thank you, and then he continue to talk with lingo that I mostly don’t understand, So i just told him thanks and have a nice day, shook his hand, and bail out, while 2 people walked down from a building to have a smoke, and he get to work on them.

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011.
Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Minolta MAXXUM 600si
Minolta 50mm 1.7 AF
Legacy Pro 400 (Neopan)
Freestyle Photo Ktol (XTOL) 1+2 Rotary

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10 thoughts on “Story behind the Homeless Guy Photo

  1. Gorgeous photos and I liked your story – funny dialogue. If you dig stories in Michigan, feel free to check out my post “Adventure in the Upper Peninsula” at corporatebackpacker.com. Michigan has a special place in my heart…

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