Bronze 2022 / People / Portrait (Non-Pro)

Streetcorner Stories: Signs of The Times

  • Photographer
    George Phillips
  • Prizes
    Bronze in People/Portrait

In a letter to his father, Richard Avedon said “I want your intensity to pass into me, go through the camera, and become a recognition to a stranger.” Recognition of the homeless in heaps of garbage is unlikely. These photographs were taken against the white background of Avedon portraits. The purity becomes ironic. The black and white implies serious and timeless, not just pretty. For the intensity of truth to pass through the camera, it must disappear, and a human connection made. The subjects’ own stories (in the metadata), resonate with the images and the photographer also disappears.

Our family album shows me at age four using a Brownie camera. Little did I know it was the beginning of a life of photography. Whether it was hauling a view camera up the side of a steep canyon or leaning out the door of a helicopter shooting while my boss held my belt, the camera was always there. I progressed from being the photographer for my high school yearbook to getting one of the first MFA's in photography from Claremont Graduate School. I am now putting all my experience into a portfolio of photographs that I hope to publish in a book.